Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Small Business of the Year Award Presented - Weitzel Receives Prestigious Award from Center for Rural Affairs

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Elisha Smith,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007

Lyons, NE - On the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs' MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success conference held in North Platte, Nebraska, on February 25, 2009, Andy Weitzel was honored for his efforts, honor, and determination. Andy received the Center for Rural Affairs' Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Small Business of the Year award. REAP is a small business development program that offers business training, technical assistance, loans, and networking across rural Nebraska.

With the help of REAP Business Specialist Jerry Terwilliger, Andy Weitzel, owner/operator of Midwest Electronics, Scottsbluff, NE, was able to get a loan for equipment and inventory and started his business in February 2007. Midwest Electronics is a mobile electronics retail store specializing in aftermarket car stereos, speakers, amplifiers, accessories and installation. Andy also does some home electronics installation. "Not only did REAP help give me financing but also helped outline pointers for managing my business," said Andy. "Through REAP, I received backing that went a little bit above and beyond what a traditional financial institution offers. They (REAP) want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed."

Andy worked in the auto repair business before starting Midwest Electronics. Auto electronics had been a dream of his from prior experience when working at another job. "Andy has done a great job in developing the business and presently has one full-time employee and one part-time employee," said Terwilliger. "Even with the downturn in the economy, Andy's business has stayed fairly strong."

For pictures of Andy Weitzel receiving his award, visit: Weitzel.jpg
(Accompanying Weitzel in photo is Jerry Terwilliger, REAP Business Specialist)
(Pictures courtesy of Center for Rural Affairs)

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