Nebraska Edition 2020—U.S. Small Business Administration…

Small Business resource guide NEBRASKA EDITION 2020

START GROW EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS

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CONTENTS

Nebraska Edition 2020

Local Business Assistance 6 National Success Story Jerado and Joyce Reynolds know their local landscape for entrepreneurship support. 11 Local SBA Resource Partners 13 Your Advocates 14 How to Start a Business 18 Opportunities for Veterans 20 Entrepreneurial Opportunities 22 Write Your Business Plan 24 Local Success Story Carl Weiland, Rob Haake, and Jason Ash wanted to handle the growth of their long-time family- owned business with care, so they turned to the SBA.

Funding Programs

26 National Success Story Jennifer and Jeff Herbert’s

meadery has expanded into a multimillion dollar enterprise thanks to SBA assistance.

29 SBA Lenders 32 Financing 101 33 Need Financing? 34 Go Global with

International Trade 36 R&D Opportunities for High Growth Startups 38 National Success Story

Cheeseburger Baby owner Stephanie Vitori persevered through a financial storm and a natural disaster.

42 Surety Bonds

Contracting

44 National Success Story Jennifer Rahn steers the course for Admiral Engineering, succeeding as a small business subcontractor. 47 Government Contracting 48 SBA Certification Programs 49 Woman-Owned Small Business Certification

ON THE COVER Co-owner Carl Weiland, left, and Lonny Knapp, welding department team leader, courtesy of Weiland Inc.

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U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION A MESSAGE FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR

I t is my honor to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, leading a dedicated team of talented individuals across America who are focused on helping entrepreneurs start, grow, and expand their small businesses. The SBA is here to support the prosperity and longevity of our nation’s small businesses with timely and innovative resources to help them thrive in today’s economy. America’s entrepreneurs are innovators, risk-takers, and the catalyst for employment opportunities within their communities, and they are what makes our economy so strong and dynamic. As we enter a new decade of possibilities, small businesses have a remarkable opportunity to continue building upon the success we’ve seen in our economy over the last three years. As the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses, I am eager to advocate on entrepreneurs’ behalf as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Whether it’s seeking access to capital, government contracting opportunities, business mentoring, or assistance with disaster recovery, the SBA is ready and determined to help our customers succeed. The SBA remains committed to continuing our support of America’s entrepreneurs and making an even bigger impact in communities across the country. In particular, the SBA is focused on elevating female entrepreneurs and our military veterans, expanding access to SBA resources

among entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities, and continuing to prioritize disaster relief. Within this resource guide, you will learn more about the tremendous tools the SBA provides small businesses through our 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners, such as our Small Business Development Centers, our SCORE mentoring network, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Featured in this guide are some of the remarkable success stories of entrepreneurs who partnered with the SBA to take their businesses to the next level. The SBA encourages you to also utilize these resources to help strengthen and meet your business goals. Sincerely,

Jovita Carranza SBA Administrator

WE MAKE SMALL BUSINESS OUR BUSINESS. START • GROW • EXPAND • RECOVER

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PUBLISHED BY New South Media, Inc. 304.413.0104 | newsouthmedia.com

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Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohib- ited without the express written permission of the publisher. © 2020 NEW SOUTH MEDIA, INC., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Marketing & Customer Service directs the publication of the Small Business Resource Guide under SBA Contract #SBAHQ-17-C-0018. SBA publication winter 2020 national edition #mcs-0134

WRITER/EDITOR Becky Bosshart (202) 205-6677 rebecca.bosshart@sba.gov DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Paula Panissidi Tavares paula.tavares@sba.gov

The SBA’s participation in this publication is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of the contractor or any advertiser or other participant appearing here. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondis- criminatory basis. Directory listings do not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.

Printed in the United States of America.

While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information con- tained here is accurate as of the date of publication, the information is subject to change without notice. The contractor that publishes this guide, the federal govern- ment, or agents thereof shall not be held liable for any damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained in this publication.

