Funding Available for Small Business Investments in Renewable Energy

Hey small business owners, your creativity, passion, and drive helped you launch a business in your small town. Investing in renewable energy can help propel your business to the next level.

Installing wind or solar energy systems can cut down on your energy bill and attract new customers who appreciate a product produced with renewable energy. Grants for such projects are now available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

Building Your Team for Success: Independent Contractor or Payroll Employee?

Hiring Payroll Employees is a BIG responsibility, requiring extra paperwork, costs, and complying with labor laws. They should be seen as a valuable asset to your company and, in return, you should be able to take care of them well.

You pay a “Company Share” (or ½) of their Social Security and Medicare taxes, which is 7.65% of their gross pay. You also pay Unemployment Insurance, which is at an experience rating – anywhere between 0% and 7% of their gross pay. You withhold the employee’s share and pay it when due. You also pay Worker’s Comp Insurance and maybe other benefits.

REAP Goes to Washington to Share Small Business Successes

Small business and rural living are two of my passions. That's why I was delighted to be in the nation's capitol during National Small Business Week.

I work with the Center's small business development program, REAP, and I went to share what we have learned in 20 plus years working with entrepreneurs in small towns and rural communities.

REAP is part of “The Friends of the SBA Microloan Program.” The friends network supports a strong and effective Microloan Program at the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Milo Alexander Named REAP Friend of the Year

Milo Alexander retired in July of 2013 from Creighton School of Law’s Community Economic Development Clinic. At Creighton, he directed the school’s program to assist micro businesses and nonprofits in rural areas across Nebraska and western Iowa.

He also taught and supervised up to eight senior-certified law students each semester. Each year, he conducted community education workshops providing small business education regarding the differences between legal entities, the use of contract labor, etc.

REAP Hispanic Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year

Diana E. Vazquez is no stranger to hard work and is a prime example of a very determined entrepreneur. She has owned and operated Fascinación, in Lexington, Nebraska, for over 10 years. Her days begin early and end late because Fascinación is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Our small business development program, REAP, has assisted Diana with technical assistance and financing as the business continued to expand. A large selection of items can be found in the two-story retail store in historic downtown Lexington.


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