Success Stories

Lincoln tech firm’s smartphone app links golfers with business rewards

Can playing a round of golf at your new favorite course actually be good for the environment?  Ryan Cooper says his smartphone app can make the connection between the most avid duffer and a course with its eye on sustainable water use.  A course that’s got a more natural, drier landscape could use incentive rewards through this app to lure new golfers to play there, and as a result encourage other courses to follow that ecologically-friendly lead.

That’s one of the serendipitous benefits of a product designed and developed partly with proceeds funded by an SBA Express loan.

Companies connect with golfers coming off a great round

Launched in 2012, by Ryan Cooper, a former manager of a couple of golf courses and an avid player himself, GolfStatus helps players track, archive and share their scores and achievements, discover new courses and keep tabs on their friends.  At the same time, businesses which want to reach golfers can hit them with instant rewards for... Read More

If you’re looking for a great new eatery, Voodoo Taco has just the thing for the daring diner in you

Try one bite of the alligator sausage taco and you’ll be hooked, and convinced that this quirky place off North 90th is a great addition to the gastronomic cornucopia of the Big O.  Voodoo Taco, the idea of restaurateur Eric Newton, offers fresh, far-out ingredients in its soft tacos, served up in an eye-catching casual dining environment, all which came to life in part thanks to help from the SBA.

“We do a lot of spices,” explained Newton, a self-described “foodie” who worked with his kitchen chef to come up with an eclectic menu:  Asadero cheese from Europe on a steak faijita, Cajun-battered shrimp, a Korean short rib selection with spicy Jicama slaw, and for the kids, a deep-fried banana and peanut butter taco.  For the brave (or foolhardy), try the one with habaneros, Ghost chilies and the Trinidad scorpion pepper.  Ouch.  Stick around for the double-chocolate, salted caramel, chipotle-bacon brownie desert taco. On tap at the bar are local and regional brews, and there... Read More

For years, Ultra Graphics provided top-notch service to its customers in the Columbus area and beyond.  But when the owner needed to spend more time with his family, he reluctantly decided to look for a buyer for his company.

That’s when Tony Windingstad stepped in.

Windingstad had been working with a business broker for a couple of years trying to find a small business to purchase both a building and the land it was on to reach his goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur.  The printing and graphic design company seemed a perfect fit--and the seller was willing to work with Windingstad during the transition to show him the nuances of the business, introduce him to key customers and help him preserve the legacy of a longtime Columbus fixture.

To finance the purchase, Windingstad and his lender, Wells Fargo, used a SBA 7(a) loan approved July 2012.  

And business has been good. “Since then,” Windingstad said, “we’ve been up 10 to 15 percent each month... Read More

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