WALTHILL, NEB. (April 12, 2005)--Micro programs across Nebraska are providing much needed services to the state's smallest businesses. The recently published 2005 Report to the Legislature sets out that businesses in 98% of Nebraska's counties received training and/or one-on-one technical assistance from programs in the year ending June 30, 2004. Loans ($25,000 or less) were made in 68% of Nebraska's counties.
The 2005 Report is produced by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), in cooperation with the Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund (NMPF).
Richard Baier, DED director, points out the number of loans on the books increased 16% in the above year, with the total dollars at $3.7 million. Loan defaults were below 2.5% with the average loan size increasing to $10,903. These loans helped purchase equipment, add new inventory, remodel facilities, etc.
Of equal impact is the fact that over 4,000 people received training and/or technical assistance during the reporting year. Businesses profiled in the report point out the value of these services in making it possible for them to expand markets, develop business plans for the future, increase service to customers, and build product recognition.
Micro businesses (those with five or fewer employees) represent 87% of the businesses in Nebraska. These businesses provide jobs for owners, in addition to employees. These businesses not only contribute to the economic base of the state, they also make up the pool from which future large businesses grow. Micro program services are making it possible for these businesses to move forward in their development.
The Nebraska Legislature has provided funding to help support this work since the passage of the original Microenterprise Development Act in 1997. During the 2003-2004 reporting year, for every Microenterprise dollar awarded, federal, local, and private sources matched it nearly 18 times. This is a sound investment of economic development dollars in Nebraska.
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Rose Jaspersen at 402-685-5500,
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