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SBA Nebraska District Office 10675 Bedford Ave., suite 100 Omaha, NE 68134 (402) 221-4691 Fax (402) 221-3680 sba.gov/ne @SBA_Nebraska

District Director Letter W elcome to the 2020 edition of the U.S. Small Business Administration Nebraska Small Business Resource Guide. The SBA Nebraska District Office is proud to support our growing economy by providing local business owners and entrepreneurs access to capital and the information they need to start, grow or expand their small business. More than 99% of businesses in Nebraska are small, and they employ over 46% of Nebraska’s workforce. That workforce is growing increasingly diverse, and many areas consistently rank among the best locations to develop a small business. To get started, visit an SBA office or one of our SBA Resource Partners. Starting on pg. 9 you will find listings for free or low-cost business advisers, which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE mentors, Women’s Business Centers, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center. Interested in small business financing? Find out if SBA-backed financing is right for you by consulting with an SBA specialist at one of our partner lending institutions, listed in the green Funding Programs section. This guide also details SBA disaster assistance loans and SBA-backed loans exclusively for small business exporting. If you are interested in getting started in government contracting, read about SBA certifications and our business development programs. SBA programs and services help you better compete in the public marketplace. Stay up to date on SBA events near you and get valuable local business information by following us @SBA_Nebraska. Register for email updates at sba.gov/updates . Use our Small Business Resource Guide to power your dream of starting, growing, or expanding your small business in Nebraska.

District Director Leon Milobar (402) 221-3620 leon.milobar@sba.gov Deputy District Director/Government Contracting Melissa Tedesco (402) 221-7229 melissa.tedesco@sba.gov Lender Relations Specialists Deborah Wilson (402) 221-7222 deborah.wilson@sba.gov Korey Young (402) 221-7215 korey.young@sba.gov Mike Marsh (402) 221-7216 michael.marsh@sba.gov Economic Development Specialist/Administrative Officer/Public Information Officer Elizabeth Yearwood (402) 221-7200 elizabeth.yearwood@sba.gov

Sincerely,

District Counsel Gregg Stratman (402) 221-7202 gregg.stratman@sba.gov Procurement Center Representative

Leon J. Milobar District Director

Charles Mason (402) 221-7206 charles.mason@sba.gov

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Made to Last Joyce and Jerado Reynolds used SBA support to succeed. Written by Micaela Morrissette How We Did It

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE 5 Tips for Success Find a great business mentor.

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eynolds Welding & Fabrication has grown steadily, building a loyal customer base, since Jerado Reynolds founded

the company in 2005. “At first the company was just Jerado,” recalls his wife and co-owner, Joyce Reynolds. “Then it was him and me part time.” During the day she worked as a nurse and spent her evenings doing all the company’s paperwork. The Reynolds sank everything they earned into the business—money, time, and energy. She remembers with pride helping Jerado weld a stair railing at a local school. Her son later attended that same school, and she watched her child and others using the rail, benefiting from the hard work the couple did together. It was then Joyce decided as much as she loved her day job, she wanted to devote herself full time to the family business in Windsor, Connecticut. She wanted to work side-by-side with her husband, fully focused on administration and business growth. As they both hoped, word of mouth spread; clients made referrals. Joyce was soon overwhelmed with paperwork. They brought on two employees—doubling up in the busy seasons. They were able to maintain four full-time employees by 2009. After this, Joyce says, they saw that “things were not moving.” She wanted to scale up. Challenge The company wasn’t growing in part because it wasn’t certified with the state department of transportation or prequalified with the Connecticut State Department of Administrative Services, Joyce says. She decided to tackle the certification problem full time, leaving her nursing career. This was the change she'd been wanting to make, but since her background was in health care, Joyce didn’t feel fluent in the languages of construction or business. Joyce wanted to learn, and she had incentive: they needed the certifications to bid on bigger jobs. “Never be afraid to ask questions”, she says. Joyce needed to find people with answers. Solution She and Jerado connected with the University of Hartford Entrepreneurial Center &Women’s Business Center, an

To find your local SBA office and resource partners in your area, visit sba.gov/localresources .

Have a healthy view of competition. We’re not always competing.

We’re a competitor, but if a similar business has extra work, they’ll send it to us and vice versa. That’s the relationship to have.

SBA Resource Partner, where “from day one it was, Eureka! Everyone wanted to see us win.” Women entrepreneurs receive essential business counseling and training from this national network of community-based centers. Most helpful was the detailed personal attention available through free one-on-one business counseling. Joyce also learned about workshops offered by providers like the Metropolitan District, a Connecticut nonprofit municipal corporation offering water and sewer services. At a meet- and-greet, Joyce understood howmuch the SBA could help her business. An SBA professional walked Joyce through the extensive paperwork and, crucially, helped her register the company in the System for Award Management (sam.gov), positioning the company for new federal contracts. “Resources like the Entrepreneurial Center and the SBA will train you from bottom to top”, Joyce says. “They have finance classes that open your eyes regarding taxes. You'll learn how to register your business. They’ll help with a contract or your website or accountability statements. Everything!” Before the SBA, Reynolds Welding attempted the DOT certification on five separate occasions, always falling short because the process was so complicated. Joyce secured the certification with SBA guidance on the first attempt. Benefit Reynolds Welding now employs more than 15 workers, constructing stairs, rails, structural beams, and columns throughout the region. Jerado is working

Record everything you do. Navigating business relationships in this age means keeping an email record of everything you do. Leave a clear paper trail.

