Note: This is the first in a series from our small business program, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), highlighting activities from Sept. 1, 2016, to Aug. 31, 2017. The below features a select number of businesses, our staff placed 124 loans totaling $2,541,952 in that time period. To apply for a microloan, click here.
Penny Mulder of West Anna Designs is movin’ on up, out of her basement, into a larger space, and now has a retail space located at 558 South Stuhr Road in Grand Island, Nebraska. Recently, she added three employees, and also acquired contracts from both Grand Island High School and Grand Island Northwest Public Schools. The business specializes in embroidery, screen printing, and press and vinyl signage. West Anna Designs also specializes in products for school booster clubs and other sports teams with no minimum orders.
Norma and Humberto Avalos recently expanded their restaurant, Taqueria Max, in Lexington, Nebraska. The restaurant serves tacos, and other traditional Mexican food, and needed a space which would allow more seating. The previous location of the restaurant had a capacity for four tables (16 total sit-down customers). The owners began working through an intensive consulting session that led to a business plan and financial projections for an expansion. REAP provided financing to purchase a building. Space in another section of the restaurant is available to rent for small to mid-sized gatherings.
Roger White and Cara Anderson opened “R” Tire & Alignment, LLC, a full-service tire shop, in Ogallala, Nebraska. They provide tires for vehicles of all sizes, including semis, large equipment, and specialty tires. Roger brings more than 15 years of experience to their business. They employ one full-time tire tech and are actively looking for another full-time tire tech and a full-time alignment tech.
In August 2013, Jennafer Glaesemann, D.V.M. applied for financing to help acquire a second veterinary clinic. Jennafer owned the Blue Valley Vet Clinic in Beatrice for one year and was looking to purchase the Pickrell, Nebraska, veterinary clinic. REAP assisted her with financing, and she was able to expand her services. Since 2013, Jennafer has also been recognized by her peers for her achievements. She received the Early Achiever Award from the Nebraska Alumni Association, in 2014; Outstanding Young Veterinarian of the Year from the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association, in 2014; and an Alumni Master Honor from the Nebraska Alumni Association, in 2016.“Your encouragement and perseverance in the loan application process, as well as the approval (and vote of confidence) by the Center for Rural Affairs has been invaluable to me. I can’t thank you enough!” –Jennafer Glaesemann
Photo: An appreciation for nature, herbs in particular, led to a lifelong passion and career for Rachel Liester, owner of Red Road Herbs Retreat & Learning Center, LLC, near Stanton, Nebraska. She teaches classes, offers tours, and sells fresh and dried herbs, as well as handmade herbal products. REAP has provided Rachel with one-on-one counseling and microloans for training, marketing, repairs, gap financing, and ongoing business expenses. | Photo by Kylie Kai