Jose Lopez Receives Entrepreneur Award
“There are not enough words to describe how much I appreciate receiving this award. I have been working my whole life and never got any recognition. Thanks to the Center for Rural Affairs and their Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) for the great work they're doing, and for helping small entrepreneurs,” said Lopez.
Jose came to Nebraska from California 11 years ago looking for better working opportunities. In 2003 he opened Lopez Auto Sales, a used car dealership located on Highway 30 in North Bend, Nebraska. His target market was Hispanic people living in Schuyler and the surrounding area, but over the years he created a solid client base, drawing people from as far away as Omaha and Grand Island, Nebraska; Sioux City and Denison, Iowa; Harper, Kansas; and St. Joseph, Missouri.
When he saw the opportunity to buy a building and relocate his business to the Schuyler, Nebraska area, Jose contacted the Rural Enterprise Assistant Project (REAP) Hispanic Business Center. He received help with his business plan and packaging the loan, and was able to purchase the building. Jose also decided to purchase the business already operating in the building, a liquor store. With a great plan in mind and using business skills acquired over 20 years working in a family-run small business in his native Guatemala, Jose proceeded with his new business venture.
With an investment of over $200,000 he’s kept the liquor store up and running and has shown increased sales every month. The Auto Sales business will stay in North Bend, and plans are to remodel the Schuyler building and open a new Auto Business right behind the liquor store.
“Jose has been very supportive of his communities, giving back to both Schuyler and North Bend. He sponsored 10 youths from Columbus High School to attend the MarketPlace conference,” commented Adriana Dungan, the REAP Hispanic Business Center Director.
Jose resides in Schuyler with his wife and three children.