July 2003      Vol. 12, No. 7  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Learning to Better Serve Immigrant Communities

On June 3 REAP staff attended a training discussing “Serving the Immigrant Community.” It was a joint training effort with the Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund (NMPF) and Catholic Charities-Micro Business Program.

The training discussed the need to reach out to the immigrant community, demographics, and reaching the immigrant market with products or services. Guest speakers included Todd Timm with the IRS and Wensley Durand and Ernesto Marquez from Bonding and Technical Services of Davis.

After lunch two Hispanic business owners told about their “Real Life Experiences” starting a business in the U.S. Enrique Garcia from Omaha is a new business owner of A&A Remodeling. He is pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming support he has received from Catholic Charities and Marialy M. Negron, the leader of the program.

The next speaker was Antonio Gomez, Gomez Pallets in Jackson, NE. He has been a business owner for over 20 years in the Jackson area. He spoke of the many challenges he had to overcome and gave some pointers to Enrique as well. Antonio recently attended our Basic Business Plan training in Spanish in South Sioux City.

REAP played a part in the training by talking about some of our experiences in just starting out with our program to serve immigrant entrepreneurs. This was a highly inspirational, educational day attended by over 40 NMPF members. Contact: Karen Linnenbrink, 402.372.3840 or karenjl@cableone.net.

National Minority Procurement Program

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is a non-profit organization that links over 15,000 Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) with more than 3,500 corporate members.

America’s top publicly-owned, privately-owned, and foreign-owned corporations, as well as universities, hospitals, and other large purchasing organizations are members. NMSDC celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2002.

NMSDC’s mission is to provide opportunities for minority businesses to market and sell goods and services to corporations located throughout the U.S. and abroad. To take advantage of these opportunities, businesses must be certified by one of the 39 Regional Councils serving their cities and states.

Great Plains Minority Supplier Development Council (GPMSDC), located at 1301 Harney Street, Omaha, NE 68102, provides certification for minority businesses located in Nebraska, Western Iowa, and South Dakota. REAP is partnering with Great Plains MSDC to bring awareness to this opportunity and by helping Minority Business Enterprises in rural Nebraska to become certified.

Questions about this program and about certification can be addressed to Virginia Lemmons at 402.346.1694.

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