Success Stories

Maria Swenson and some of her staff at MLCS Family & Youth Services in Alliance on Red Nose Day, a worldwide campaign to raise money for children's causes

The sirens shattered the quiet of the small town in the Nebraska Panhandle, and the safe, assured feeling locals had -- that bad things happened in other places.  

News reports would tell of the gunman's spree which left his father dead; then, after failing to rob a downtown pharmacy, taking the pharmacist hostage during a 14-hour standoff, ending in a shootout with a SWAT team. That exchange left several law enforcement officers wounded and hospitalized, the pharmacist hurt, and the perpetrator dead. 

The town of Alliance reeled from the violence, but vowed to take their community back.

Maria Swenson vowed to do her part, one troubled youth at a time.

"I thought about how tragic the lives of some of our young people are," she said. "Some never get the help they need, whether it's for lack of services, lack of money or lack of knowledge of what's out there, or a lack of perception that they do need some help."

She'd just need an SBA Microloan to... Read More

Chef Doug Trammel (left) and owner Nick Bartholomew in the kitchen of Omaha's first chef-driven drive-thru restaurant.

His second-grade teacher once told him she thought he was either going to wind up behind bars, or wind up owning a city block. After a couple of career detours, the still-obstreperous Nick Bartholomew makes no apologies that he's well on his way to the latter, starting with the latest in locavore eating in Omaha's Millard neighborhood.

To think it took Bartholomew willing to chuck a career as a stockbroker at his father's firm and an SBA Lender Advantage loan approval to make it happen.

Bartholomew's idea, Over Easy, boasts a unique chef-driven menu packed with locally-sourced delectables for breakfast and lunch. Try the homemade Pop-Tart packed with plums and the house favorite, the herb biscuits and gravy whipped up with ingredients from area farms.  And then there's the inviting hash brown rounds with bacon, cheese and caramelized onions.

Better, diners on the go can pull up to the drive-thru window and watch the chef prepare his recipe of a farm fresh baked... Read More

Scott Mueller of Samson LLC

It started when Scott Mueller had ambition to grow beyond raising crops and feeding cattle on the family farm in north-central Nebraska. Today, he's the head of Samson LLC, a diverse, environmentally-responsible agricultural business in Columbus, one that's grown a workforce from two employees in 2001 to eight today, and a 9.5 percent bump in sales over the past three years, to $3.1 million in 2014.

As if that weren't enough, for diners with a palate for juicy, tender Certified Angus Beef, Mueller met with cow-calf producers for his feed lot to meet the high standards for the brand.  Then, becoming the only licensed feed lot and restaurant combination in the country, he, along with his wife, Pat, opened the now-popular Traditions Inn and Restaurant in town to serve up those prized steaks.

And from that taste of the hospitality industry, Mueller teamed with investors to secure $1.7 million in financing from an SBA 504 loan with help from the Nebraska Economic... Read More

Li-COR products, such as this Open-Path device, are used extensively in climate change research.

Having accurate data measured from frigid Antarctica to the broiling tropics is crucial to studying climate change. There's a small business in Lincoln that's provided most of the tools over the years used by scientists around the world to measure exchanges of greenhouse gases between the earth and our atmosphere, and furthering our understanding of the process and impact on our world.

A program coordinated by the SBA is helping this company develop a new sensor technology that could meet demand for high-accuracy atmospheric gas concentration measurements.

The goal is for this new device:  require less power to run and offer more precise data collection of carbon dioxide concentration in remote places. 

Oh, and one more thing: make it cost a fraction of current laser-based models in use around the world.

'High-Tech, High-Touch' craftsmanship

The company tackling this project, LI-COR Biosciences, started with Bill Biggs, an engineer working to develop... Read More