Small Business

The most effective development strategy for rural communities is small entrepreneurship – locally owned and operated small businesses.

Our Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) is committed to strengthening rural communities through small, self-employed business development. We offer four essential services: financing (microloans), business training, technical assistance, and networking.

Call on REAP when you are thinking of starting a small business or if you already operate a small business in Nebraska. You can find your nearest REAP business specialist here. Through REAP you can create a business plan, research potential markets and marketing ideas, discuss management issues with experienced business specialists, and apply for a small business loan.

Started in 1990, REAP has provided services to numerous micro/small businesses throughout Nebraska. (A microbusiness is defined as one with 10 or fewer employees.) We've placed more than $16 million in loans and leveraged over $23 million in additional funds from other sources. Check out a timeline of our program here.

REAP is a proud member of the Nebraska Small Business Collaborative, extending microenterprise businesses technical assistance and microloans in all distressed areas of Nebraska.

Resource

The Nebraska Microenterprise Handbook, “Manual de la Microempresa de Nebraska,” has been published in English and Spanish by the Community Economic Development Clinic at Creighton University. Find out more.

Small Business Notes

 

Center for Rural Affairs May and June 2020 Newsletter

The Center for Rural Affairs is committed to continuing our work for opportunity and justice for everyone in rural America during the rapidly evolving response to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 and the ripple effects will create new challenges for rural people and rural places. Our work may look different in the days ahead, but we will continue to serve our mission in all ways possible.

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Paycheck Protection Program: A Lifeline for Rural Business

The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges that are out of the control of business owners. Decreased demand, shifting markets, and a slowed economy will hit us all in different ways. Small businesses are the bread and butter of rural communities and the PPP is one tool business owners can use to help manage the economic downturn. 

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Schuyler entrepreneur receives REAP award

From an early age, Yomara Hernandez helped her mother make fabric flowers for bridal bouquets, and decorations for weddings with natural and artificial flowers. Her mother used to sell them as complete sets, and now Yomara makes her living selling flowers, too.

Owner of Florist Angel’s in Schuyler, Nebraska, Yomara began selling floral arrangements to friends out of her garage which has now grown into a full-fledged business.

Columbus business owners receive award for entrepreneurial spirit

With dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs, Eduardo and Mary Rosa Morales opened their photography business, Venemex Productions, in Columbus, Nebraska, in 2008.

A year later, they discovered their business could benefit from training and guidance from the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP). Through years of hard work, commitment to their business, and some help along the way, their entrepreneurial dreams have come true, and the business owners are being recognized for their dedication.

Center offers Express Loans up to $10,000, Small Business Administration payment relief

You can count on our relentless commitment to you and your business during this unpredictable time.

I want to let you know about our Express Loans. Qualifying loans may be eligible for up to six months of payment assistance from the Small Business Administration under the Small Business Debt Relief Program of the CARES Act. These Express Loans are available to new and returning borrowers.

You can start an application at: cfra.org/onlineapplication