By Dena Beck, REAP Senior Project Leader
As I move into more administrative duties with the Center for Rural Affairs' REAP program, I've been reminiscing about my visits to small towns of Central & SW Nebraska to help rural small businesses.
Looking back on my nine years serving small businesses in Custer County at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, the experience was different from what I experienced in McCook.
Perhaps that’s because of my personal history. My family first came to Custer County in 1954. They ran a grocery store in Sargent. Maybe that's where my appreciation of entrepreneurs really started.
I spent my first eight years living in Custer County, enjoying the small-town life, raised in a community where folks care about each other. Coming back to Custer County after 37 years was a little surreal. Things had changed, but the feeling of comfort and home soon came back to me.
I have enjoyed working with entrepreneurs and Custer County. Sandhills people are a different breed.
They are born of a bootstrapper mentality, meaning they just get things done. They do whatever they have to do to make things happen. Couple that with their entrepreneurial drive and great things happen.
It's not only entrepreneurs who work hard and make things happen. It's also the other resource providers, the chamber, the lenders, the attorneys and financial advisors. Those partners, coupled with the presence of Mid Plains Community College make the area prime for growth.
As I move away from visiting Custer County regularly, I'm excited for my bilingual colleague, Nancy Flock, to experience all that Custer County and the surrounding region has to offer. It is as immense as the Sandhills themselves.
Rest assured Custer County bootstrappers and entrepreneurs, you will enjoy working with Nancy!
Photo courtesy of Backbone of Healthcare, Broken Bow, NE.
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