North Platte, Nebraska, is seeing an increase in the number of people on skateboards. Brandon Raby, who has skateboarded for approximately 20 years, knows that a skate shop is a very important part of skate culture. He decided to launch Caravan Skate Shop in September of 2010.
Brandon’s business is the first and only skate shop the community has seen. Often, obtaining financing when a business is in the start-up phase can be a struggle, even though that’s the time a business needs money the most. Caravan Skate Shop began with a small inventory, which needed to expand to meet the demands of local skateboarders.
Reaching out to REAP Business Specialist Nancy Flock was a smart move on Brandon’s part. REAP was able to provide the financing he needed to offer his customers a nice variety in quality skateboard decks, clothing, videos and accessories.
In addition to financing, entrepreneurs face other challenges when it comes to small businesses. Brandon said “reaching the target market and convincing people to choose shopping locally instead of online” are in fact his greatest challenges. However, he is receiving great support from the community, and with challenges also come rewards.