February  2004      Vol. 13, No. 2  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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REAP Is Helping Survey Minority-Owned Businesses
A new coalition is reaching out to minority business owners to provide training and support and connect them to the Siouxland business community.

A coalition of local organizations has been meeting to put together a survey focused on minority-owned businesses in South Sioux City. The survey, consisting of 42 questions about business needs, will help identify key training issues.

The effort is aimed at connecting minority businesses with training programs, support programs, and the Siouxland business community. It is a project of the 2003 class of the Siouxland Immigrant Leadership Training Program, in collaboration with the City of South Sioux City, Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), Siouxland Area Small Business Association (SASBA), Siouxland Unidad Latina, and the South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce.

Karen Linnenbrink, REAP Northeast Business Specialist, said, “We’re seeking to identify and develop the skills minority business owners need to be successful, and to integrate them as active partners in the Siouxland business community. The first step will be conducting a survey of every minority-owned business in the community.”

The number of businesses owned by minorities in the United States increased 60 percent between 1987 and 1992, according to a report released by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau. This compares to an increase of 26 percent for all U.S. firms.

More than three million businesses are minority owned, and this number is growing. (Dun & Bradstreet, 2001)

The survey process will consist of 16 volunteers, in groups of 2, going to every minority-owned business in South Sioux City on Feb.14. On Feb. 21, a follow-up group will go to any businesses that were missed initially.

The surveys will be compiled through a local college. On April 7, the committee will review the report and the coalition will announce the findings on April 20.

Contact: Karen Linnenbrink for more information, 402.372.3840 or karenjl@cableone.net
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