Sacrifice to ensure quality. We don’t cut corners. Sometimes you have to lose money to do quality work— it’s rough, but nothing is more important.

Seek SBA assistance to see if you qualify for business certifications. We used to look for jobs. Now that we’re on the SBA Subcontracting Network database, SubNet, and sam.gov , we have a continuous flow of contractors reaching out to us. on two bridges—a lifelong dream. Joyce continues to move forward, getting Reynolds qualified for the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, which provides free business development education to small businesses so they can better compete in the public sector. “When I came on full time, I set a goal for what I would like for the company, and I’ve achieved 80% of that”, Joyce says. When she secures 8(a) certification for Reynolds, she’ll have hit all her objectives. Then, she admits, she’ll probably come up with some new ones.

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

SBA Resource Partners No matter your industry, location, or experience, if you have a dream, the SBA is here to help you achieve it. Our SBA Resource Partners offer mentoring, counseling, and training to help you startup and thrive at all stages of the business life cycle. These independent organizations operating across the United States and U.S. territories are funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

950 Small Business Development Centers + 20 Veterans Business Outreach Centers + 100 Women’s Business Centers + 300 SCORE chapters +

Achieve your dream of business ownership and remain competitive in an ever-changing global economy with assistance from your local SBDC. Access free counseling and free or low- cost training on topics like regulatory compliance, technology development, and international trade. Find an SBDC adviser at sba.gov/sbdc .

SCORE

Join the ranks of other business owners who have experienced higher revenues and increased growth thanks to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors. Experienced executives share real-world knowledge to fit your busy schedule. SCOREmentors are available for free as often as you need, in person, via email or over video chat. Find amentor at sba.gov/score .

WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTERS

Women entrepreneurs receive essential business counseling and training from this national network of community-based centers. Each center tailors its services to help you navigate the challenges women often face when starting or growing a business. To learn about SBA resources for women visit sba.gov/women .

VETERANS BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTERS

Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . Receive procurement guidance to better compete for government contracts. VBOCs also serve active duty service members, National Guard or Reserve members, veterans of any era, and military spouses.

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

SBA’s Resource Partners are independent organizations funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants. Our Local SBA Resource Partners

NBDC SBDC Omaha Center Director Tony Schultz (402) 554-6633 tonyschultz@unomaha.edu NBDC SBDC Lincoln Center Director University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship 730 N. 14th St., suite 315F (402) 472-4092 NBDC SBDC Kearney Center Director Odee Ingersoll University of Nebraska at Kearney West Center Building, suite 127 E 1917 W. 24th St. (308) 865-8344 ingersollo@unk.edu NBDC SBDC Grand Island Business Consultant Sara Bennett

Rob and Julie McKiney grew their manufacturing business in Norfolk, NE thanks to business guidance from the Nebraska Business Development Center. Their business adviser helped the couple prepare financial projections so they could secure the financing to purchase and expand McKiney Manufacturing and Sales.

309 W. Second St. (308) 382-9210 x19

bennettsa2@unk.edu NBDC SBDC Chadron Center Director Gary Dusek Chadron State College Burkhiser Complex lower level 1000 Main St. (308) 432-6282 gdusek@csc.edu NBDC SBDC Wayne Center Director Loren Kucera Wayne State College Gardner Hall 101

Small Business Development Centers Nebraska Business Development Center nbdc.unomaha.edu NBDC Omaha

Associate State Director and Export Assistance Aretha Boex (402) 554-6635 aboex@unomaha.edu Professional and Organizational Development Manager Harold Sargus (402) 554-4088 hsargus@unomaha.edu SBIR Program Director & Technology Commercialization Josh Nichol-Caddy (402) 554-2521 jnicholcaddy@unomaha.edu

1111 Main St. (402) 375-7575

Cell (402) 369-2966 lokucer1@wsc.edu NBDC SBDC Norfolk

University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Business Administration Mammel Hall, suite 200 6708 Pine St. (402) 554-2521 nbdc@unomaha.edu State Director Catherine Lang Cell (402) 554-3889 cdlang@unomaha.edu

Center Director Loren Kucera Norfolk Chamber of Commerce 609 W. Norfolk Ave. (402)-375-7575 lokucer1@wsc.edu

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

NBDC SBDC Scottsbluff Center Director Spencer Rien Panhandle Research & Extension Center 4502 Avenue I St. (308) 635-7513 srien@unomaha.edu NBDC SBDC McCook Center Director Charlie McPherson Keystone Business Center 402 Norris Ave. cmcpherson@unomaha.edu (308) 340-0422 NBDC SBDC North Platte Center Director Charlie McPherson

O'Connor Belting, a Delaware family-owned business, expanded with the help of an SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loan.

