By Chad Koenen


With no new loan requests, and a growing revolving loan fund account, the Henning EDA brainstormed different ways the group could help attract new and existing businesses to the community. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday morning, the Henning EDA said money is available for businesses in need, for expansion and relocation to Henning. The revolving-loan fund totals just under $122,489, and includes $46,239 in cash, as well as just under $76,250 in savings.

Henning EDA chair Josh Rud said the group is available to help businesses looking to expand, or grow its business in Henning. That includes a new business to town or an existing Henning business that is looking to expand. With interest rates staying low, he said now would be a good time to look at growing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change how businesses operate.

“I think that should be all of our goals, to bring more business, bring more anything to town,” he said. “We have some money to work with if people need some money to borrow, we have it there.”

Photo by Chad Koenen
The Henning Industrial Park was one of several spots that could be available for future development in Henning. 

Henning Mayor and EDA member Darren Wiese, inquired about whether offering a zero or one percent loan for a short period of time if a new business was built in town. There are vacant lots in the industrial park and the Highway 210 corridor near the current Dollar General has been the subject of discussion for future expansion for businesses in the past.

Rud said the Henning EDA should do what it can to attract new businesses to town, and if needed, the Henning EDA can look at revamping its lending guidelines. He suggested the Henning EDA take a look at its lending guidelines in future months to update some of the policies that may no longer be relevant in today’s world. 

Due to COVID-19, Henning EDA member Nathan Thalmann said he has also heard of businesses looking to expand warehouse operations outside of big metro areas so all of a businesses employees aren’t in one large facility, instead, they could be in a handful of smaller facilities. That way if a warehouse has a COVID-19 or another issue at its facility, it wouldn’t be forced to essentially shutdown for a period of time. 

Wiese said the Henning EDA should keep an open mind when talking with business owners and do what it can to try and attract new businesses to town.

One of the biggest issues affecting expansion has been a lack of getting items from suppliers. Rud said businesses should let Henning EDA members know if they are having problems getting items from manufacturers as there may be things the EDA can do to help a business get through this difficult time. 

“If you hear of anybody needing help with that stuff maybe that is something we can help with,” he said.

After meeting just sparingly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Henning EDA said it would get back to meeting monthly, or as needed, in the future to consider loan requests and EDA guidelines. 

“I think that should be all of our goals, to bring more business, bring more anything to town. We have some money to work with if people need some money to borrow, we have it there.”

Josh Rud

In other news

• Approved a $25 a month increase in rent for apartments at Countryview. The rent on the apartments has not been increased since 2016 and the increase will help to cover increases in water and sewer rates, as well as maintenance at the apartment building. With the increase a one bedroom apartment will cost $575 a month and a two bedroom apartment will cost $675 a month.

• Approved the appointment of Glenn Scott to the Henning EDA. Scott will take over the vacancy left by former Henning EDA member Mike Rowe, who moved out of the area last summer. 

• Heard that all loans are current and up to date.