Success Stories

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

That landfill on the outskirts of your town stuffed with trash may now be playing a part to light and heat your home.  Helping communities turn noxious odors into green energy is one of the jobs of an Omaha-based engineering firm.

But to Gary Kuhn, it’s not just a job to protect the environment, it’s a passion.

“It’s all about being responsible for the environment,” Kuhn said.  “The same principles and values I try to instill in my kids, I hope are consistent with the values that I try to provide with my professional services.”

Starting out with an Express loan

He took that passion, and nearly 25 years of experience in environmental and civil engineering, to found his own consulting firm in 2012: G.N. Kuhn Engineering, LLC.  Kuhn used a quick approval for an SBA Express loan through First National Bank for start-up costs, including a new desktop computer, engineering software, field equipment and working capital.  Thanks to networking and referrals across the... Read More