Mid-Plains Community College 1101 Halligan Drive, room 102 (308) 340-0422 cmcpherson@unomaha.edu SCORE schedule an appointment. District Director Gene Knapp geneknapp@hotmail.com Greater Omaha Chapter 10675 Bedford Ave., suite 100 Omaha (402) 221-3606 Fax (402) 221-3680 score@scoreomaha.org omaha.score.org Lincoln Chapter 285 S. 68th St., suite 208 (402) 437-2409 lincoln.score.org Nebraska Route 81 Chapter (Columbus & Norfolk)

Visit sba.gov/score to start working on your business goals. Contact your local office to

4860 33rd Ave. (402) 562-1242 Central Nebraska Chapter Kearney (402) 817-3822 centralnebraska.score.org Rural Enterprise Assistance Project Women’s Business Center Director Jessica Campos (402) 870-1521 jessicac@cfra.org wbc@cfra.org cfra.org/reap/wbc

Veterans Business Resource Center Veteran entrepreneurs or small business owners can receive business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . This is also the place to receive procurement guidance, which can help your business better compete for

government contracts. Outreach & Business Development Coordinator

Veteran Business Development Officer Elizabeth Yearwood (402) 221-7200 elizabeth.yearwood@sba.gov

Darcella Craven (314) 532-8387 vetbiz.com

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Your Advocates The SBA offices of advocacy and ombudsman are independent voices for small business within the federal government.

To report how a proposed federal regulation could unfairly affect you, find your regional SBA advocate at sba.gov/advocacy . To submit a comment about how your business has been hurt by an existing regulation, visit sba.gov/ ombudsman/comments .

The SBA’s Office of Advocacy also independently represents small business and advances its concerns before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers. Ombudsman Entrepreneurs who have an issue with an existing federal regulation or policy can receive assistance from the SBA’s national ombudsman. The ombudsman’s office can help you: » resolve regulatory disputes with federal agencies » reduce unfair penalties and fines » seek remedies when rules are inconsistently applied » recover payment for services done by government contractors

Advocacy When you need a voice within the federal government for your interests as a small business owner, the SBA’s regional advocates are here to assist. The advocates analyze the effects of proposed regulations and consider alternatives that minimize the economic burden on small businesses, governmental jurisdictions, and nonprofits. Find your regional advocate at sba.gov/advocacy . Your advocate helps with these small business issues: » if your business could be negatively affected by regulations proposed by the government » if you have contracting issues with a federal agency » when you need economic and small business statistics

Make your voice heard by participating in a Regional Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable or a public hearing hosted by the SBA’s national ombudsman. These events are posted periodically on the ombudsman website, sba.gov/ombudsman . To submit a comment or complaint through the online form, visit sba.gov/ ombudsman/comments . Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate federal agency for review. The SBA will collaborate with you and the agency to help resolve the issue.

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Sierra Arends expanded Helium Salon in Grand Island with the help of her local Nebraska Business Development Center. Busi- ness Adviser Sara Bennett guided Sierra in organizing her balance sheets, P&L, and cash flow statements so she could expand into a neighboring property.

Thinking of starting a business? Here are the nuts & bolts. How to Start a Business in Nebraska

The Startup Logistics Even if you’re running a home-based business, youwill have to complywithmany local, state, and federal regulations. Do not ignore regulatory details. Youmay avoid some red tape in the beginning, but your lack of compliance could become an obstacle as your business grows. Taking the time to research regulations is as important as knowing yourmarket. Carefully investigate the laws affecting your industry. Being out of compliance could leave you unprotected legally, lead to expensive penalties, and jeopardize your business. Market Research Need to do research on your clients and location? View consumer and business data for your area using the Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, https://cbb.census.gov/sbe . Filter your search by business type and location to view data on your potential customers, including consumer spending, and a summary of existing businesses, available as a map and a report.

