Show Your Love For Local – December

Show Your Love For Local – December

Show Your Love For Local – December

gif

Many Nebraska businesses and organizations support or fund GROW Nebraska beyond membership dues, and in this season of giving, we’d like to say thank you!

“We are grateful to all of our donors across the state who show their love for local,” GROW Nebraska Foundation CEO Janell Anderson-Ehrke said.

Thank You To An Anonymous Business For Adding An Employee Gift Box Program!

A long-time supporter of GROW Nebraska went the extra mile to support Nebraska businesses.

“Given the rural nature of our service territory, businesses and entrepreneurs don’t always have access to the resources that they do in metro areas,” said the supporter. “GROW Nebraska fills that need, complementing our team’s efforts to strengthen the state’s rural economy. They are a great resource, and we often refer people to GROW. For our communities to be successful, their businesses must thrive, and the services GROW Nebraska provides helps them do just that.”

To celebrate the holidays safely and virtually, this supporter worked with GROW Nebraska staff to develop a gift box program for their employees.

“A website was developed for a curated selection of items from GROW Nebraska members from within our service territory,” the supporter said. “This was also a way for our company to show support for the small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. The response of our employees was tremendous. GROW staff was very responsive and helpful in making this possible.”

The supporter said anyone who believes in the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurs is strongly encouraged to support GROW Nebraska.

“They provide valuable services and programs that have a proven benefit to the economy of our communities and state,” they said. “The marketing and technical assistance available through GROW Nebraska benefits businesses of all sizes. The pandemic has shown businesses the importance of an online presence and the ability of GROW to provide that training has been key.”

Thank You Peter Kiewit for Continued Operating Funding!

The Peter Kiewit Foundation is one of GROW’s largest funders. A Peter Kiewit grant supports GROW’s efforts to provide important e-commerce, marketing and business development trainings.

GROW Nebraska is unique in that they develop, promote and grow entrepreneurial activity, with an emphasis on economically depressed areas to create sustainable businesses that produce Nebraska products, ultimately supporting local, regional and statewide economic growth,” said Jen Olds, Peter Kiewit Community Investment Officer, Economic Growth and Opportunity.

Olds said both urban and rural businesses need technical assistance to contribute to economic growth, create jobs and grow the local tax base.

“GROW Nebraska has a long and proven history in providing this kind of technical assistance,”  she said.

Thank You Glenn Valley Foods For Your Membership & Donation!

Gary’s Quicksteaks/Glenn Valley Foods is an active GROW Nebraska member, and the company also donated to GROW as a Supporting Member and Friend.

“We have been a family-owned and operated business with roots in Nebraska since 1981,” said Glenn Valley Foods Vice President of Marketing Jeff Bell. “It is important for us to support our local community of consumers and businesses.”

GROW introduced Gary’s QuickSteak to another GROW Nebraska member, who then helped the company ship and sell its delicious meat products around the country through Buy Nebraska.

GROW provides Nebraska businesses a place to come together to promote the state’s businesses throughout the country and the world, Bell said. And supporting shop local efforts are important to Glenn Valley Foods.

“Always support the local community in which you live and operate,” Bell said. “That is just good business.”

Thank You Consolidated Companies for Giving Back to the Communities You Serve!

Lincoln-based Consolidated Companies offers telephone and cable service, business telephone systems and Internet services in west-central Nebraska.

GROW Nebraska is grateful for Consolidated Companies Bronze-Level Support this past year.

“GROW has had a good effect on many businesses in Consolidated’s communities,” said Brian Thompson, the company’s vice president of external relations. “GROW has helped many businesses adopt ways to digitally reach far more customers and provides the training for local companies to be marketing in all 50 states and beyond.”

Thompson said that by supporting GROW, his company is supporting small rural companies across its service area.

“We think that people who are interested in coming to rural places for a safe, family-friendly lifestyle can be helped by the digital outreach that GROW provides,” Thompson said.

