New program will support the development of rail access business parks in counties of less than 100,000.

Starting January 3, 2022, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) will begin accepting applications for funding under the Nebraska Rural Projects Act. 

Signed into law as LB40 in 2021, the Rural Projects Act provides matching funds to Nebraska nonprofit development organizations who build new rail access business parks in counties of less than 100,000 residents. 

“Funding under the Rural Projects Act is an important resource that will bolster our state’s industrial readiness and complement local efforts to spur economic growth,” said DED Director Anthony L. Goins.   

Eligible applicants under the new program are nonprofit economic development corporations that are tax exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and registered with the Nebraska Secretary of State.

Eligible projects must develop a new industrial rail park in a county of less than 100,000, with the project undertaking at least one of the following objectives: adding rail access to an existing business park; adding a new business park to a currently served rail site; or creating a new business park and new rail access to serve the park. 

Projects may be eligible for up to two dollars in State matching funds for every dollar of investment in the project, up to $2.5 million in investment. Five dollars in matching funds may be available for every dollar of investment exceeding $2.5 million. The maximum matching amount paid to any one project is $30 million, subject to appropriation, with no more than $50 million to be paid in total under the Act. 

The application period will run from January 3, 2022, to June 30, 2023. To apply, visit

To access application guidelines and pertinent materials, or to sign up for the Rural Projects Act email list, visit For questions, contact Ben Goins at or 402-471-0822.