Rural Enterprise Reporter
Staff Keep REAP a Growing, Going & Strong
Service Leader of Rural Microenterprises
AEO – REAP staff attended the Association for
Enterprise Opportunity national conference at Anaheim,
California, to access training to improve our program and
technical assistance skills to better serve our client base.
SBA WBC Post Awards Conference – Monica Braun and
Center for Rural Affairs’ accountant Hayley Hallstrom attended
SBA’s Women’s Business Centers Professional Development meeting
in Washington DC in June to share “best practices” and be
updated on new SBA personnel and procedures.
Annual Awards – REAP 2007 annual awards were
distributed at the Center for Rural Affairs Awards Banquet in
Columbus. Recipients were: Small Business, Becky Wyatt, Becky’s
Health Hut, Sidney; Officer, Rina Orellana, Secretary of the
Columbus Hispanic Networking group; Friend, Lance Hedquist,
South Sioux City Administrator; and Extra Mile, Karen Fritschle,
Arbor Bank, Nebraska City. REAP member Jose Lopez, Lopez Auto
Sales, Schuyler, received the Entrepreneur Award from the Center
for Rural Affairs.
Ponca Tribe – Jeff Reynolds is serving on the Advisory
Council for the Ponca Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO)
Micro-Business Opportunities Project. The Project Advisory
Council will meet quarterly throughout the three-year project to
help develop effective micro business models in reaching Tribal
SBA Partnership – Jeff Reynolds and Monica Braun
represented REAP in Feb. at an SBA Resource Partner meeting in
Omaha to discuss ways all of SBA’s partners can work together.
Women in Agriculture Conference – Dena Beck and Monica
Braun staffed a booth at the 2008 Women In Ag Conference in
Kearney in Feb. Approximately 250 women attended. Monica
presented a session on “What’s in YOUR Busi¬ness Plan?”
Hispanic Microenterprise Assistance – Adriana Dungan
attended the Heartland Latino Conference in Omaha, a forum for
learning, development and building leadership skills and
relationships among Latinos and all members of our community.
Agri-Tourism Conference – Monica Braun attended the
Governor’s Agri-Tourism Workshop at North Platte. The one-day
workshop targeted rural economic developers and landowners
looking for ways to diversify agricultural income.
GROW Nebraska Spring Meeting – Monica Braun and Dena
Beck attended the GROW Nebraska Spring Meeting at Burchell’s
White Farmhouse Inn near Minden in April. The Women and Company®
Equity Award Winners were announced and recognized. Several of
the awardees were in attendance. Glenna Zwiebel, Z’s Total
Image, Morrill; Kerri Chamberlin, Longhorn Restaurant, Kimball;
Maria Alvarado, Alvarado’s Tax Services, Columbus; and Becky
Wyatt, Becky’s Health Hut, Sidney were on hand to receive their
awards. Awardees not present but recognized at a later time were
Dianne Marie, Midwest Quilting and Embroidery, Ord, and Debra
Simmons, S & S Sweeper Store, Beatrice.
REAP Office Hours – REAP business specialists across
the state continue to provide local office hours at numerous
Chamber and Economic Development offices. Communities include:
Beatrice, David City, Broken Bow, McCook and Ogallala. The
arrangements have provided excellent and more efficient ways to
meet clients and build partnerships with community leaders.
Small Business Fair – Monica Braun, Lana Zumbrunn,
Seward County Economic Development Director, and Pat Coldiron,
Seward Area Chamber Director organized a Seward County Small
Business Fair held in Seward in June. Next year’s Seward County
Small Business Fair is already scheduled for June 11, 2009.
NATI Conference – Nancy Flock attended the 9th annual
Nebraska Association for Translators and Interpreters conference
and presented on Starting a Business in Nebraska, Building your
Freelance Business, and Marketing your Business.
SBA Outreach – Jeff Reynolds and Monica Braun
represented REAP at the SBA Rural Entrepreneurship Outreach
meeting at Lincoln in April to discuss challenges for rural
businesses, what is working/not working, and how SBA can make
the largest impact. District Director Leon Milobar led the
meeting. Attending from the DC office was Associate
Administrator Anoop Prakash.
Survey Work – REAP completed an “Entrepreneur Needs
Assessment Survey” to determine the needs of rural entrepreneurs
in Ne¬braska and shape REAP’s future.
NCIP – Adriana Dungan attended the NCIP conference at
South Sioux City. The conference is attended by community
leaders from around Nebraska and provides sessions on
leadership, economic and community development.
Economic Development Summits – Several REAP staff
attended Economic Development Summits at Wayne and Peru. The
events promote regional collaboration and the future of regional
economic development in the face of global competition.
Panels – Dena Beck served on the ESU 11 Summer Honors
Youth Entrepreneurship Panel. High school students from the
south central Nebraska area worked long and hard on a business
plan for their business EntreAuction.
Adriana Dungan participated in the “Engaging Community
Leaders” panel discussion sponsored by the Nebraska Library
Commission to consider new programs for most effective outreach
to the Spanish speaking community.
Collaboration – REAP continues to sponsor and partner
with a 6-county regional BECA grant in Southeast Nebraska. The
group provides local trainings and coordinates the Inventors,
Investors and Entrepreneur’s club, better know as I2E club held
in Nebraska City. Janelle Moran is extensively involved with the
REAP partners with PK Partnership, a group of
forward-thinking community members from Phelps and Kearney
Counties, and provides trainings including EDGE, Business
Succession and much more. Dena Beck is extensively involved with
Rural Revitalization – Regional Revitalization
sessions were offered as a partnership with REAP, Nebraska
Development Network-Central Region, and South Central and
Central Nebraska Development Districts. Two Regional
Revitalization workshops have taken place.
One in Franklin addressed Agri & Eco-tourism efforts. Central
City had a presentation on Ethanol Myth-busters and on the
Community Development Assistance Act. A future workshop in
Broken Bow will address Agriculture and Business Succession.
MarketPlace – All REAP staff were involved in the
successful 2nd MarketPlace event held in Columbus on Feb. 27.
Approximately 500 people attended the sessions. Evaluations were
positive for the training sessions and the networking
opportunities. For more informa¬tion on this year’s MarketPlace,
Business Succession Planning Presentations – REAP
staff collaborated with the Federal Reserve Bank and local
economic developers and other partners to present Business
Succession seminars in many Nebraska communities this past year.
Business owners and community leaders received information about
buying and selling local businesses. Planning for Business
Succession is one strategy to keep our rural communities viable.
NEON + NMPF = NEF - Most REAP staff attended the
annual Nebraska Enterprise Opportunity Network (NEON) annual
meeting at Mahoney State Park at Ashland in December. NEON,
Nebraska’s State Microenterprise Association (SMA), was
disbanded this year.
The Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund (NMPF),
Nebraska’s State Microenterprise Intermediary (SMI), is now
known as the Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF). Now a Nebraska
Statewide System (SMS), NEF is a combination of NEON and NMPF
all under one roof.