REAP Hispanic Business Center Entering Phase Four
Providing Business Development Services for Hispanics in Rural Nebraska Communities
BY JEFF REYNOLDS, REAP PROGRAM DIRECTOR
The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), a program of the Center for Rural Affairs, is preparing to implement the fourth phase of work for the REAP Hispanic Business Center (HBC). The objective of phase four is to further establish a rural statewide Hispanic business development program to provide key business development services to rural Nebraska Hispanic entrepreneurs. REAP anticipates this project will impact 200 Hispanic entrepreneurs during the project year.
REAP completed the hiring process and now has a Hispanic Business Specialist in western Nebraska. Nancy Flock from North Platte has been hired and began her new duties on January 29, 2008. Read more about Nancy on the back page of this issue.
As of September 3, 2007, Adriana Dungan was promoted to REAP Hispanic Business Center Director and will also continue to serve her northeast region. The new Hispanic Business Specialist position will cover the Hispanic population outside of northeast Nebraska and will also cover a small region in southwest Nebraska. The REAP HBC phase four work will officially begin on July 1, 2008.
The phase four work of the REAP HBC will help create new economic opportunity, higher incomes, asset growth, and improved skills for rural Hispanic entrepreneurs. Efforts will focus on eight communities and two counties with concentrated Hispanic populations.
These communities/counties include: Crete, Dakota City, Dawson County, Madison, Nickerson, Schuyler, South Sioux City, Wakefield, West Point, and Scottsbluff County. Services will be made available to Hispanic entrepreneurs across all of rural Nebraska – wherever they may reside.
Jose Lopez received assistance through the REAP Hispanic Business Center last year. Jose came to Nebraska in search of better work opportunities. In 2003 he opened a small business in North Bend, Nebraska. Spotting a new opportunity to buy a building and relocate his business, he contacted REAP Hispanic Business Center Director Adriana Dungan to receive help working on his business plan and packaging the loan. You can read more about his success on page three of this issue and in the awards insert. Help from the REAP Hispanic Business Center was the difference maker in growth for this small business!
REAP is excited about the approaching implementation of phase four of the REAP Hispanic Business Center. The addition of a Hispanic Business Specialist in the southwest area of Nebraska and promotion of Adriana Dungan to REAP Hispanic Business Center Director will play a major role in moving this critical work to the next level. REAP will continue to research, develop, and build strategic partners to provide comprehensive New American services in all of rural Nebraska.