September 2003  Issue No. 21                    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 Pine Ridge Small Business Association re-organized this year and hosted a Business Plan Basics course in Crawford, Nebraska. The group had 17 people sign up for the class and added 12 new members. They also raised over $500 from area businesses to support their loan loss reserve.
     
  • Dixie and Jim Lees, members of the Pine Ridge Small Business Association, took advantage of REAP’s Basic Business Class and technical assistance in developing a business plan for their Ox Yoke Ranch retreat and have recently hosted their first customer.

    The retreat offers a completely furnished small home along with corrals, pasture, and tack shed for horseback riding enthusiasts, hunters, or anyone wanting to horseback ride or enjoy the Pine Ridge Country in Northwest Nebraska. If you are interested, contact Dixie Lees at 308.667.2754.
     
  • Tracey Baseggio is celebrating her one-year anniversary with her business “The Fitness Place” in Gordon, Nebraska. Tracey opened her fitness center in Gordon after receiving assistance from REAP in developing her business plan and putting together a financial package for purchase of the equipment. Tracey says it has been a great year, and she is busy taking sign-ups for new memberships for the coming year.
     
  • The Cedar Entrepreneurial Development Association (CEDA), based in Hartington kicked off the first eCommerce training in the Northeast. The curriculum was the Main Street program developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Nine businesses finished the four-week training. Russ Gifford from Gifford and Associates of South Sioux City was the instructor.
     
  • The Elkhorn Valley Small Business Association (EVSBA), based in Wisner was the association with the most new members for the year. They held a five-week Basic Business Plan training that included eight new members. This group consists of members in Cuming, Dodge, Burt, Stanton, and Wayne counties.
     
  • The Siouxland Area Small Business Association (SASBA) from South Sioux City held a public training on the new state tax laws that went into effect last October. Dale Carter, Nebraska Dept. of Revenue, led the session. Local NBC and CBS news reporters interviewed participants and the instructor, putting SASBA on the air for the 10:00 p.m. and noon news.
     
  • The South Central Business Development Association (SCBDA) provided resource speakers for a South Platte United Chamber of Commerce workshop in January. Paul Laverack, Holdrege and Keith Roberts, Orleans related their experiences in starting their businesses and outlined the assistance REAP offers to those enrolled in the program. SCBDA also made visits to several member businesses as part of their monthly meetings.
     
  • The Southern Sandhills Business Association (SSBA) was a host site for a WBC Business Plan Basics course. The session was well received by participants who gained knowledge regarding marketing, customer relations, financial management, advertising and promotion, and goal setting.
     
  • The Nemaha County Business Assistance Team added several new members this past year. For the second year, they gave two scholarships to area students interested in furthering their business education. The group also voted to support the new focus of the Nemaha County Development Alliance, which is committed to strengthening entrepreneurial activity in the county.
     
  • Hosting the REAP Business Plan Basics course helped the Richardson County Business Development Association strengthen its membership by adding 4 new members in the spring. The group has hosted several excellent educational programs as part of their regular meeting format throughout the year. Plus, they hosted a three-state (Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri) Sales Tax Informational Seminar in May with over 30 in attendance.
     
  • The Saunders County Independent Business Network (SCIBN) used some of their Special Uses Account funds to purchase a combination TV/VCR so they could view videos at their meetings. This year they have taken advantage of the REAP Video Library to view the Financial Series. They were able again this year to raise funds by having a food booth at the 4th of July celebration in Wahoo.
     
  • The Micro-Business Development (MBD) group (Nebraska City area) has completed a Strategic Planning Process and has program topics selected for the coming year as well as a Recruitment Effort planned.
     
  • The Lancaster Entrepreneur Assistance Resource Network (LEARN) in southern Lancaster County developed their own promotional brochure this year. Each member was responsible for distributing them to potential members or places frequented by potential members. One member presented the topic of Handling Difficult People, which offered some excellent ideas on dealing with some customers and/or employees.
     
  • The Hamilton County Small Business Association reorganized in 2002 and became the Entrepreneur Association of Rural Nebraska (EARN). They completed the Business Plan Basics course in December 2002.

    The group also hosted the eCommerce course in May-June 2003. They incorporate member site visits and/or business demonstrations at monthly meetings along with an educational topic.
     
  • The Loan Tree Small Business Association (LTSBA) located in the Merrick County area also reorganized this year. A few members visited local businesses armed with informational packets, coffee, and rolls in an effort to recruit new member businesses. They have been cooperating with the Central City Area Chamber of Commerce in presenting educational programs.
     
  • The Crossroads Entrepreneur Network (CREN) was formed this year in the York County area. CREN completed the Business Plan Basics course in March 2003. The members were surveyed during the training, and educational topics were planned at the final session of the course.

Contact: Jeff Reynolds, REAP Program Director at 402.645.3296 or jefff@alltel.net for more information.

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