Economic Development & Available Properties


If you’re looking to relocate or start up a new business in a vibrant community, Wood River is open for business! Wood River is ideally situated within the Tri-Cities and in close proximity to the Interstate, Highways 30 & 281, as well as major railway lines. We welcome the opportunity to visit with you and show you available commercial properties in the area. Please contact any of the following:

Wood River Economic Development Corporation, Chris Stewart or Brian Bangs, 308-583-2206

Wood River Housing & Industrial Development Corporation, Nick Rennau, 308-850-0789

HGI Realty, Jim Rennau, 308-583-2262,

Wood River Community Profile 

Wood River, Nebraska, Hall County, Central Time Zone

Wood River, NE is located near Interstate 80 and Hwy 30 in central Nebraska, and approximately 15 miles from the north-south Hwy 281 corridor. Roughly 16 miles from Grand Island, 30 miles from Hastings, and 23 miles from Kearney, Wood River sits in the middle of what is called the busy Tri-Cities area of Nebraska. The community is serviced by the bustling Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island, and has Union Pacific rail service running through town.

Wood River is a community of 1,350 persons. The immediate economy is primarily agricultural, but the community also has a health local business sector including financial services, insurance, realty, and retail services as well as several manufacturing and light industrial enterprises and an operating ethanol plant. Local government and community leaders are supportive of economic development initiatives and eager to grow the business community. Several lots are available in the Wood River Area Economic Development Corporation’s industrial development tract where one new light industrial business built in 2015. Additional lots or small commercial/retail buildings are available in the downtown business district alongside busy Hwy 30 (traffic count approx. 6,000 vehicles/day). 

Wood River, Nebraska has numerous site and building choices for a wide variety of uses. To help make a more informed decision about where to locate your business, a database system, Location One is available through these links:

Click here for Available Sites & Buildings

If you’re in the market for a site or building, please note that, while Location One is updated regularly, excellent real estate comes up for sale even faster. The Wood River Area Housing & Economic Development Corp. strongly recommends that you also contact the broker/developers that represent these sites and local realtors for the most current availabilities.

If you represent some property that is not included in this inventory and wish to include these sites, please contact our LOIS Administrator at [email protected]

Resources to help you start or grow a business:

University of Omaha (Nebraska Business Development Center)

U.S. Small Business Administration

Center for Rural Affairs, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
REAP offers technical assistance, training, loans up to $250,000. For special training opportunities the Women’s Business Center and Hispanic Business Development Center. Central Region: Griselda Rendon, [email protected] 308-850-4820

Nebraska Business Development Centers
NBDC offers business planning, training, valuations, loan packaging, government contracting, and a variety of technical assistance.  Link to local contacts:

Nebraska Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO)

NEDCO Is a SBA 504 lender, and has USDA Intermediary Relending Program and EDA Revolving loan funds. They are good with helping with buildings and usually only require 10% equity.

Invest Nebraska
Invest Nebraska offers venture capital and angel investment programs.

Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF)
NEF offers technical assistance and loans up to $150,000.   Tonia Franklin, [email protected]  402-685-5500 Ext 206

Cooperative Extension
UNL Cooperative Extension offers technical assistance.

South Central Economic Development District  Nebraska regional development districts offer various revolving loans funds and technical assistance.  Sharon Hueftle is the Director (308-455-4770)

 USDA Rural Development
The USDA Rural Development program promotes economic development through loans to businesses provided through banks, credit unions, and community-managed lending pools. They also offer energy efficiency grants and loans to businesses.  Regional Contact: Bill Sheppard, Area Specialist 402-371-5350,  [email protected]

 GROW Nebraska
Training and technical assistance with marketing Nebraska products. Janell Anderson Ehrke, phone 888-growneb

LB840 – Local Option Sales Tax funds collected in many communities for the purpose of economic development and assisting local businesses.  Contact the City office or local Economic Development office of the community you are interested in..

 Imagine Nebraska Tax Incentives
Mostly for manufacturers and must have a minimum of 5 new employees and 1 million in investment for rural areas and pay at least $16.10 per hour.

Micro-Enterprise Tax Credits
Micro-Enterprise Tax credits provide a 20 percent refundable tax credit to micro businesses on increased compensation for employees or increased investment in targeted communities. Applicants may qualify for a maximum of $10,000 for the life of the program. The credit is limited to companies with five or fewer employees at the time the application. Credits are approved on a first in – first out basis with an application process through the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program-
Grants are available for qualified businesses that want to: create a prototype, do research and development,  commercialize a product, apply for SBIR and Economic Gardening.

 Nebraska Department of Economic Development Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), CDBG/ED is a grant to a city, village, or county that re-loans the money to a local qualifying business for gap financing. These funds have to create jobs that benefit low to moderate individuals. Usually run through an NDO when paid back.