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

 

During this pandemic, small businesses need to continue marketing

Lunch special? Thirsty Thursdays? With the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses, more than ever, need to continue with a marketing strategy and plan. Why? It’s a vital part to maintain steady sales to stay afloat during these uncertain times. With limited capabilities, both the small food service business and bars are two of the most impacted businesses by COVID-19.

From the desk of the executive director: Center helps businesses resist predatory lenders

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we make around 100 loans per year to small rural businesses in our home state of Nebraska. We recently launched a new online lending platform to help our clients resist predatory lenders.

The new platform allows us to prequalify borrowers for larger loans within two business days. Underwriting and final approval follow. We will soon launch an express loan that will allow us to approve certain loans under $10,000 within two days.