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Lt. Governor Mike Foley was impressed with the Plainsmen/Husker mural on the north side of HomeTown Agency and wanted his picture there with Amy Thelander and Edward Dunn.

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Valerie Hochstein, right, explains issues the store had with meat products, specifically regarding price increases due to problems in the supply chain.

Lt. Governor tours Grant

Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley toured Grant Thursday, Oct. 1 as part of a plan to visit small towns in the area to see how Covid has affected rural Nebraska.

Lt. Governor Foley also toured Sydney, Scottsbluff, Ogallala and Oshkosh to see how different communities are adapting.

“I like to get out of Lincoln and get out to greater Nebraska to see how things are going for people and how they coped with the Covid situation,” Lt. Governor Foley said.

City Superintendent Edward Dunn and executive director of Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation Amy Thelander guided Lt. Governor Foley and Brittany Hardin, a representative for the Governor’s office, around town. Together, they visited multiple businesses in Grant so owners could provide information about the impact of the pandemic.

The first stop on Thursday’s tour was Grant Packing, where owner Justin Coats explained that the pandemic actually increased his business, since people were purchasing large amounts of meat at once to stock up.

Coats actually took this opportunity to make improvements to the building, including adding a larger freezer and new time-saving equipment.

A negative result of Covid, however, is the lack of events for Grant Packing to cater. Because public events with large amounts of people have been put on hold, there has not been a need for the business to provide meat for banquets and other events.

Next, the group traveled to Noyes Quality Homes, where they discussed how for a while, they had issues with acquiring the necessary supplies to build homes. This difficulty was due to delays and increases in costs.

After Noyes Quality Homes, Dunn and Thelander took Hardin and Lt. Governor Foley to Little Bluestem for lunch at the recently established eatery.

Hatch’s was the next stop on the tour, which Thelander and Dunn explained kept the town alive, even when their doors were closed.

Lt. Governor Foley walked around the store with manager Valerie Hochstein as she explained the situation Hatch’s has been working with through the last several months.

Hochstein informed him of the financial impact of temporarily closing the doors, difficulties when older staff retired for their safety, increased prices and product shortages.

“We have a good community,” Hochstein told Lt. Governor Foley.


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