FREE Resources for RURAL Small
Please take a moment to browse through
http://www.itssimple.biz – a free Internet resource
center to assist small business creation across the
The site was funded by USDA and has been in development
for three years. It recently added information about
counseling and training opportunities in every state.
This includes agencies and nonprofits who offer free or
low-cost assistance to small business – SBA, USDA, DOL,
Small Business Development Centers, and some
micro-lenders and development authorities.
You can sign up for a free newsletter, too.
eCommerce Class in Alliance
October 20, 2003 kicked off REAP’s four-week e-Commerce
course in Alliance, Nebraska. The course is offered in
conjunction with the University of Nebraska Extension
Service and was co-sponsored by the Western Entrepreneur
Support Team small business association in Alliance and
the Alliance Technology group.
www.pc-arts.com , of Alliance was course instructor,
assisted by Jenny Nixon and Connie Hancock from the
Extension Service. Nine people took the course, and each
night saw 100 percent attendance. The group was lively,
asked a lot of questions, and networked with one
The class was a huge success, and a number of class
members planned on setting up a Front Page users group
after the first of the year to work on their websites.
CREN Co-sponsors Marketing
Seminar in York, Neb.
The Crossroads Rural Entrepreneur Network (CREN) of York
County co-sponsored a marketing seminar in York November
10, 2003. Over 50 individuals attended “Marketing Basics
for Building Your Business” presented by Dave Buchholz,
David & Associates, Hastings, Nebraska.
The seminar addressed competing in an ever-changing
economy and marketplace. Participants discovered how to
establish a distinct identity and learned ways to build
their ventures. Buchholz presented the differences
between selling and marketing, discussed price vs.
value, and clarified features vs. benefits.
The program was co-sponsored by the York County
Development Corporation, the Greater York Area Chamber
of Commerce, and CREN. Several CREN members displayed
their products in a designated area during the evening’s
Butler County Completes
Business Plan Basics
Six businesses completed the Business Plan Basics
five-week course in Butler County in November.
Participating businesses included an established
business, a business looking to diversify, a fairly new
business, a start-up business, and idea-stage
businesses. The group is excited about planning their
program year when they meet as a REAP Association in
Thayer County Area Forms REAP
Entrepreneurs in Thayer County have come together to
form a REAP Association and will be known as the Small
Business Pioneers of Thayer County. Organizational
meetings were held in November and December.
The group is hosting the Business Plan Basics training
during January and February. Communities represented at
this point are Hebron, Bruning, and Chester-Hubbell.
Members are potential, startup, and established
businesses. Once the training is completed, the
businesses will continue to meet for education and