Rural Enterprise Reporter
That's Impressive: REAP Member Activities
Here are just a few highlights
from the past year for REAP associations and members.
- The Saunders County Independent Business Network (SCIBN)
found a new fund-raiser this year that was very successful.
They sold hot dogs, chips, and drinks during the Fourth of
July Community Celebration in Wahoo. Each member contributed
to the effort and they had FUN in the process. SCIBN members
have found it is very important to be involved in the
community. Networking within the group is important, but
networking with other businesses and organizations in the
community is also beneficial.
- The Fillmore County Micro-Business Energizers (MBE)
learned a great deal about marketing vs. selling when they
brought in Dave Buchholz of David & Associates. He talked
about three ways to build your business and emphasized the
importance of taking care of your existing customers. He also
stressed the importance of developing your advertising
- The Micro-Business Development (MBD) group (Nebraska City
area) was the first REAP association to learn about the FISH
Philosophy! A member had viewed the video at a meeting of
another organization and wanted to share it with MBD members.
They discussed the FISH rules and how to catch the energy and
release the potential of their individual businesses.
- The Siouxland Area Small Business Association (SASBA) at
South Sioux City launched a website that features the benefits
of being a member of SASBA and REAP. Other features on the
site are: future business training classes, officers, and
current SASBA members. The website advertises their business
and how to reach each of them. The group is currently working
on a tri-fold brochure and SASBA business cards. They are
focused, committed and believe in the benefits of being
involved in their association to enhance, educate, and enrich
the lives of all small business owners in the Siouxland area!
Their website can be found at:
- The Western Entrepreneurs Support Team (WEST) in Alliance
gained several members when REAP held an E-Commerce course
last winter. The group then sponsored a basic business class
in Alliance, which was well attended by local entrepreneurs.
The group continues to grow and is looking at sponsoring more
training classes for the local area this fall and winter.
- Tina Grant of K-T’s Saddlery & Tack is grateful for
assistance from the REAP Program. Tina said that the technical
assistance and loan has enabled her to start her mobile
saddlery and tack business. Tina has literally taken her
business on the road to serve the needs of area working
cowboys, recreational riders, and ropers. Her business is
growing every week, and she has been busy this summer
attending the area rodeos, riding, and roping events.
- Thanks to the Jefferson County Economic Development Office
Staff and Director, Jim Frager for connecting over 18 folks to
REAP during the past year. REAP Business Specialists met with
and provided technical assistance to all these new contacts in
the Fairbury and Diller area. Five of the new businesses
received REAP loans and several others found financing from
traditional sources, while others have business plans on hold.
REAP’s local association in Jefferson County is the Jeff’s
Enterprise Development Association. Local Economic Development
Directors are key partners to the business development work in
rural Nebraska. Thanks Jim!
- Richardson County Business Development Association (RCBDA)
and the Falls City Economic Development organization hosted a
special Business Start-Up short course in April 2002. This
event was in response to a business closure in Falls City and
the need by some of its 80 employees to consider starting
their own businesses. The event also served as a recruiting
event for members into the RCBDA group and to promote the REAP
Basic Business Training course to be conducted later this
year. The workshop was taught by Stephanie Shrader of Business
Services Inc. in Nebraska City and Glennis McClure, REAP’s
Women’s Business Center Director.
- Thanks to some great enthusiastic help and energy by
Georgia Keightly of Crawford, REAP’s Women’s Business Center
staff put on a business ownership seminar on a Saturday
morning in August and was very pleased with an attendance of
nearly 30 women! Georgia is a Nebraska Women’s Commission
member and saw the need to host such a business seminar for
area women. Georgia promoted the event through local
newspapers and radio and handed out flyers made by the Women’s
Commission office. The seminar was well received and will help
build REAP’s presence in the Dawes County area. Many of the
women attendees were thrilled to hear that REAP could be a
resource to them as they start-up or build their businesses.
- The Nemaha County Business Assistance Team (NCBAT) gave
two scholarships to graduating seniors in their area this
year. The $100 scholarships went to a graduate of Auburn High
School and another to a Johnson Brock High School senior. The
Nemaha County group has provided at least one scholarship each
year since 1996. They were pleased to have received
applications from outside Auburn this year, and since they had
the money in their budget they gave two awards.
Congratulations to NCBAT for their continued support of youth
interested in business.
- The Johnson County Small Business Network (JCSBN) hosted
its annual seminar for area small businesses with good success
this year. The seminar topic “Advertising – it Doesn’t Cost,
it Pays” was led by Linda Bryant, co-publisher of the Hickman
VOICE Newspaper. The seminar was well attended and provided
the group a chance to tell about what they do to help support
small businesses in Johnson County.
- Jim and Marilyn Gaster and son Jeremy, Indianola, NE,
owners of Beaver Buckets, a coopering business, have landed
contracts to produce wooden stave hand crafted buckets for MGM
and Walt Disney Studios productions. The buckets will be
featured in the upcoming movie “The Alamo” for Walt Disney.
Gasters are members of the Rural Entrepreneurial Business
Association (REBA) in the McCook area.
- Business is booming for Paul Laverack, Holdrege, and owner
of Great Plains Stone & Epoxy. Paul’s decorative stone
chip-epoxy surfacing product installation service has now
added “Flo-crete” to its product line, a flowable
concrete-like product. Paul has used two REAP peer loans and
REAP business planning assistance in his full time business.
Paul is a past chairman of South Central Business Development
Association (SCBDA) and a Central/Southwest representative for
the REAP advisory committee of the Center for Rural Affairs.
Contact: Jeff Reynolds,
REAP Program Director at 402.645.3296 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.