Since 1996, Main Street Beatrice in southeastern Nebraska has evolved from a volunteer community group into an accredited nonprofit organization. As the organization has grown, it has made strides for the community, with a focus on revitalizing downtown by attracting new businesses and new investment. This year, Main Street Beatrice has plenty of success to celebrate.
Beatrice, Nebraska, is home to more than 170 businesses. In 2019, Main Street Beatrice recorded a net gain of seven shops—bringing the net gain from 2016 to 22. This year, Main Street Beatrice also completed 18 improvement projects, for an estimated total of $1.1 million in improvements. These successes have brought new businesses to the community and will help attract future investment in downtown Beatrice.
To support new and existing businesses, Main Street Beatrice offers financial incentives such as a revolving loan fund. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Main Street Beatrice offers a low-interest loan to businesses in its jurisdiction. These loans are typically awarded for around $10,000, with a 10-year term and a 1.9-percent interest rate. With these loans, new and existing businesses can invest in their storefronts, equipment or other improvements.
Main Street Beatrice also connects local businesses to local lenders. By partnering with local banks and credit unions, Main Street Beatrice can offer flexible financing to small businesses in the community and encourage the circulation of money locally.
In addition to financial support, Main Street Beatrice also assists business owners and entrepreneurs trying to find their place in the community. The organization maintains a list of downtown properties that are available for rent or sale. These listings encourage businesses to set up shop in the heart of downtown Beatrice and allow Main Street Beatrice to create a connected community of entrepreneurs.
By supporting new and existing businesses, Main Street Beatrice makes its community a stronger place to live and work. Its success this year will make the entire community stronger in 2020. For more information about Main Street Beatrice, visit www.mainstreetbeatrice.org.