September 2002  Issue No. 20                    REAP HOME PAGE         A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs

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 strategy.
     
  • 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: www.sscdc.net/sasba
     
  • 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 jefff@alltel.net for more information.

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