REAP's Hispanic Program Promotes Dungan, Begins Phase Four
REAP recently completed the phase three work of the HBC, dramatically surpassing its anticipated reach of 100 current and new entrepreneurs.
Sandra Gutierrez of South Sioux City was one of those entrepreneurs. She received technical assistance to start up Bilingual Consulting Services, and a loan to buy equipment for the business.
Schuyler resident Jose Lopez opened Lopez Liquor, also with technical assistance and loan packaging assistance from the HBC.
The REAP HBC focused on communities in northeast Nebraska during phase three, which lasted a year and concluded on September 30.
Other key accomplishments of phase three included a new REAP Rural Business Roundtable formed at Columbus that will facilitate continued training and networking. Roundtable groups are also currently in place at Madison, Schuyler and South Sioux City. There were also many various trainings completed throughout the year.
REAP will further increase its outreach to Hispanic entrepreneurs with phase four implementation. This will include the hiring of a Hispanic Business Specialist in southwest Nebraska and also includes Dungan's promotion.
"Small businesses are the engine that drives the rural American economy, and it is interesting to note that Latino-owned businesses have grown dramatically between 1997 and 2006; although Hispanics are playing an important role on today's economy they are facing a challenge of access to capital and training for their businesses. REAP Hispanic Business Center will break this gap by providing opportunities and support for Hispanics in the creation of a successful business," says Dungan. She began her new duties as REAP HBC Director on September 3, 2007.
Dungan will continue working from her current location at 315 E 23rd St., South Sioux City, NE. She can be reached at (402) 494-1013, firstname.lastname@example.org .
REAP is Nebraska’s largest microenterprise program. REAP provides lending, loan packaging, training, networking and technical assistance opportunities for startup and existing small businesses. For more information about REAP and its services, www.cfra.org/reap.
Funding to make REAP 's work possible comes from many sources and includes: the Community Development Block Grant program through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Cooper Foundation, Share Our Strength Foundation, WealthSpring Fund, Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund through the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act, Small Business Administration Microloan & Women’s Business Center Programs, and from the United States Department of Agriculture.