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Success Stories

Biggest SBA ag deal in state builds legacy, keeps hungry cattle fed

He says it's kind of funny how his feed lot resembles a hotel, but instead of handing out fresh towels for his guests, he provides "clean water tanks and fresh feed."

Tom Feller's family has been in the cattle feeding business for a hundred years in this part of northeast Nebraska, a remarkable legacy in a tough industry. Most of the beef consumed in the United States comes from feedlots like Feller & Co. of Wisner, where cattle arrive from ranchers after living for six months on pasture and grass to be fed for another six months or so on a diet of corn and other grains. Pretty simple business model, right?

"We have two things we can’t control, weather and markets," said Feller, who has owned the operation since 1985. "Weather can cause cattle not to gain weight and hurt our performance with our customers, or if markets go crazy over things like a drought which raises our feed prices, our ranchers will back away from sending their cattle to us. And you can't take... Read More

It took three years of careful planning, but judging by the number of area folks excited about Bellevue's newest sporting attraction, it's a small business which looks to be an overnight success, thanks in part to some SBA help.

Take Aim is a new, clean and well-lit indoor range offering 10 shooting lanes that can be rented in 30-minute or hour increments with an inviting, small bistro-like waiting area with snacks, drinks and free Wi-Fi.  Need a refresher on gun safety or have a first-timer needing to learn how to use a weapon?  There's a well-lit and comfortable 25-seat classroom space and patient experts ready to teach.

"I guarantee on weekends you’ll see whole families here,” said Mary Whaling, a four-year veteran of the Air Force, who started the business along with her husband, Bob, a 20-year Air Force law enforcement supervisor with experience as a self-employed federal investigator doing background checks for security clearances.  

Take Aim, Bob said,... Read More

Growth in SBA loans nabs Omaha's Enterprise Bank honor as Nebraska's top small lender

Providing a bridge between Omaha-area Nebraska entrepreneurs and the access to capital they need to make their dreams a reality, Enterprise Bank has been honored by the SBA as the Cornhusker State’s Small Lender of the Year for 2013. 

The SBA recognizes one locally-owned and operated lender which dedicates its commercial lending operations to develop new business and through visionary leadership building relationships with its clients beyond its immediate financial needs. 

The bank is proud of its impressive efforts providing the right community-level financing to small businesses, keeping and creating jobs, especially with veteran-owned small businesses.  Thanks to an expanded use of SBA Express loan programs since 2010, Enterprise Bank has funded 25 loans for $9.8 million to small businesses through the 7(a) guarantee and 504 programs. The Express program in particular has been an efficient and effective way for Enterprise Bank to accommodate loan requests from... Read More

Norfolk-based Petersen Ag Systems Named Nebraska's Small Business of the Year for 2013

Henry Aschoff and Keith Wiehn, president and vice-president, respectively, of Petersen Ag Systems, Inc., have been named the Nebraska Small Business of the Year for 2013. The Norfolk-based firm is an agricultural equipment supplier of irrigation and grain handling products with outlets in Osmond, Hartington and Fremont, and Onawa, Iowa. 

The company was nominated for the honor by Loren Kucera, Director, Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), Wayne.  They have been invited to attend the culmination of National Small Business Week June 21 in Washington, D.C., and will compete against candidates from all 50 states and territories for selection as the SBA’s National Small Business Person of the Year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration will take the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and these firms... Read More