Entrepreneur Award Recipient Recognized - Center for Rural Affairs Presents Prestigious Award to Larry Harbour

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Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007
Lyons, NE - On the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs' MarketPlace conference held in North Platte, Nebraska on February 25, 2009, Larry Harbour was honored for his efforts, integrity and leadership. Larry received the Center for Rural Affairs' Entrepreneur award.
The Center for Rural Affairs works to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. This is the third year they hosted MarketPlace, an entrepreneurial conference.

"Moving to a small town from Omaha was a bit of a culture shock, but I knew my commitment to honesty and hard work would be appreciated in my new community," commented Harbour. "And the assistance I received from the Center for Rural Affairs was a great help. Dena Beck kept me focused and together we got the information I needed to grow my business."

Larry Harbour established LB Custom Chrome and Detail, LLC, in Broken Bow, Nebraska, as a side job in 2001 and officially since October 2006. The business provides "quality detailing with unsurpassed service."  

He and his wife moved to Broken Bow from Omaha in 1998. Like many entrepreneurs, Larry decided to take a risk by renting a shop in a downtown location in Broken Bow in October 2006. The risk paid off. For the first year, Larry's detailing business had a 1-2 month wait list and the business was off and rolling.  

In the winter of 2007, Larry heard about Center for Rural Affairs' REAP office hours at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce and decided to make an appointment. After many months of working on a business plan with REAP Business Specialist Dena Beck, Larry was approved by a local bank for a loan to expand his business to a new location in Broken Bow. Dena also helped Larry research ways to use renewable energy in his business.

"Dena truly was a huge help being accessible with regular office hours (in Broken Bow).  She has good connections and ideas that allowed me to assess whether my project would be worth pursuing, commented Harbour."  One of those connections was USDA Rural Development.  When Larry expressed a desire for energy efficiency and operating as "green" as possible, Dena referred him to USDA Rural Development's Energy Efficiency program. Kelley Messenger, USDA Area Specialist  worked with Larry and states, "USDA Rural Development is very pleased to be able to assist a small business in rural Nebraska by providing grant assistance through our 9006 Renewable and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grant Program.  This new geothermal system will be able to assist LarryHarbour's business by allowing him to use a renewable energy source to help improve the operations of his business."

The expansion will allow LB Custom Chrome and Detail to add two additional jobs, totaling one part-time and two full-time. "The assistance Larry received through the REAP Program has been a difference maker, and REAP is very proud to have played a part in the successful expansion of Larry's business,"commented Beck.

 "It feels really good to work hard and accomplish something such as starting a business and get recognized for it," Harbour continued. "It was an unexpected surprise, but a grand privilege to receive such an award as the Entrepreneur of the year award."

For pictures of Larry Harbour receiving his award, visit:
(Woman in picture is Dena Beck, REAP Business Specialist)
(Pictures courtesy of Center for Rural Affairs)

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