Governor Pete Ricketts recently announced the state’s first Economic Opportunity Program (EOP) grant to support the expansion of Chapman-based, Preferred Popcorn, LLC. The $6 million expansion will add approximately 10 new jobs and 22,500 square feet to the company’s hometown plant, more than doubling its operational capacity. Preferred Popcorn sells 99 percent of its product outside Nebraska and exports to 70 companies across the globe.
“Strong partnerships between the Governor’s office and state agencies helped finalize Preferred Popcorn’s decision to expand and maintain its global headquarters in Nebraska, and to qualify for Nebraska’s first EOP grant,” said Gov. Ricketts. “My administration appreciates the opportunity to keep globally-competitive, innovative businesses like Preferred Popcorn in Nebraska, which markets nearly 50 percent of its products internationally.”
The Nebraska Department of Transportation (DOT) will fund up to $500,000 of an approximately 1.25 mile stretch of county road based on 50/50 cost share agreement with Merrick County. The program is designed to attract and retain businesses through new opportunities in infrastructure development in economic regions across the state. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development also supported the initiative with a federal $300,000 Community Development Block Grant through the South Central Economic Development District.
“Making smart investments in our state’s infrastructure is critical to growing economic opportunity in Nebraska,” said DOT Director Kyle Schneweis. “This means making it easier for Nebraska businesses to get their products to market – whether that’s up the road or in to the global marketplace.”
Nebraska is the largest producer of popcorn in the U.S. and produces more than one-fourth of the nation’s popcorn.
Preferred Popcorn, LLC is served electrically by Southern Power District, a wholesale customer of NPPD.
Information Courtesy Nebraska Department of Economic Development