MarketPlace brings Jobs, Growth and Recovery to Rural Nebraska

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John Crabtree,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010, 563-581-2867 (cell) Elisha Smith,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007
Lyons, NE – Today, the Center for Rural Affairs urged Nebraskans, especially rural Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers and small town residents, to finalize their plans to attend MarketPlace, Nebraska’s premier entrepreneurship event.
According to several Center for Rural Affairs reports, past surveys of entrepreneurs and rural small business owners who have attend MarketPlace find that one of the top rated experiences at past MarketPlace events was participation in sessions focused on marketing and business success strategies.  Sessions on these topics will continue to be featured at this year’s MarketPlace - on Wednesday, February 22nd at the Ramada Inn & Convention Center in Kearney, Nebraska.

“Marketplace gave me the tools and encouragement to expand my business,” said Melissa Graham, owner of Missa Sue’s Salon & Spa in Laurel, NE. “Since attending MarketPlace, I have added one part time employee, a receptionist, which makes me better able to serve my customers.”

Graham attended MarketPlace 2011 and gained valuable knowledge and insight on running a small business. “I was blown away and impressed by the organization of the event and the variety of speakers and subjects that were presented. The marketing sessions were great! I networked with people that will be an asset to my future needs.”

“I definitely plan on attending MarketPlace 2012. I’m thankful to the Center for Rural Affairs for providing small businesses with such a wonderful opportunity,” added Graham.

According to a survey conducted in 2010 by the Center for Rural Affairs, Graham is not alone in her experience. Since the inception of MarketPlace in 2007, a total of 342 jobs (full-time, part-time or seasonal) have been created each year with the help of MarketPlace attendance and participation (go to: to view the survey and analysis). 

The survey also found that 52 percent of small business participants have started, expanded, or made changes to their business because of the conferences. Nearly 88 percent of small businesses who made changes or expanded their business as a result of Marketplace sought financing to do so. They borrowed money from banks, USDA Rural Development and often from personal resources like savings and credit cards, the most common source of capital. And 79 percent of attending small businesses reported using new resources because of their participation in MarketPlace and their networking there.

About 20 percent of small business respondents of the survey indicated that their business revenue has been positively affected by MarketPlace participation.

Other MarketPlace sessions will feature innovation, business development, finance, and social media. Moreover, the exhibit hall will be filled with successful small business men and women, service providers and other valuable resources. Attendees will be able to meet with these folks throughout the day to ask questions, gather information, make connections, and network and gain exposure to key customers and unique businesses.

Early Bird Registration of $45 has been extended through noon on Monday, February 13. Registration includes a meal featuring Nebraska-raised meat, tomatoes and cucumbers, plus refreshments; a binder of proceedings, and a tremendous number of resources and expertise in one location.

For more information on MarketPlace and a look at this year's program or to register:

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