REAP News

Scenic Byways Showcase Vibrant Rural Tourism Offerings

This article was contributed by Muriel Clark, a leader with Nebraska's Lincoln Highway Historic Byway.

Recently I attended the first-ever Byway Leadership Training hosted by the National Scenic Byway Foundation, accompanied by Sarah Focke, another leader with the Nebraska Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. While there, we collaborated with other Lincoln Highway Byway leaders from Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio as well as other leaders from Byways in New York, Louisiana, Utah and Ohio.

Women's Business Centers Form a National Network to Serve Women

The programs of Women’s Business Centers (WBC) are built around the goals of women entrepreneurs. WBCs help women succeed in business by providing business training, mentoring, and access to capital to nearly 200,000 entrepreneurs annually. The need and potential impact can’t be over stated. Women are projected to create over half of the 9.72 million small business jobs expected by 2018, according to Forbes.

Development Districts Essential in Growing Small Business

The Center's Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) has been fortunate to have a strong partnership with Nebraska’s Economic Development Districts. It’s been a boost to both of us. Even better, it's led to startup and expansion of rural businesses through collaborative lending, training, and technical assistance.

Deb and Dale Simmons Have Things Covered

Dale and Deb Simmons’ entrepreneurial adventure began in 1999 when they purchased Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning in 1999. Then in 2006, a long-time Beatrice business, the Mr. Sweeper Store, was closing its doors.

The Simmons saw an opportunity to expand their already successful carpet cleaning business, and they jumped on it. Deb and Dale purchased the business and also bought some of the store’s equipment and inventory. They set about reopening as the S & S Sweeper Store in a new Beatrice location.

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