REAP Advisory Committee Notes
In November four REAP staff met with six REAP
members/advisors in Central City to visit about current
activities and future plans. Nadine Myers (Nadine’s
Country Catering), a member of Central City’s Loan Tree
Small Business Association, catered a delicious soup and
The meeting began with introductions and updates on the
REAP program and Women’s Business Center activities from
Jeff Reynolds and Glennis McClure. Monica Braun and Phil
Menke presented information on activities in their
Association officers reported on local group activities.
Missy Hillmer, Chair of the Central City group, told
about their membership blitz. They visited area
businesses with association information and a
questionnaire, with correct answers tied to a discount
on association membership dues.
Sharon Johnson reported on the Crossroads Rural
Entrepreneur Network group at York. They recently hosted
a marketing seminar with presenter David Buchholz, which
was very well attended (see REAP Notes for more
information on the seminar).
Discussion followed on the pros and cons of the new
Rural Business Roundtable concept REAP is developing.
The group also considered the question: “What are the
barriers to success for startup and existing small
businesses in rural Nebraska?” Responses included:
- Time is a pressing issue as many are starting
part-time businesses and still working full time.
- Productive marketing methods are needed.
- Technical assistance isn’t always readily
available (or business owners don’t know about REAP
and can’t find help readily).
- Management skills need to be strengthened, and
information on how to find technical assistance made
- Access to affordable health insurance is a major
One suggestion emerging from the discussion was for REAP
to provide public service announcements to local groups.
They could be customized and would be an aid to getting
REAP information out to rural communities.