May  2005      Vol. 14, No. 5  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Rural Enterprise Assistance Project NOTES

MISSY HILLMER AWARD
Missy Hillmer, right, receives the REAP Officer of the Year Award from Southeast Business Specialist Monica Braun at the Central City Chamber of Commerce Banquet on March 31, 2005. Congratulations Missy!

PEER LOANS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT
REAP has worked in Richardson County, Nebraska for over six years. We helped start the Richardson County Business Development Association (RCBDA) to assist small businesses with ongoing education, networking, and microloans.

While REAP has provided several direct loans to small businesses in the county, the first peer loan to a member was approved in April 2005. When a small amount of business funds is needed and the criteria lines up, REAP encourages such loans.

Establishing a good business relationship through steady repayment of a peer group loan can be significant in establishing a rural small business’ creditworthiness. The positive support and discussion surrounding the loan request often proves meaningful for other business owners in the group.

The RCBDA membership roster has changed over the years, but the common purpose remains. Tracy Brantner, Falls City Economic Development Director, is a mainstay in keeping REAP connected to the small business community in her area. The group meets regularly and strives to provide ongoing educational programs and networking opportunities for its members.

NEW STAFF COMING ON BOARD
REAP is in the process of hiring two new REAP Business Specialists, one for the Northeast region and one for the Southeast 2 region. The departure of Karen Linnenbrink brought the need for a new Northeast Business Specialist. Glennis McClure has assumed additional duties and will be hiring a new Business Specialist to cover the Southeast 2 region she currently covers. We will let you know when the new folks are on board to serve you.

MARKETING SEMINAR PRESENTED IN SEWARD
REAP and the Seward Area Chamber of Commerce collaborated to bring Dave Buchholz of David & Associates, Hastings, to Seward for a marketing seminar. Approximately 40 people attended “How to Get Big Results from a Small Advertising Budget.” They came from Seward and Butler Counties to gain fresh momentum in their marketing strategies.

Dave discussed Selling vs. Marketing, the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), the Law of Leadership and the Law of Category, Price vs. Value, Features vs. Benefits, Ways to Build Your Business, Marketing Mistakes and Advertising Strategies, advantages and disadvantages to the various advertising media, and much more.

Ideas were abundant as participants left the seminar. It was well received by all.


Contact: Glennis McClure, REAP Co-Director, at 402.645.3296 or reapwbc@diodecom.net
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