REAP News

$665,000 more available in lending capital

Recently, we learned of a $665,000 grant awarded to our Rural Investment Corporation for lending capital. The Rural Investment Corporation is a subsidiary of the Center for Rural Affairs that is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

The award comes from the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund. This was our first ever application to the CDFI Fund for loan capital. We were among 303 CDFIs who were awarded $208.7 million to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically-distressed communities across the nation.

Women’s Business Center Kicks off 16th year

Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center is kicking off its 16th year as a program of the Center for Rural Affairs.

We continue to partner with local organizations to offer learning opportunities throughout the state.

Recently, “Online Marketing Strategies” sessions were held in Hebron and Central City, with sessions scheduled for Plattsmouth and Wood River in the near future.

“Facebook for Business” was offered in Central City, and “Top Ten LinkedIn Tips” was held in Lincoln in collaboration with Community Development Resources.

Staff spotlight: Eberle serves east central small businesses

The Center for Rural Affairs recently hired Craig Eberle, of Bradshaw, Nebraska, as a small business loan specialist.

Eberle’s role is to work with new and existing small businesses to help them develop business plans, obtain funding, and receive training.

“I look forward to working with small businesses; helping them either expand their existing business, or start a new business,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to work with individuals who live and work in rural Nebraska.”

Small business REAPs benefits by helping the environment in a stylish way

“What to wear?” is every woman’s daily dilemma, and a problem Refined Boutique and Reclaimed Brands, in North Platte, Nebraska, is able to solve.

In 2010, Missy Couse and her husband considered starting a business.

She asked him if it made a difference what they sold. His response was, “no.” However, when she mentioned a boutique, she could tell he was skeptical. He let her run with it.

Like most businesses, the boutique started out very small, in a side space of a salon, and expanded slowly.

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