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

 

Rural Rapport - Facebook Live

Join us each Tuesday at noon for our Facebook Live series, Rural Rapport. Each week, a Center staff member will share a resources and information on a range of topics. 

Can't watch it live? No problem. Watch anytime at facebook.com/ruralaffairs

Here are the topics our staff have presented so far: 

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.

File attachments: 

Entrepreneurs find a friendly face in Burt County

A long-time fan of the Center for Rural Affairs’ work, Patty Plugge has been an enthusiastic voice in rural matters well before actually partnering with the organization.

And, because of her commitment to helping others in her position as Burt County economic development director, the Center has chosen Patty to receive its 2019 Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Friend Award.

Small Business Stabilization Grant Program reopens in Nebraska with expanded eligibility

The State of Nebraska is reopening the Small Business Stabilization Grant Program with expanded eligibility. Businesses who have 1 to 75 employees, lost revenue due to COVID-19, and withhold state income tax for employees are now eligible. This means the self employed are eligible.

You must act fast as the deadline is this Friday, July 17, at 4 p.m., and funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The application is not difficult to complete.

Federal programs assist rural Nebraskans

The Center for Rural Affairs pursues a mission to establish strong rural communities. We have been able to provide support for rural residents to start or expand existing businesses through grant, loan and training programs, to implement conservation practices on their farms and ranches, and to access proper lines credit with the help of federal programs.