Business License & Zoning Licenses are typically administered by a variety of state and local departments. It is important to consider zoning regulations when choosing a site for your business. Contact the local business license office where you plan to locate your business. You may not be permitted to conduct business out of your home or engage in industrial activity in a retail district. Name Registration Register your business name with the county clerk where your business is located. If you’re a corporation, also register with the state. » Nebraska Secretary of State State Capitol 1445 K St., suite 2300, Lincoln (402) 471-2554 sos.nebraska.gov

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An O’Fallon Casting Inc. employee at work in O’Fallon, MO. General Manager Vince Gimeno grew his business thanks to the Small Business Innovation Research Program.

» One-Stop Business registration system nebraska.gov/osbr Taxes As a business owner, you should know your federal tax

Omaha Nebraska State Office Building 1313 Farnam St., suite 100 (402) 595-2065 Scottsbluff 505A Broadway, suite 800 (308) 632-1200 Norfolk 304 N. Fifth St., suite D (402) 370-3333 North Platte

responsibilities and make some business decisions to comply with certain tax requirements. The IRS Small Business and Self- Employed Tax Center, go.usa.gov/xPxYR , offers information on a variety of topics including: obtaining an Employer Identification Number, paying and filing income tax, virtual workshops, forms, and publications. As the IRS continues to implement some of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions, your tax obligations may change. Visit the Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Businesses page on irs.gov for the latest tax reform updates that affect your bottom line. » Taxpayer education office (402) 221-3501 » Taxpayer advocate–Omaha (402) 221-4181 » State Taxes Lincoln Nebraska Department of Revenue 301 Centennial Mall S. (402) 471-5729 or (800) 742-7474 Fax (402) 471-5608 revenue.nebraska.gov

200 S. Silber St. (308) 535-8250 Social Security

If you have any employees, including officers of a corporation but not the sole proprietor or partners, you must make periodic payments, and/or file quarterly reports about payroll taxes and other mandatory deductions. You can contact the IRS or the Social Security Administration for information, assistance, and forms, at (800) 772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/employer . You can file W-2s online or verify job seekers through the Social Security Number Verification Service. Employment Eligibility Verification The Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify employment eligibility of new employees.

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Reeves Clippard used the business knowledge he acquired in the SBA Emerging Leaders program to grow A/R Solar in Seattle, WA.

» Child Labor and MinimumWage (402) 471-2239 » Contractor Registration and Workplace Safety (402) 471-2230 Employee Insurance

The law obligates an employer to process Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service offers information and assistance through uscis.gov/i-9- central . For forms call (800) 870-3676. For the employer hotline call (888) 464-4218 or email I-9central@dhs.gov. E-Verify, operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration, electronically verifies the Social Security number and employment eligibility information reported on Form I-9. It’s the quickest way for employers to determine the employment eligibility of new hires. Visit e-verify.gov , call (888) 464-4218 or email e-verify@dhs.gov. Health & Safety All businesses with employees are required to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the protection of employees, visit dol.gov for information. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides information on the specific health and safety standards used by the U.S. Department of Labor. Call (800) 321-6742 or visit osha.gov . » Office of Safety & Labor Standards Lincoln (402) 471-4721 Omaha (402) 595-3095 Hastings

Check with your state laws to see if you are required to provide unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance for your employees. For health insurance options, call the Small Business Health Options Program at (800) 706-7893 or visit healthcare. gov/small-businesses/employers . Department of Labor Association Health Plans allow small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together by geography or industry to obtain healthcare coverage as if they were a single large employer. For information, visit dol.gov/

general/topic/association-health-plans . » Nebraska Department of Insurance 941 O St., suite 400, Lincoln (402) 471-2201 » Office of Unemployment Insurance (402) 471-9000 Environmental Regulations

State assistance is available for small businesses that must comply with environmental regulations under the Clean Air Act. State Small Business Environmental Assistance programs provide free and confidential assistance to help small business owners understand and comply with complex environmental regulations and permitting requirements. These state programs can help businesses reduce emissions at the source, often reducing regulatory burden and saving you money. To learn more about these free services visit nationalsbeap.org/states/list . » Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality 1200 N St., suite 400 Lincoln (402) 471-2186 www.deq.state.ne.us

(402) 462-2191 North Platte (308) 535-8300 Sidney (308) 254-6940 » Nebraska Workforce Development (402) 471-9000 dol.nebraska.gov » Office of Workforce Services (402) 471-9000 » Labor Laws 301 Centennial Mall S. Lincoln

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

works. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, and systems, although they may protect the way they are expressed. For general information contact: » U.S. Copyright Office U.S. Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building 101 Independence Ave. SE Washington, DC (202) 707-3000 or toll free (877) 476-0778 copyright.gov Chambers of Commerce Nebraska nechamber.net Omaha omahachamber.org Grand Island

