The small farming community of Laurel sits in the heart of Northeast Nebraska, and is home to about 1,000 people and many businesses, both old and new. Its loyal, hardworking residents support their hometown with pride.
When a long-time Laurel business went on the market and no one was buying, Roger Myers took it upon himself to make sure the town didn’t lose one of its beloved establishments. In November 2020, he bought Floral Footprints, and has successfully run it since.
The shop offers fresh and silk floral arrangements, house plants, home decor gifts, and is home to a small greenhouse. Roger has hired three part-time employees to help with the day-to-day operations.
“I have enjoyed fresh flowers and gardening throughout the years but did not really plan on having my own shop,” he said. “The business and buildings were for sale, and I wanted to keep the business going in Laurel.”
After purchasing Floral Footprints, Roger wanted to make improvements and looked to the Center for Rural Affairs for financial assistance. Having taken a QuickBooks training course through the Center, Roger was familiar with the organization. And as a business owner, he was pleased to discover he could receive more technical training, as well as funding to buy materials to renovate certain parts of the business.
Roger was able to apply for and receive a low-interest recovery loan through a program the Center recently launched to help businesses and local economies recover from the pandemic.
Northeast Nebraska Loan Specialist Lori Schrader worked with Roger throughout the loan process and assisted him with any questions he had about how to run his business efficiently and successfully.
“Even though Roger doesn't have experience in the floral industry, he is eager to be involved with the business by hiring people with many years of experience," Lori said. “Roger is always staying in touch with me, asking for technical assistance with marketing and bookkeeping needs.”
Working with the Center has been a pleasant experience for the business owner, and he is grateful to have received the recovery loan.
“The loan application process was not difficult,” Roger said. “Staff have directed me to people who have expertise in marketing, merchandising, and finances. When I ask them questions in their field of expertise, they have been very helpful.”
For more information on the recovery loan program, qualifications for it, and to apply, visit the Center at cfra.org/recovery-loans.
At a glance
107 1/2 E. Second St., Laurel, NE 68745
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon; Sunday, closed