Please consider helping GROW attract 100 news donors before the end of 2020 – by giving today at https://grownebraska.org/givenow/

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.

Show Your Love For Local – October

Show Your Love For Local – October

Show Your Love For Local – October

When GROW Nebraska Foundation CEO Janell Anderson-Ehrke sees orders for Nebraska chokecherry jellies coming in on Buy Nebraska from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, she can’t help but smile.

“How could these small Nebraska businesses have gotten their product to these states without GROW’s help?” she said. “It just makes my heart so happy that those are the kinds of things happening at GROW.”

In the past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GROW Nebraska’s expertise in online sales and business trainings became even more critical to Nebraska businesses.

It’s only through the continued support of members and donors that GROW Nebraska can stay on the cutting edge of technology and offer the latest tools and services to entrepreneurs across the state.

“These donations allow us to keep offering innovative, out-of-the-box services to help people in Anywhere, Nebraska, make a living,” GROW CEO Janell Anderson-Ehrke said. “Technology changes so fast, and donations to GROW help us to keep adding services.”

Board member Rick Nelsen, who is Senior Economic Development Consultant at Nebraska Public Power District, said anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship should become a GROW donor.

“GROW has a proven track record of positively benefitting its members. If you support entrepreneurship, you should support GROW Nebraska,” Nelson said. “GROW plays a vital role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nebraska. I have witnessed how they work with their members of all sizes and help them grow their businesses.”

Board member Richard Johnson, Senior Vice President/AG Banking at Adams Bank & Trust, said helping members survive and prosper during COVID-19 was GROW’s most important work this past year.

“GROW Nebraska ramped up many clients’ abilities to continue to do business in these challenging times,” Johnson said.

Board member Justin Daake, Managing Attorney at Daake Law Office, LLC, in Oxford agreed.

“GROW has been doing excellent work in helping Nebraska entrepreneurs respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “GROW Nebraska’s sustained efforts to create global digital markets for Nebraska products will continue to be essential to the state’s economic recovery.”

Daake said GROW has provided valuable services and expertise to Nebraska entrepreneurs like himself for decades. 

While GROW’s membership dues help fund the general operations and basic day-to-day expenses of the organization, Anderson-Ehrke said donations help staff stay on top of technology and offer more services.

“Donations allow us to keep being entrepreneurial and to keep pivoting,” she said.

Anderson-Ehrke said that when the pandemic hit, they knew businesses needed more training, so they started offering TWO monthly online training opportunities instead of ONE. They also started Training Tips Tuesday on Instagram, which is a weekly 10-minute training video posted to Instagram. It is made possible through a partnership with UNL’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

GROW also expanded Facebook ads services, launched an Etsy store and a presence on TikTok and continued to improve its existing Amazon and Buy Nebraska online stores. Some businesses rely solely on GROW Nebraska for their online sales platform, which became critical during COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I have been shocked by the ability of GROW to quickly adjust and the amount of online sales that have occurred this year through GROW,” board member Rick Nelsen said.

GROW Nebraska’s e-commerce sites are now generating more than $30,000 a month in sales for its members!

“That’s a substantial amount of money going to Nebraska businesses,” Anderson-Ehrke said. “And more than 80 percent of our online orders are from out-of-state customers, so that’s new money into the state.”

Johnson said having spent most of his banking career in community banks, he sees the importance of GROW Nebraska’s many services in assisting Nebraska businesses to grow and be successful regardless of size.

“GROW Nebraska connects Nebraskans and aids in developing networks and working relationships that might not have happened without these options,” he said. “Many Nebraska entrepreneurs could not gain the exposure individually they can receive through GROW Nebraska, and they also could not afford the marketing and training expertise GROW Nebraska provides.”

GROW has a goal of securing 100 new donors by the end of the year. If you’d like to help GROW Nebraska reach that goal and support Nebraska businesses and entrepreneurs, find out the details and benefits of becoming a donor at www.grownebraska.org/givenow

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.