REAP News

Demand for small business capital is strong

The unexpected passing of Jeff Reynolds, long-time director of the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), made 2017 a year of change and transition for our small business development work. 

Jeff was committed to rural small business development, and to each and every small business owner we ever worked with. Since becoming program director in 2000, Jeff led a dramatic expansion of our small business lending, training, and technical assistance work. 

He fundamentally believed in small business development as a strategy for small towns. He helped design, campaign for, and win both state and federal programs that now provide resources to other small business development organizations. His impact extends far beyond Nebraska.

Artist, craftsman, historian: one carpenter, many passions

“Right man, right place, right time,” said Al Leal, president of Al’s Old House Repair, LLC.  

His historic carpentry and renovation business landed him in the “right place” of Red Cloud, Nebraska, a town with fewer than 1,000 people, and at the former home of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather, and the internationally known Willa Cather Foundation.

Leal has come a long way since returning to his hometown of Clear Lake, Iowa after serving in the military. He joined the business with nothing more than a borrowed saw and a pair of pliers.

REAP Women's Business Center: Eight trainings recently completed, more planned

Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center continues to partner with local organizations to offer “Online Marketing Strategies.”

In June, training sessions were held in O’Neill, Valentine, Ainsworth, and Alma.

We also offered a “Facebook for Business” session in Sidney.

One key to business success is accurate and timely recordkeeping. QuickBooks trainings were held in O’Neill and Hartington this spring.

A “Business Plan Basics” course was offered in Walthill in cooperation with the City of Walthill.

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