CHEERS — Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are
finding ways to increase their success.
Touch" Dream Comes True for Young Couple in Southwest Nebraska
Two entrepreneurs, a forward-looking bank, a
community betterment corporation, and REAP
help a new auto body shop.
Perseverance, maybe even a touch of stubborn pride, patience, and a
strong work ethic are the marks of young Stratton, Nebraska couple Terry and
Crissa Latta. The Lattas own Final Touch, an auto body repair and finishing
shop newly established last year.
Combine that with the faith and community vision for the future of local
banker, Rich Bernt, Vice President and loan officer of the Commercial Bank
of Stratton, and the friendly, positive-thinking bank President Bill Zahl
and other officials and their board.
Rural Development Partnerships Work
Finally, add two non-profit economic development partners, Southwest
Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation and REAP, and you have a team with
a common goal of providing the resources to make a concrete reality
materialize for a young rural couple wanting to stay where their hearts are.
The Lattas, parents of two young children, a daughter Dawson and a son
Damon, like life in the small rural town of Stratton, approximately 30 miles
west of McCook on Highway 34 in Hitchcock County.
Latta’s business is located south of Highway 34 on the west edge of Stratton
in Hitchcock County. The business is busy, despite being founded in the
midst of the worst drought since the 30’s in southwest Nebraska.
REAP members, the couple appreciate the business planning assistance of REAP
and the technical assistance and financial resource assistance of all the
parties involved in their venture; the kind of collaborative partnership
that made the start-up assistance to them possible.
Small Businesses Key to Quality Rural Development
All the partners in the effort and the initiative of the Latta’s themselves
are symptomatic of what is possible for rural Nebraska and all of rural
America – building entrepreneurs one small business at a time, with ties to
the community, independent ownership, and profit staying at home.
Does Terry do quality work? Yes, I can vouch for that. I put him to the test
and had him work on one of my vehicles. Just as good as new when he
finished, reasonably priced, and I was handled as a valued customer. What
more can you ask of a small business company? – Phil Menke,