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Business Development Commission

The Business Development Committee (BDC) serves in an advisory role to Hickory City Council. The purpose is to support economic development in the City of Hickory for increased employment by identifying and assessing ideas and applying local economic development resources to determine the level of success of the project/proposal. Projects that receive a favorable recommendation will be forwarded to Hickory City Council for consideration and action. The committee typically meets once a month on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. (See event calendar for schedule)

The BDC works on various ways to increase economic development with vacant buildings and supporting small businesses. The group reviews Vacant Building Applications, Demolition Grant Applications, and the CDBG Microenterprise Grant Applications. All applications start with the City’s Planning Department before submission to the BDC for recommendation to City Council. Additionally, the group recognizes established businesses and individuals in the community through the Business. Well Crafted. and Legacy Award programs.

CDBG Microenterprise Grant Program Information CDBG Small Business Loan Program Information


Business. Well Crafted. Awards

The BDC is currently accepting nominations for its 2021 Business. Well Crafted. Awards program. The City of Hickory’s Vision for Economic Vitality is to establish a diversified and sustainable economy through the growth of business opportunities, jobs, tax base, and population, and to improve the quality of life for its citizens. The BDC’s Business. Well Crafted. Awards program seeks to recognize businesses and individuals that support and affirm this vision.

Awards may be granted in the following categories:

  • Individual (Entrepreneur of the Year)
  • Youth (Entrepreneur under 25 years old)
  • Business and/or Organization (10 or fewer employees)
  • Business and/or Organization (11 to 50 employees)
  • Business and/or Organization (51 or more employees)

Nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 3, 2021.

2021 Business. Well Crafted. Award Nomination Form  

Commission Members

Members: At-Large
Karen Tonks, Chair
Brandon Hedrick, Vice Chair
Doug Auer
Hank Eimer
Joan Long
Grace McLaurin
Eddie Salyards

Other Attendees:
CVCC Small Business Center Executive Director - Jeff Neuville
Catawba County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO - Lindsay Keisler
Hickory Downtown Development Association - Amy Ogle
Catawba County EDC Existing Industries Services Director - Nathan Huret
Small Business Technology Development Center - Ron Elmore

City Staff
Business Services Manager - David Leonetti

Rules and Bylaws

For more information about the BDC, please contact staff liaison, Dave Leonetti, at (828) 323-7422 or