NGage Notes 4/23/15

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

With spring here and the grass green once again, we find increased interest in new business possibilities and transition deals.  We’ve had the opportunity to assist a good bunch of entrepreneurs and small businesses recently.  For some, writing business plans, preparing projections, and knowing the steps to getting into business is a challenge.  NGage is here to help and we can make connections to other resources as needed.  Please help spread the word that if someone is considering a new business, business expansion, or considering the purchase of an existing business, they should contact NGage.    

NGage would like to continue growing its list of entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers that would have an interest in networking and training events. Remember that taking part in business networking is a key success factor.  An upcoming workshop on the topic of marketing is open to anyone interested.  Objectives of the May 5th free workshop include, understanding basic marketing principles that can have a bottom line impact on your business, how to compete on value - not price, and establishing a distinct identity for your business.  And please stay “NGaged” with us as we are planning a series of small business planning workshops in conjunction with the Southeast Community College Entrepreneurship Center and REAP later this summer and fall. 

NGage, together with Main Street Beatrice, the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce, has had a busy few months with ECAP, the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process.  Thanks to all of you who provided input by taking the ECAP Discovery Tool.  We had approximately thirty individuals attend various “community conversation” meetings to help sort through the results and work on prioritizing ECAP Characteristics.  The top four ECAP characteristics (out of eight) that we’ve drafted some action plans around include:  Sense of Place, Community Vision, Leadership and Entrepreneurial Support Systems. The premise of ECAP is about embracing visionary thinking, encouraging entrepreneurial activity and leadership, building synergy (continue working together), identifying and leveraging resources to attract and retain a working-age population, which will empower economic growth.  As we are more aware of ECAP concepts and community perception, we can work toward positive change. Some good ideas came out of these meetings that we’ll be using. 

NGage continues to make regular contact with business and industry and especially has a focus on business retention and expansion visits with key employers in Gage County.  We’ve been working on gathering employment data from key employers so we can analyze where area workers are coming from and what the workforce needs are, then we should be able to use aggregate data to inform folks in this area about current and future opportunities.  We are very fortunate to have some progressive school and community college leaders that have an interest in understanding education and workforce skills needed here.  Workforce retention and development is an issue that is very key to the economic success of this area. 

We have local companies that are constantly working to improve their processes, production efficiency, and improve their bottom lines.  For example, I just learned that Titan IBC’s plant manager and production manager are taking part in a six-part Lean Enterprise Certificate Series through the University of Nebraska Omaha.  They are utilizing a Nebraska Worker Training Program grant through the Nebraska Department of Labor to cover some of these costs. Let us know if you’d like to know more about worker or customized training resources.      

There’s a great deal of curiosity about what we’re working on and the next new key employer that may be coming to our area. It seems there are always possibilities in the works as we answer inquiries that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development or one of our economic development partners passes along to us.  It was exciting news to learn that the Monolith Materials project plans with Nebraska Public Power and Norris Public Power are finalized.  The Monolith plant will be built just a couple miles outside of Gage County near Hallam and the Sheldon Station.  It will bring positive economic impacts to our area.  I had a chance last fall to meet one of their company reps as he was getting acquainted with our State and area.  We visited and explained that this is a great place to live and work, and encouraged their company’s expansion here. It takes a team of folks to get deals like this done and we congratulate everyone that helped make this happen.     

Please watch for updates on NGage’s website, www.ngagegroup.org and follow NGage on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GageAreaGrowthEnterprise.

Glennis McClure

NGage Executive Director

Category: NGage Notes