Hettinger County JDA is here to help your business

In the late 1980s, North Dakota passed legislation that allowed counties to create a job development authority (JDA) for the purposes of supporting the communities within the county.

The Mott apartment complex. According to Resner, this is one of his proudest projects since he’s become the Executive Directory of the Hettinger County JDA.
The Mott apartment complex. According to Resner, this is one of his proudest projects since he’s become the Executive Directory of the Hettinger County JDA.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

In the late 1980s, North Dakota passed legislation that allowed counties to create a job development authority (JDA) for the purposes of supporting the communities within the county. Most communities have formed an Economic Development Corporation, and only Hettinger County and Dunn County have Job Development Authorities in southwest North Dakota.

The purpose of the JDA is to preserve and promote the number of jobs within the jurisdiction and to promote tourism.

Glenn Giese was the first Executive Director in Hettinger County and one of his first projects was the establishment of the women’s prison in New England.

Mark Resner has been the Executive Director of the Job Development Authority of Hettinger County the past six years, and he’s made it his job to help the communities of Mott, Regent and New England move forward.

“When I started here I recognized there were a lot of projects that we really needed,” Resner said.

There are 11 members on the JDA board and each of the three towns in Hettinger County has representation.

One of the biggest projects that Resner and his board assisted with was getting an apartment complex built in Mott. Resner said Mott had not had a new apartment building in 30 years, he thought that was long enough. Though it took locking down nine sources of funding, Mott got its new apartment building.

“That was probably my proudest project,” Resner said.

Resner and the JDA can also assist with local business, both to get started and to move forward.

“Our purpose is to assist businesses, to help businesses within the county,” Resner said.

For anyone interested in starting a business or building their business, there are countless programs that people can take advantage of, and Resner and the JDA can help facilitate the application of those programs.

One of those programs includes the Flex Pace Program offered by the Bank of North Dakota.

“They (the Bank of North Dakota) participate with the lead lender, and they ask for participation from the community, and then the Bank of North Dakota buys down the interest,” Resner said. “So if you borrow money for your new building, they will reduce the interest to as little as 1 percent, which is huge.”

One local business owner that took advantage of the program was Jamison Sabo, owner of Dakota General in New England. Sabo said that after getting introduced to the program it was an easy process to utilize, so easy in fact he’s been able to take advantage of it twice.

“It was very easy,” Sabo said. “I mean it’s a great program to help your businesses get started.”

Sabo said it gave them the option of getting started, and it made it more affordable. He also added that it helped them expand once they were up and running. Sabo also said that indirectly it made them stay competitive because they didn’t have to increase their prices to expand their business.

“It kept the cost lower for us, which kept the cost lower for our customers too,” Sabo said.

Sabo wanted to say that Mark and the JDA are a huge asset for the county.

“Just in his (Resner) knowledge, and his willingness to meet with you and answer any questions, the JDA in general is great to work with,” Sabo said.

Though Resner said they don’t do grants or loan applications, they can help where they’re able to.

“JDA does for businesses what the extension service does for farms,” Resner said.

JDA can also help with the look of your store location. By offering storefront grants, up to 50 percent of the cost of improvement could be covered. Resner estimates that the JDA has participated in $20 million worth of projects in the last five years, and he said if he’d help, even if it’s out of his organization’s capabilities.

“If I can’t help somebody I’ll find somebody that can help them,” Resner said.

Resner was also adamant that anyone who has any questions, or needs assistance to call his office in Mott.

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