Child Support Employers are essential to the success of the child support program and are responsible for collecting 75% of support nationwide through payroll deductions. The Office of Child Support Enforcement at Health and Human Services offers employers step-by-step instructions for processing income withholding orders for child support. Download the fact sheet about the Employer’s Role in the Child Support Program at the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s website at acf.hhs.gov/ programs/css > employer responsibilities . You can also find information about other employer responsibilities and tools that can make meeting those responsibilities easier, such as electronic income withholding orders and the Child Support Portal. Send questions to employerservices@acf.hhs.gov. Intellectual Property Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are types of intellectual property that serve to protect creations and innovations. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the federal agency that grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks. For information and resources about U.S. patents and federally registered trademarks consult uspto.gov . Call the patent and trademark office help center at (800) 786-9199 or visit the Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver, Colorado, uspto.gov/denver . A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to an inventor, issued by the U.S. patent office. The right conferred by the patent grant is the right to exclude others frommaking, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the country. For information visit uspto.gov/inventors . There are three types of patents: • Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement. • Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. • Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Trademarks and service marks may be registered at both the state and federal level. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office only registers federal trademarks and service marks. Federally registered trademarks may conflict with and supersede those registered only at the state level. Visit uspto.gov/trademarks . » State Trademarks

gichamber.com Lincoln area lcoc.com Scottsbluff/Gering scottsbluffgering.net York yorkchamber.org

North Platte nparea.com For a listing of more local chambers in Nebraska, visit officialusa.com . Economic Development Nebraska Department of Economic Development 301 Centennial Mall S., fourth floor Lincoln (800) 426-6505 opportunity.nebraska.gov Exporting Assistance Regional Export Finance Manager Larry D. Cresswell

Serving Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., building 110, suite 1100-A St. Louis, MO (314) 540-7587 Fax (202) 741-6710 larry.cresswell@sba.gov U.S. Commercial Service–Nebraska Director Meredith Bond (402) 346-6947 meredith.bond@trade.gov State Trade Expansion Program Nebraska Department of Economic Development STEP Grant Coordinator Susan R. Rouch (402) 471-4668 susan.rouch@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Secretary of State 1445 K St., suite 2300, Lincoln (402) 471-2554 sos.nebraska.gov

Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic, and certain other intellectual

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED U.S. Navy veteran Roberto Ortiz puts his 40 years of aviation management experience to use as a small business owner in Chesapeake, VA. Bert expanded AVMAC Inc. into the government sector fulfilling aviation and maritime logistical services with the help of his local SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center. VBOCs are the first stop for military community entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or expand a small business. The VBOC located at Old Dominion University helped Bert obtain government contracting business certifications. With support from his local VBOC, Bert has strategically position AVMAC in the federal marketplace to better compete for large-scale government contracts. From AVMAC’s first contract in 2010, this veteran-led company has nearly doubled in revenue and grown to over 400 employees.

AVMAC President/CEO Bert Ortiz, left, and fellow U.S. Navy veteran and electrician Ken Morey manufacturing a power panel bracket.

Opportunities for Veterans

Military community members become more successful entrepreneurs with the help of the SBA.

Who’s eligible? Service members transitioning out of active duty and military spouses. Boots to Business: Reboot, for veterans, National Guard or Reserve members and military spouses, teaches this entrepreneurship curriculum off base in communities. Register for either B2B program at https://sbavets.force.com . For women veterans Receive entrepreneurial training geared toward women veterans, service

members, and spouses through these SBA- funded programs: » Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship in Syracuse, New York

Entrepreneurship training In Boots to Business, explore business ownership and other self-employment opportunities while learning key business concepts. Walk away with an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals, including how to access startup capital using SBA resources. Boots to Business is conducted on all military installations as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.

» LiftFund in San Antonio, Texas For service-disabled veterans Learn how to start and grow a small

business using these SBA-funded programs: » Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities in Syracuse, New York

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

» Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma » Veteran Entrepreneurship Jumpstart at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania » Dog Tag Inc., affiliated with Georgetown University in Washington, DC

Financing Employee called to active duty?

You can receive funds that enable your business to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses when an essential employee is called up to active duty in the military reserve. Ask your local SBA specialist or lender about the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Government contracting Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses that want to better compete in the public market receive training from the Veteran Institute for Procurement, nationalvip.org . VIP Start Enter the federal market and become ready for procurement. VIP Grow Strategize to expand and operate within the federal marketplace. VIP International Enter or expand your federal and commercial contracting opportunities overseas. Get certified Learn about the service-disabled veteran- owned small business certification program on page 49. Need assistance? Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . For veterans business information visit sba.gov/veterans .

