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Business Development Committee

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




Members: At-Large
Joan Long, Chair
Hank Eimer, Vice Chair
Doug Auer

Brandon Hedrick
Grace McLaurin
Eddie Salyards
Karen Tonks

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


City of Hickory

76 North Center Street
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
Phone: (828) 323-7400
Fax: (828) 323-7550



Life. Well Crafted.

Hickory is for doers and makers seeking a well-rounded community, located between Charlotte and Asheville at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along I-40, where a collective spirit of craftsmanship strengthens any endeavor with detail, artistry, and quality.


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