In his Friday news conference, Gov. Pete Ricketts laid out his plans on how to spend the first $387 million given to the state under the CARES Act.

Ricketts says the money will be split up between these four areas:

  1. Financial assistance to small businesses and livestock producers
  2. Creating additional training programs for unemployed or underemployed Nebraskans
  3. Expanding rural broadband
  4. Partnering with Gallup to train small business owners

Small business owners and live stock producers will be able to apply for $12,000 stimulus grants at starting June 15. Nebraska Economic Development Director Tony Goins said those grants will be available at a first-come, first-serve basis. The application process for the small business grants will close June 26.

Small businesses must have between 5 – 49 employees to qualify for the grants.

Goins said the helpline number for people who want to apply is 855-264-6858.

Nebraska Agriculture Director Steve Wellman says livestock producers can qualify for new agriculture grants. Those will include cow and calf producers, dairy producers, hog producers, and sheep and goat producers. They must have at least 20 animals in their operations to qualify with less than 10 employees.

Feedlot producers won’t qualify for the new agriculture grants but can apply for small business grants.

Goins said the state will be carving out scholarships for people looking to get more training to get back into the workforce. Goins said the scholarships will be around $1,100. The scholarships will focus on training students for high-demand jobs, trade opportunities and technology jobs. You can apply for the scholarships starting on June 16. The opportunity will close June 24.

Governor Ricketts says the state will be using $40 million to implement more rural broadband. Goins said the initiative will provide more opportunities for tele-health services and internet connectivity.

All telecom and broadband companies can apply for grants to expand their services, but Goins said interested businesses should be ready to execute the expansion, since funding will run out for those projects by the end of the year.

If you’re interested in these grants and applications, go to for more details. The helpline is 855-264-6858.