REAP Assists in Purchase of Small Town Newspaper

Reprinted with permission from Wymore Arbor State, a weekly newspaper in Wymore, Neb. Check out their website at wymorearborstate.com.

NGage helps with transitioning Arbor State and other businesses

It’s great when a new owner/entrepreneur wants to buy a business in a rural community. Small businesses are foundational to the economy. We’d severely miss the products and services, not to mention the sales tax revenue that commerce bring to our communities. But what resources exist to assist with a business transition? In Gage County, NGage can assist along with other business development service providers.

It was recently announced that Tiffany and Matt Henrichs are purchasing the Wymore Arbor State newspaper. This wasn’t a decision that the Henrich’s family made overnight. It took weeks of planning and careful consideration before they moved ahead. Tiffany contacted Glennis McClure at NGage to ask for assistance.

New potential business owners have various backgrounds and knowledge base levels when it comes to creating or growing a business. Matching up small business project resource providers is something that NGage can do.

In Tiffany’s case, NGage shared the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) business plan materials and set a meeting to work with Janelle Moran, REAP’s business specialist for southeast Nebraska.

Tiffany said that buying an existing small business was a life-changing venture for her and somewhat overwhelming.

“When I reached out to Glennis, she assured me that things would go fine, and she was beyond helpful throughout the whole process.”

In her first visit she met Janelle. “Janelle was so knowledgeable, not just in small business financing, but every aspect of owning a business . She was able to confidently answer my list of questions, as well as answer questions that I didn’t know I had. But the most important part for me, was they together made sure that I was comfortable in what I was doing, there was no pressure to take on a business that I wasn’t ready for, they looked through our personal finances to make sure I wouldn’t be taking on more than we could handle, it really felt like they were on ‘my team’ so to speak in the whole process.”

The business plan that REAP uses is question based. If a small business can fill in their answers to the questions, they are on their way to creating the narrative portion of their plan. REAP’s financial statement and cash flow projections worksheet are in an Excel template and work nicely as a guide.

The potential new Arbor State newspaper owners recognized that they had questions and many ideas floating through their heads of how they could make this business work for them. Working through the business planning documents helped them get some of their thoughts down in writing, so they could see what gaps exist.

Another important aspect of buying a business is how to financially make it happen. There are many possibilities in packaging a deal, including a business loan from a bank, seller carry back, new owner savings, etc. In this case, a microenterprise gap loan could help seal the deal. REAP provided access to a couple of their loan products including the Alice Dittman Integrity Loan fund.

In addition, REAP provides valuable assistance in setting up business structure and accounting procedures through their Women’s Business Center program. Tiffany can tell you that the services and assistance provided was a tremendous help and should help them with a strong foundation as they take over ownership and management of the Arbor State.

Tiffany said that one of the biggest benefits is that they referred her to attorneys and accountants that had her best interest at heart as well.

Please refer and encourage others to first make connection with NGage as they are considering starting a new business, a business expansion, or the purchase of an existing business. Business owners looking to transition out should also seek assistance. NGage partners with Biz-Worth Nebraska to assist with business valuation and transition planning. If a current business is for sale, and owners want to share that publicly, contact NGage. Information about businesses for sale can be noted on the webpage: ngagegroup.org