Business Assistance News

REAP Makes Strategic Changes

Now able to serve micro businesses with 10 or fewer employees and loan up to $50,000, policy changes and new initiatives are increasing REAP’s efficiency and effectiveness and benefiting entrepreneurs.

Positive Effect of Nebraska Microenterprise Act

On the morning of December 17, 2010, state Senator Tom Hansen joined Traci Bruckner and Nancy Flock, both with the Center for Rural Affairs, to tour two small businesses in North Platte. The tour showed first-hand how state support of entrepreneurial development through the Nebraska Microenterprise Act has helped start or grow businesses.

Spotlight: Business Serves the Skate Community

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.

Social Media Offers Marketing Tools

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, RSS Feeds, etc. Are you using these in your marketing plan? Social media is highly touted today as a way to do inexpensive marketing. But is it right for your business? That depends.

Who is your target market? Are your customers using Facebook, Twitter, etc.? It’s easy to let a trend carry you away. For most of us, social media is just one piece of a good marketing effort. Traditional marketing venues also have value.


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