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Regional Innovation Clusters Create jobs and grow the economy through an SBA Regional Innovation Cluster. Who should join Small businesses driving innovation in one of these tech industries: • advanced composites • agTech • bioscience • food processing • data sciences

Online Resources Find free short courses and learning tools to start and grow your small business at sba.gov/learning . The free SBA Online Learning Center is a great resource for every entrepreneur, especially rural business owners looking for easy access to vital business training. Courses include: • writing your business plan • buying a business • financing options • digital and traditional marketing to win customers • disaster recovery • understanding your customer Native American Workshops Tribal enterprises and business organizations can receive training at an SBA Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop. These workshops cover business concepts important for starting, growing, or expanding a small business. RedWind instructors identify and help participants avoid common pitfalls. Learn how to prepare a business plan, gain access to capital, and basic book keeping. Request a workshop in your area by visiting nativesmallbusiness.org .

• medical sciences • power and energy • unmanned aerial systems • water tech • wood products

How it works Each industry cluster is based in a geographic region. Your small business must be located in or near that region in order to join the cluster. For example, the AgLaunch Initiative cluster, which focuses on agricultural technology, is located in the Tennessee area. A small agTech business in or near Tennessee will connect with other agTech suppliers, service providers, and related institutions through that innovation cluster. How it benefits you Network with other industry innovators and connect with resources that will help your small business find funding. You’ll also receive guidance on how to better compete for government contracts and other opportunities so you can grow and expand. Receive free technical and legal assistance to develop your tech and get it to market for government and industry buyers. Get involved Find an SBA Regional Innovation Cluster near you by visiting sba.gov/localassistance . Select the regional innovation clusters on the drop-down menu.

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SBA Regional Innovation Clusters

Autonomous & Unmanned Systems Cluster – Emerging Tech Ventures The Ozarks Cluster – Startup Junkie (Industry focus: Food processing, supply chain, & logistics) The Water Council Cluster Marine IndustryScience& TechnologyCluster BioSTL: St. Louis Biosciences Cluster Oklahoma-South Kansas Unmanned A eri- al Systems Cluster The AppalachianOhioWoodProducts Cluster Conductor RIC in Healthcare, Education & Data/Decision Sciences – Startup Junkie Consulting

Integrative Business Services Inc. (Industry focus: Optics) Great Plains Technology & Manufacturing Cluster Montana Bioscience Cluster – Montana Technology Enterprise Center AgLaunch Initiative

Utah Advanced Material Manufacturing Initiative

Defense Alliance - LSI Business Development Inc. (Industry focus: Advanced Power and Energy)

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Write your Business Plan

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Learn how to write a business plan with the help of an SBA Resource Partner. TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT

When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan template. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Executive Summary Briefly summarize your company and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing. Company Description Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific as to audience and location. List out the consumers, organizations, or businesses your company plans to serve. Explain the competitive advantages you have that will make your business successful. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths. Market Analysis Demonstrate a solid understanding of your industry outlook and tar- get market. This is where it pays to partner with an experienced busi- ness counselor fromyour local Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Women's Business Center, or Veterans Business Outreach Center—all these SBA Resource Partners provide free or low-cost business assistance. Competitive research will showwhat other busi- nesses are doing and their strengths. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now's the time to answer these questions. Organization and Management

Business plans help you run your business. A good business plan guides you throughmanaging your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you—or investing in your company—is a smart investment. Brain storm with a business counselor (visit one of our SBA Resource Partners detailed on page 10) and write a traditional business plan , which uses a standard structure and detailed sections. Once you've got it all down, you can then condense it to a lean startup business plan, which typically contains key points on only one page.

Explain how your com- pany will be structured and who will run it. Describe the legal structure of your busi- ness. Statewhether you have or intend to incor- porate your business as a C or an S corporation, forma general or limited partnership, or if you're a sole proprietor or limited liability company.

