September 2007  Issue No. 25                    REAP HOME PAGE         A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs

Rural Enterprise Reporter

REAP - Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
Fostering small business growth in rural areas

Small business owners must compete and succeed in a rapidly changing environment. The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), a program of the Center for Rural Affairs, is a small business development program that can help! REAP consists of four elements including: networking, business management training, credit (micro-loans), and technical assistance.

Technical Assistance
REAP staff are available for one-on-one technical assistance with business owners or managers. Businesses may be existing or start-up businesses of all types.

  • Business planning assistance and troubleshooting consultations.
  • Cash flow and budget assistance.
  • Loan packaging assistance.

Micro Loan Fund Access
REAP has several lending products to meet the needs of startup and existing micro businesses in Nebraska.

  • Direct Lending - Participants are eligible for loans up to $35,000.
  • REAP Online Lending System – Applications for REAP Rapid Loans up to $5,000 and loans up to $10,000 can be completed online or the online application can be used for the pre-application for business loans from $10,001 - $35,000.
  • Quick & Direct GROW Loans – GROW Nebraska members are eligible for loans up to $5,000.
  • Peer Group Loans of $100 - $10,000 are available to members involved in Associations that maintain a local loan loss reserve.

Networking – Association or Roundtable Group
A partnership is established between REAP and the local community to form either a REAP Association or Roundtable. Group members meet monthly for networking, discussion topics, and education. Two elements are critical to the success of maintaining an association or networking group in a community: an active base of members and a key contact person.

Business Training
Professional development and education is a key to business success.

  • Associations and Roundtables have ongoing training at their monthly meetings.
  • Associations or Roundtable groups may host a REAP Business Plan Basics Training or other special small business trainings based on local interest.

REAP is funded by Community Development Block Grant assistance through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development as well as funding from the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act, United States Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration Microloan and Women’s Business Center programs, among others.

Contact: Jeff Reynolds, REAP Program Director, 402.656.3091 or jeffr@alltel.net,

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Center for Rural Affairs -- Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
145 Main St.    PO Box 136    Lyons, Nebraska  68038
Voice:  (402) 687-2100       FAX:  (402) 687-2200      E-Mail: REAPinfo@cfra.org