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GROW Nebraska News - February 1, 2012


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GROW Nebraska News
Weekly Guide
GROW News
February 1, 2012


Below is this week's news from GROW Nebraska. If you have questions, ideas or comments please e-mail info@grownebraska.org. We LOVE hearing from our members.

Pay Your Membership by Feb 10 to Make GROW Book Deadline

Our GROW Book deadline is fast approaching. We are asking that if you have not already, please pay your membership by Friday, February 10 to be included in our 2012 GROW Book. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at nfo@grownebraska.org.

2012 MarketPlace Store

It's that time of year again - time for the MarketPlace Conference. This year's conference will be in Kearney on February 22, and GROW Nebraska will once again have a retail store. There is no participation fee, and the commission is 25%. This opportunity is open to both members and non-members. We also encourage you to register for the MarketPlace conference that day. MarketPlace is for more than entrepreneurs but also for small business owners, potential small business owners, farmers, ranchers, students, teachers, community and economic developers plus many more!

Sign Up Now >>

GROW Now Has a Mobile App!

GROW Nebraska now has a mobile app so you can keep up-to-date on everything GROW Nebraska, including upcoming events, contact information for our stores, social media, and more. Just visit grownebraska.moblicate.com and download it today! This app will work on Android, BlackBerry and iPhone.

Download Now >>

Possible GROW Nebraska Store in Omaha

GROW Nebraska is proud to announce that we are in talks with the Omaha Airport Authority about a potential store in Eppley Airfield in the former Star Spangled West location. This store has wonderful appeal, with a full-glass store front in a high-traffic area.

This new store location would be FREE for bundle members and $75 per year for non-bundle members. The initial store lease would be from April 2012 through April 2013. Our hope is that all items in the store would also be available on the ShopGrowNebraska.org web site so that those visiting our state can have the items shipped to them if they do not want to carry them on the plane with them. This is also the perfect location to put sample sizes of your products if you have those available to help facilitate more easily the ability for people to take them back with them on the plane.

We are wanting to know how many members would be interested in this service prior to moving forward. If you are interested please fill out the form below. Be sure to keep watching your Weekly Update for more information soon.

I'm Interested in the Potential Omaha Store >>

Form 13 Tax Document

It's the time of year for taxes! If you had sales through any of GROW’s market access services ALL sales taxes have been paid by GROW. Click the link below to download the form for your taxes. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at info@grownebraska.org.

Download Form 13 >>


Book and Music Fair/Signing at GROW Nebraska


GROW Nebraska will be holding its first annual Book and Music Fair in the GROW Nebraska Grand Island and Kearney stores on Saturday, February 18. The exhibit would start in the Grand Island store from 11am-2pm and would end at the Kearney store from 3pm-6pm. We are asking authors and musicians to come to the event and speak to people about and sign copies of your books or music.

If you are interested in coming and having a booth in the stores that day please fill out the form below. We will be promoting this event to help drive sales.

Thank you to Mary Ann with Photos by Ms. Mac for submitting this idea and to Annette Snyder for helping to coordinate.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@grownebraska.org.

Sign Up To Attend >>

Store Inventory

GROW Nebraska will no longer be providing inventory information with monthly checks. We ask that you please contact the stores directly if you have questions about your inventory. You can get their information on our web site. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail us at info@grownebraska.org.

Do You Make Pickles?

We have an eBay customer interested in sour pickles that have no dill, no salt brine, no garlic, or no spices. If you can help this person, please e-mail us at info@grownebraska.org so we can let them know.

Dryer Balls

GROW Nebraska is interested in carrying home-made dryer balls in our retail stores and web site. They are typically made from yarn. If this is something your company could provide please let us know at info@grownebraska.org. You can learn more about these types of dryer balls at the links below.

Make Your Own Dryer Balls
How to Make Dryer Balls Video

eCommerce Sales are Booming

GROW eCommerce sales for 2011 were up 99.8% over 2010. We have also had the best January since we've had the eCommerce site, with over $2,000 in sales. Are your products online? To check please click here and see if your business name appears on the drop down.

Don't have your items online? Please submit them by filling out the form here. If you have submitted items already that are not online they are being worked on. If you have questions please e-mail us at info@grownebraska.org.

Short Survey for REAP

GROW Nebraska is proud to collaborate with REAP a program of the Center of Rural Affairs. Please help them out by taking the Small Business Needs Assessment by clicking the link below. Results of the study will be made public and presentations given to those groups and organizations interested in the results.

Click Here >>


The survey will close FEBRUARY 28, 2012. If you have any questions about the survey please contact Dena Beck, REAP Business Specialist denab@cfra.org 308-528-0060.

