It's Your Business - February SBA Nebraska District Office Newsletter

It's Your Business Nebraska District newsletter

February 2013

First quarter FY13 Loan Volume Shows Access to Capital Continuing to Drive Entrepreneurial Growth in Nebraska

The number of small business loans financed through the SBA proved crucial to start-up and existing small business owners across Nebraska by providing needed access to capital in the first quarter of Fiscal 2013, ending December 31.  

Over the past three months, the SBA, working with our commercial lender partners, approved 100 loans for $32.2 million in volume for small businesses across the state, a rate which closely matches the previous pre-recessionary participation rate. Nationwide, SBA lending at the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2013 was ahead of the same pace last year. 

In a strong sign of confidence in Nebraska’s entrepreneurial economy, 40 percent of SBA loan approvals in Fiscal 2012 went to fund new businesses.  More loan dollars in the first quarter went to manufacturing small businesses than any other field, followed closely by retail trade firms and accommodation and food service businesses.  

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Jason Fischer at Surreal Media Lab

Jason Fischer

After a ‘hole opened up’ under it, Surreal Media Lab is designing a brighter future

Jason Fischer couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

He got a message from an associate that a robber had hit his business. Gone was everything the thief could carry, all his expensive camera equipment, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth that he needed for Surreal Media Lab, his design and media business.  Years of work, of pouring money from a job here and a job there back into his one-man media company trying to make a name in the community, out in a flash.

And the gut punch?  His insurance policy would not be covering the loss due to a technicality. “How am I going to fix this?” he asked himself.  

Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this story.

Today, Fischer is one of Omaha's most sought-after director/producers and visual designers, building a small business around crafting his artistic vision for nearly a decade.  Over the years, he moved from airbrush illustration and acrylic painting, incorporating graphic art into his work, and began to dabble in digital photography.

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Take the Mystery out of SBA Loans

The SBA will offer a one-hour, exciting seminar (see below for schedule and registration) designed to take the mystery out of the process of applying for federally-guaranteed small business loans. 

“Take the Mystery out of SBA Loans” will connect small business owners with financing programs to expand their operations and create jobs, and for entrepreneurs resolving to take the steps to create a new business.

The SBA provides short- and long-term guaranteed loans to eligible, credit-worthy start-ups and existing small businesses that cannot obtain financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels. SBA provides a number of loan programs for most small business needs. 

During this seminar, a representative from the SBA will explain the importance of a strong business plan, how the SBA’s resource partners -- SCORE, the Women's Business Center and the Nebraska Business Development Center -- can help, and why lenders use SBA guaranteed loans in their financing projects.

Small businesses in Nebraska who use SBA-backed financing are helping to drive economic growth in Nebraska. In Fiscal 2012, the SBA guaranteed the second-largest dollar volume of loans to small businesses in the state’s history, $156 million. 

February 7, 11:30 a.m., Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, 1102 Galvin Road South (on the Bellevue University Campus).  Call (402) 221-7211 or register by email.

February 12, noon, Charles Washington Branch, Omaha Public Library, 2868 Ames Ave.  Call (402) 444-4849 or email the library to register.

March 7, noon, Kearney Chamber of Commerce, 1007 2nd Ave. Call (308) 237-4671 or email the Chamber to register. (Please note: There will be a small charge for lunch.) 

Apply for Small Business Certification and become a successful contractor

Don't miss out on a chance to learn how your small business can sell products and services to federal, state and local governments.  Register online or call 402-554-6252 now for Applying for Small Business Certifications February 14 from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Nebraska District Office, 10675 Bedford Avenue, Omaha.  Certifying your business can help you successfully compete for government contracts. You will learn:

  • What opportunities small business certifications provide
  • Whether your business qualifies for 8(a), HUBZone, Woman-Owned, or Veteran-Owned certifications
  • How to certify your business for these programs
  • What are the advantages of veteran verification for veteran-owned businesses and service disbaled veteran owned small businesses and what is the process
  • How to access free services from the Nebraska Business Development Center to help your company grow.

Small Business Minute

SBA's size standards define whether a business is "small" and thus eligible for government programs and preferences reserved for “small business” concerns.  To determine whether your business is “small” visit the SBA website or call Lisa Tedesco in the Nebraska District Office at (402) 221-7229 for assistance!  


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Omaha Empowerment Breakfast

February 8

7 a.m.

Regency Lodge, 107th & Pacific.  

Bring your business cards and have fun at the area's premier business networking event.  This month's keynote subject: Black History Month.

Dell Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Omaha Branch, will speak on African American Entrepreneurship, Past, Present & Future.  Topics will include the importance of African American entrepreneurship in urban economic development, the rapid growth of African American entrepreneurship and its impact on service providers and future strategies to improve African American entrepreneurship.

> Register here



Learn About the Federal Government as Your Customer

February 21
8:30-10:30 a.m. 

SBA Nebraska District Office, 10675 Bedford Ave., Suite 100, Omaha.

Speakers include representatives from: SBA Office of Government Contracting SBA Office of Business Opportunity NBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center In cooperation with 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District

An overview of selling to Local, State and Federal government, including navigating the Central Contractor Registration; where to find bids on the Internet; Federal Business Opportunities; and SBA certifications, such as HUBZoneand 8(a) Business Development.

> Registration required


Need to Know

SBA Small Loan Advantage for Lenders

Lenders, your small business customer can complete the SLA application in less than 10 minutes. Learn all about this great tool that offers loans up to $350,000 with a higher guarantee, reduces paperwork and gets you a quicker response. Available to all lenders. 

Contact one of our lender relations specialists below to learn more:

Mike Niehaus
Deborah Wilson
Mike Marsh


Women's Conference in Grand Island

YWCA of Grand Island, 211 East Fonner Park

For more information: 
MONICA BRAUNREAP Women’s Business Center Director, (402) 643-2673
LISA TEDESCO at the SBA at (402) 221-7229.

Patrick Leahy

Nebraska District Office welcomes aboard Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy (right, with District Director Leon Milobar), who spent the past six years on the staff of former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, began work as an Economic Development and Administrative Officer in the Nebraska Office Jan. 14.  His background includes outreach to business, non-profit, veteran, military, and environmental groups while with Sen. Nelson's office, and he currently serves as a member of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board, and as an intelligence officer and deputy branch chief in the U.S. Army Reserve at Offutt Air Force Base.

Nebraska District Office


10675 Bedford Avenue
Suite 100
Omaha, NE  68134

Phone: 402-221-7211

Ask us how we can connect you with technical assistance and counseling, and financing options to start or grow your small business 


Office Directory

Leon Milobar, District Director
Kathleen Piper, Deputy District Director
Mike Niehaus, Lead Lender Relations Specialist
Barb Foster, Lead Economic Development Specialist
Michael Foutch, Public Information Officer

SBA Resource partners