REAP Small Business Needs Survey Results Shared

The Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Program (REAP) recently conducted our biennial 2010 REAP Needs Assessment Survey. It was made available to Nebraska’s businesses and those who serve them, including lenders and resource providers. The self-administered survey was available online, posted to various listservs, and mailed to REAP clients.

The initial survey began in 2008 to evaluate micro business needs and to make programmatic changes to address these. Bookkeeping and marketing emerged as the most desired types of training.

The REAP Women’s Business Center responded with a mobile REAP computer lab equipped with Quick-Books to offer classes to five or fewer participants, armed with a new booklet, Basic Bookkeeping for Business Success. We also offered marketing training and information to clients across the state.

Jeff Reynolds, REAP’s program director, is already anticipating some adjustments based on the 2010 survey results. “The 2010 REAP Small Business Needs Assessment Survey will play a major part in our future planning. Entrepreneurs expressed some definite needs for both training and lending, and REAP will be developing new programming to address these.”

The survey asked demographic questions as well as the types of business, stage of business, number of employees, gross sales, etc. Questions also assessed the business’ needs when it began as well as its current needs. Respondents were asked to rank the types of training they need and the way they want it to be delivered.

“The results from 2010 varied somewhat from the 2008 study,” stated Dena Beck, REAP Business Specialist and co-author of the survey. “If you are a Nebraska business or work with them, you will want to know these results.”

The biennial survey has become a respected and important survey instrument as evidenced by the interest in results from elected officials such as Congressman Adrian Smith and economic development organizations, including the Small Business Administration.

If you would like the survey results brought to your organization or community, please contact Dena Beck at or 308.528.0060. Survey results are also available here.

REAP survey unveiled
REAP Director Jeff Reynolds presents the results of REAP’s 2010 Small Business Needs Assessment. Congressman Adrian Smith, left, listens. The event was sponsored by the REAP Women's Business Center and the Small Business Administration.