Promote Your Business with the GROW Getter


Each Wednesday at 11 a.m., an e-mail is sent to all members, those who have signed up for our promotions list, and all of those who have purchased off of our eCommerce site. The GROW Getter will promote an item at 40% off retail price. 20% of this is covered by GROW Nebraska's cut, and 20% is covered by the participating business. If you have any questions, please contact info@grownebraska.org.

Our last two GROW Getter's have been greatly successful. If your item is online this is a great way to get people to try your product.

GROW GetterThis week's GROW Getter features Sandra Hilsabeck Books. Check it out here.

If you are interested in having your item added please fill out the form here.

Also, do you want your service business promoted with GROW Nebraska, including Facebook and Twitter promotion, e-mail promotion, and more? Contact us at info@grownebraska.org for more information on this new service.

February Membership Call

GROW Nebraska has scheduled monthly membership calls for 2012. These calls are a great way for you to get questions answered about your membership or anything GROW related. The next call is set for Tuesday, February 7 at 1pm CT. GROW Nebraska staff will be available on each call to answer your questions and concerns. The calls will be held the first Tuesday of every month at 1pm CT. Please be sure to sign up for the call so that you receive the call-in phone number.

Sign Up Now >>

Build Your Brand with First Saturday Promotions


GROW Nebraska would like to feature samplers in all of our stores the first Saturday of each month. Are you interested in coming into one of the stores on Saturday, February 4? If so, please sign up below. This is a great way for people to learn about your product!

Sign Up for First Saturday Sampling >>

SBAM Upcoming Events and Webinars

The Small Business Association of the Midlands (SBAM) has several great workshops coming up that may benefit your business, some of which GROW Nebraska is collaborating with them on. Click on each event below to learn more.

Join GROW Nebraska on Google+

GROW Nebraska recently added a Google+ page to our social media endeavors. Be sure to join our circle by visiting our page.

Join GROW Nebraska's Google+ Circle >>

Packing Materials Needed


GROW is in need for bubble wrap, especially that with larger bubbles. We will also take gently used or new boxes and other packing materials you don't want to throw away. If you have any that you are not using please let us know at info@grownebraska.org. Our online sales have been great creating a need for more!

Do you want to try Google AdWords?

GROW Nebraska recently received a Google Grant which allows us to use up to $330 per day in Google AdWord advertising. As of now, we are not using up our total daily budget, so we need your help. If you have products available on ShopGrowNebraska.org and would like FREE AdWords for them, please fill out the form here. This is a great opportunity to try Google AdWords for free before investing in them yourself.

Promote Your Events

Remember to let GROW Nebraska know if you have upcoming events. We'll be more than happy to add them to our online calendar and help you to promote them. If you have any upcoming events you would like featured, please fill out the form below.

Submit Your Event >>

New Members

Penguin Pit Stop (Lincoln, NE) - Penguin Pit Stop is proudly owned by Scott & Marsha Hunzeker. They have operated Hunzeker Frameables for the past several years. After selling their products at the Lincoln Haymarket Farmers' Market, local arts & crafts shows and a few retail locations, they decided to pursue a permanent home for their items. In talking with other vendors, it was apparent that there was a need for a place for local businesses to showcase their products. Penguin Pit Stop was created as a year-round outlet for Nebraska-based companies to sell their items in Lincoln, Nebraska. Learn more here.

Copycat Printing (Kearney, NE) - Their full service print shop and copy center is second to none. They have a trained and experienced team that will provide you expert consultation on every project no matter what the size. From design, copying, printing, finishing, mailing services and oversized prints they do it all professionally and personally every time. Learn more here.

Art & Gift Gallery (North Platte, NE) - They are a gallery located in downtown North Platte with five rooms of original fine art, photography, pine needle baskets, woodcarving, jewelry, pottery and a courtyard. Learn more here.

Member News

Do you have news about your business? Please let us know at info@grownebraska.org.

First Annual Central Nebraska Business Plan Competition


Get the opportunity for one of 3 awards (refer to rules & guidelines on their web page for additional details):

First Place: $10,000
Second Place: $3,000
Third Place: $500

This comprehensive business plan competition is open to all UNK students, faculty and staff as well as all US residents over the age of 18.

Learn More >>

Cattle Baron's Ball

If you are interested in having a booth at this year's Cattle Baron's Ball please contact Pam Hromodka at 402.366.1132 for more information.

