Business Development Committee

The Business Development Committee (BDC) serves in an advisory role to Hickory City Council. The committee’s purpose is to support economic development in the City of Hickory and increase employment within the community. The committee identifies and assesses business ideas that would promote economic development and be an asset to the community. Projects or proposals that receive a favorable recommendation from the committee will be forwarded to Hickory City Council for consideration and action, which often involves grant dollars.

The BDC works on various ways to increase economic development by supporting small businesses and repurposing vacant buildings. The group reviews Vacant Building Applications, Demolition Grant Applications, and the CDBG Microenterprise Grant Applications.

In its 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development, the City of Hickory identified increasing entrepreneurship opportunities as a high priority need. This led to the creation of a program to provide microenterprise grants to businesses looking for funding necessary to take their business to the next level. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, a microenterprise is a business that has five or fewer employees, one of whom is the owner of the business. Since the project will be funded with CDBG funds, all applicants will need to have a household income of less than 80% of the area median income. All applications start with the City’s Planning Department before submission to the BDC for recommendation to City Council.

While the BDC largely focuses on bringing in new business and supporting small businesses in the city, the group also recognizes the importance of acknowledging the long-standing businesses that have served the area for many years and has been the foundation of Hickory’s economy. With that in mind, the BDC created awards for businesses 75 years or older, known as the Business Well Crafted award. The group also awards exceptional businesses with the Legacy Award.


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