Want to see an example of a business plan? View examples of business plans at sba.gov/business-guide/plan/ write-your-business- plan-template

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LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

LEAN STARTUP PLAN FORMAT Write a lean startup plan if requested from an investor, or if your business is relatively simple or you plan to regularly change and refine as you go. Lean startup plans use more visual organization tools and only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualiz- ing your company's fundamental facts. Your business counselor can help you edit down into the Business Model Canvas, used here—the most well known style, or another lean startup template. Key Partnerships Note the other businesses you’ll work with--suppliers, manufactur- ers, subcontractors, and similar strategic partners. Key Activities List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Will you sell direct to consumers or use technology to tap into the sharing economy? Key Resources List resources you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets include staff, capital, or intellectual property. Leverage business resources that might be available to women, veterans, Native Americans, and HUBZone–certified businesses. Value Proposition Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market. Customer Relationships Describe how customers will interact with your business. Think through the customer experience from start to finish. Is it auto- mated or personal? In person or online? Customer Segments Name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody; it’s important to have a clear sense of who you serve. Channels List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Cost Structure Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face. Revenue Streams Explain how your company makes money: direct sales, member- ships fees, selling advertising space? If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.

Use an organizational chart to show the hierarchy. Explain how each person’s experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including CVs of key members. Service or Product Line Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it ben- efits your customers and the product lifecycle. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you're doing research and development for your service or product, explain it. Marketing and Sales Your marketing strategy should evolve and change to fit your needs in each context. Describe how you'll attract and retain customers. Show how a sale will actually happen. You'll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so be thorough. Funding Request If you're asking for funding, outline your funding requirements. Specify whether you want debt or equity and the terms you'd like. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and how the investment will be used. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Explain how ❒ Executive summary ❒ Company description ❒Market analysis ❒ Organization and management ❒ Service or product line ❒Marketing and sales ❒ Funding request ❒ Financial projections ❒ Appendix TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN CHECKLIST

you'll pay off the debt. Financial Projections

Supplement your funding request with a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Show how your business will be a financial success. If your business is already established, include income state- ments, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. List collateral you could put against a loan. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly—or even monthly —projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections and match them to your funding requests. Use visual organization tools--graphs and charts—to tell your business's financial story. Appendix Here you'll attach supporting documents or other requested materials. Common items to include are credit histories, CVs, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts.

LEAN STARTUP PLAN CHECKLIST

❒ Key partnerships ❒ Key activities ❒ Key resources ❒ Value proposition ❒ Customer relationships

❒ Customer segments ❒ Channels ❒ Cost structure ❒ Revenue streams

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local success story

Carl Weiland, Rob Haake, & Jason Ash CO-OWNERS, WEILAND INC. Nor folk , NE Carl Weiland, Rob Haake, and Jason Ash wanted to handle the growth of their family-owned business with care, so they turned to the SBA. Their small manufacturing company constructs environmentally friendly fiberglass and stainless steel doors and windows predominately for the meat-packing industry. With the help of an SBA-backed loan, Weiland Inc. built its own custom facility in Norfolk, NE. Leon and Jean Weiland, Carl’s parents, now semi-retired, started the company in 1984 during a devastating regional economic crisis. Building fiberglass doors started out as a way to support their young family. The small business became a job creator and major economic player in Nebraska. • What challenge did you have? We always wanted to expand here in Norfolk and make a difference in our community. We were located on a farm inside multiple aging buildings not tailored to our processes. Access to capital is always a challenge for small businesses. As a 30-year family-owned business, we had access to collateral and a credit history, but we still couldn’t find traditional financing in order to build the facility we needed. We’re all new to business ownership, so we also needed expert counselors to help us navigate the legal requirements and financial systems. Since we had professional careers before pursuing our entrepreneurial dream, it was important that we find business counseling for free or low cost who could explain what we needed to know in a quick and easy way. • What was the SBA solution? Our small business qualified for a $1.5 million SBA-backed 504 Certified Development Company loan. The SBA guarantees loans made by lending institutions to small businesses that would not otherwise be able to obtain financing. Our SBA-backed loan allowed us to build a custom facility with a long-term, fixed-rate mort- gage. Our new 60,000-square-foot facility provides meaningful employment and gives us room to grow. Through the SBA, we were able to receive the funding we needed to expand our operation with a new office area, fiberglass section, and a paint booth. We consulted our local Nebraska Business Development Center for help with packaging several loans to make this dream a reality. SBA Resource Partners across the state offer mentoring, counseling, and training for free or low cost to help entrepreneurs. Loren Kucera, NBDC director in Wayne was instrumental in assisting us in growing our business. • What benefit did this have for you? We’ve consolidated all our manufacturing in one state-of-the-art facility that provides terrific access to our employees, suppliers, and distributors. We hired 14 employees in 2018, bringing our total to 35. Weiland Inc. has expanded into the international market, exporting to Canada and Mexico. In the last several years, revenue has tripled and we’re on pace to quadruple this year. We've emphasized innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. Our stainless steel windows are now the standard in many company’s specifications when they seek replacements in their wash-down facilities.

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