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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 4th Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. (See event calendar for schedule)


Business Development Programs

The BDC works on various ways to increase economic development through the revitalization of vacant buildings and support to small businesses. The group reviews applications for the City's Urban Revitalization Area Programs, Microenterprise Grant Programs Vacant Building Applications, Demolition Grant Applications, and the CDBG Microenterprise Grant Applications. All applications start with the City’s Office of Business Development 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 City of Hickory Business Development Committee (BDC) annually accepts nominations for its Business. Well Crafted. Awards program. The City’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)

Business. Well Crafted. Award Nomination Form 2023 


Committee Members (All members are appointed at-large by the Hickory City Council)

Doug Auer, Vice Chair
Brandon Hedrick
Joan Long
Grace McLaurin, Chair
Karen Tonks


Other Attendees:

Manufacturing Solutions Center 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 - Brooklyn Dellinger
Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board - Matthew Xiong


City Staff

Business and Community Development Manager - David Leonetti

Rules and Bylaws

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