Nebraska Tourism Division Hiring Temporary Vacation Guides for 2012 Travel Season


The Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Travel and Tourism Division is hiring temporary, seasonal Tourism Aide/Guide positions for its information centers along Interstate 80. If you’re interested in applying for one of these positions, please visit the State of Nebraska’s Personnel Web site: http://statejobs.nebraska.gov. Once you’re on the site, here’s how you locate the job description:

  • Click on the “Today’s Jobs” button.
  • Scroll down to the third set of categories (Department). All categories are automatically selected, so you will need to click on the “Clear All Departments” link.
  • Select the “Economic Development, Department of” category.
  • Click the red “Go” button to locate the job.
  • Click the “Tourism Aide/Guide” link to access the job description and information.
  • Click the “Apply” link. You must first create a GovernmentJobs.com account to apply online for a position (registration is free).
In addition to the state application, all applicants must complete the “Supplemental Questions” section located on the job description/information page. Applicants who don’t complete this form will not be considered for employment.

Please contact Micheal Collins at 402.471.3795 or micheal.collins@Nebraska.gov for more information about the Tourism Aide/Guide program.

REAP Collaboration Opportunity for GROW Nebraska Members


REAP (Rural Enterprise Assistance Project), a project of the Center of Rural Affairs, would like to help GROW Nebraska members that do not have a business plan to develop one. They also help members that have a business plan but would like it reviewed.

Learn More and Sign Up Now >>

Promote your Product or Art on NTV

If you have not been featured on the NTV's The Good Life and are interested in doing so, please let us know so we can submit your information to the producers of NTV.

Learn More and Sign Up Now >>

Who Sold Online This Week:
  • Bert Anderson Collection
  • Ely Farms
  • Evan's Naturals
  • Heartland Gourmet
  • Heritage Falls Candles
  • Hilger's Agri/Natural
  • HR Poppin' Snacks
  • I Made That!
  • It's All About Bees
  • JB's Fatboy
  • NebraskaBison.com
  • NebraskaLAND Magazine
  • Oasis Enterprises
  • Ogallala Bay Rum
  • Prairie Harvest Granola
  • Preferred Popcorn
  • Pur Java
  • SEM Jewelry
  • Shepherd's Dairy 4 Ewe
  • Soy Glo Candle Co.
  • The Seward Cross Makers
Are your products online? Did you know that our sales for 2011 were up 100% from 2010? Did you know that 82% of our online sales go to out-of-state-purchasers? Sign up to add your products here.

This Week: GROW Is Now Serving:

353 Nebraska
Small Businesses

GROW Now Has:

5,284 Facebook Fans
1,635 Twitter Followers
15 Google+ Followers


Picture of the Week

StateFairStore

Janell and Sara spent yesterday and today at the 2012 Agri/Eco Tourism conference in North Platte.

Do you want to submit a picture of the week? Please e-mail us at info@grownebraska.org.

On the Blog

Do you want to be notified when new blogs are posted? Sign up here!

Are you a Blogger?

If you blog, GROW Nebraska would like to give you the opportunity to submit your blog to be a feature on the GROW Nebraska Blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn group. If your blog is selected, you will also receive $10.00 in GROW bucks that can be used to purchase product or can be applied to services at GROW Nebraska. If you are interested, please fill out the form below. Questions? E-mail info@grownebraska.org.

Sign Up Now >>

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Upcoming Events

February 3 - Veterans in Business Forum

February 7 - GROW Membership Call

February 7 - Small Business Marketing Self for Success Webinar

February 10 - Woman Owned Construction Consortium

February 14 - Member Appreciation Day

February 14 - Rev Up Relationships, Referrals, & Revenues with Digital Marketing Workshop (Grand Island)

February 15 - Rev Up Relationships, Referrals, & Revenues with Digital Marketing Workshop (Omaha)

Submit Your Event >>

Be sure and check the GROW Nebraska calendar of events regularly for more information and upcoming events.

Recruiting

We would like to remind members that you can receive a $25 referral check when you refer a new member to GROW!

If you know someone who would make a great GROW member, let us know here.

Get Your Items on our eCommerce Sites!

The GROW eCommerce and eBay stores are great ways to get MORE SALES at little or no additional cost!

Did you know that we have 1504 member products on our eCommerce site and 644 in our eBay store? Check them out.

Did you know? GROW is a top-rated seller on eBay! List your items with us, and use that to your advantage!

Read Entire Story and Learn How to Get Items Added >>

Get a Discount from GROW Members

Looking for gift ideas? Need a web designer? Need a printing company? Check out our membership directory to find local entrepreneurs. Be sure to check out the list of vendors that offer member-to-member discounts to get an additional discount on your product or service.

Don't Miss Any Calls or E-mails

Has your physical address, e-mail address or phone number changed? We can't promote your business without the correct information. If you have any changes please e-mail us at info@grownebraska.org.



 

Member to Member Discount

GROW Nebraska is committed to sustainable business practices. Please print only when necessary, and recycle.


GROW Nebraska's Mission is to create sustainable economic development by supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses through promotion, market access and education.


GROW Members: Please feel free to share the GROW E-News with colleagues, peers, and others who may not be familiar with GROW and its services.