An Update from the Nebraska Business Development Center
It has been some time since I have been able to touch base and reconnect with all of our partners in the area. This past year or so has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic and all of the issues that came from it has caused everyone (to an extent) to overcome many obstacles and barriers to their normal everyday lives.
There were no exceptions made to our local business communities and our entrepreneurial ecosystems. As many of them had to face the brunt of it, others learned how to prevail and quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining their continuous business operations.
At the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), we were no different. We shifted gears a bit to assist and support hundreds of Nebraska business owners with navigating through and applying for economic disaster assistance through the SBA’s offering of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Revitalizations Grants while continuing to offer the same services we have always done.
Through this experience, NBDC also went a step further to include a Business Resiliency Resource page to our website to help educate and provide resources for business owners until they can meet with a consultant.
NBDC has also established the Enlighten program which is a virtual library of training videos for entrepreneurs and small businesses across Nebraska. NBDC has partnered with local agencies and subject matter experts to develop training on a variety of topics and disciplines. From legal considerations to cybersecurity, these courses address today’s critical business topics, including employee development, protecting intellectual property, and investor relationships.
This training content is available on-demand and in asynchronous format, to allow entrepreneurs and business owners the flexibility to access information at a time that is convenient to them. The format allows participants to choose which videos to watch. Covering various stages in business development, Enlighten includes handouts and checklists to supplement the videos. Modules are less than 20 minutes long and are available 24/7. All videos are closed captioned and have transcripts available in case the listener is in a noisy environment. Many of the videos are also provided in Spanish. All videos and checklists are currently FREE to Nebraska small businesses. NBDC will continue to add new video content to the Enlighten library.
Furthermore, NBDC has been the driving force in developing SourceLink® Nebraska for the past couple of years. SourceLink® Nebraska is projected to launch later this year and provides a core infrastructure for Nebraska’s economic and community development ecosystem. This core infrastructure significantly increases transparency of resources available, thus helping people to find the right resource at the right time. SourceLink® Nebraska is a statewide platform for anyone to find nonprofit, education, and government resources related to economic and community development. Essentially, SourceLink® Nebraska is a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs, existing businesses, and resource partners to find resources.
We still continue to provide an affordable comprehensive business valuation reports for lenders and sellers, certified and SBA-approved. We have now included our equipment appraisal and BuySide Valuation program. The BuySide program is a no-cost business valuation report for potential small business buyers. Similar to our comprehensive reports, but more concise with basic narratives and supporting information appropriate for project exploration, buy-sell agreements, and in-house financing support for acquisition. The program is free to qualified potential buyers only.
As things begin to get back to normal or some form of it, I would like to remind all of our partners in the area to remember about NBDC and the services we offer to individuals looking to start, purchase, expand or sell their business. We will continue to provide direct one-on-one consulting assistance to small business owners and prospective small business owners at no cost. We work with these individuals in all facets of business, with business planning processes and the building of a financial forecast for their business. All of our resources and services can be seen at: https://www.unomaha.edu/nebraska-business-development-center/index.php.
Charlie McPherson, MBA, EDFP
North Platte & McCook NBDC Center Director
University of Nebraska at Omaha
North Platte – MPCC North Campus
1101 Halligan Dr. | Room 105A | North Platte, NE