Economic Advisory Board Approves Loan to Gopher's Grill


Published on October 3 2017 2:39 pm
Last Updated on October 3 2017 2:39 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Economic Advisory Board and Grants Committee Tuesday voted to loan $25,000 to the developers of a new downtown entertainment center.

Gopher's Grill will take up residence in the former Jansen's Department Store building along Jefferson Avenue that for many years has been home to The Zone. The Zone is relocating to the former YMCA building on Wenthe Drive.

Advisory Board Chairman Dave Campbell said the partners in Gopher's Grill will have an eatery in the building as well as arcade games and other attractions. The partners...Aaron Niebrugge, Nick Schuette and Kevin Hoene...told the Effingham City Council in September that they plan to renovate the interior and exterior of the structure with hopes of having the work completed by the end of 2017. The City is yet to decide on funding for the project.

The $25,000 loan pretty much depletes the County's fund for the moment, but more repayments will make more monies available.

In the meantime, Campbell said he knew of three other potential projects seeking funds. Advisory Board members also plan to seek other sources of funding.

The Advisory Board has also finalized plans for its first Revolving Loan Retirement Event. CW Motorsports at 110 North Henrietta was the Board's first revolving loan fund participant and will soon pay off the amount it borrowed.

A ceremony is planned at CW Motorsports on Friday, October 13 from 2 to 4pm with a ceremony at 3pm. Cookies and drinks will be available. The cookies will be furnished by Hollie's Flour Shoppe, another business currently using the revolving loan fund program to grow their business.

More information on the County's Revolving Loan Fund Program is available on the County's website at Then, just click on the Economic Development button. You can also obtain more information by phoning the County Board Office at 217-342-4990.