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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
email@example.com for more information.