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GROW Nebraska News - January 4, 2012

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GROW Nebraska News
Weekly Guide
January 4, 2012

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

Kearney and Grand Island Sidewalk Sales

The Kearney sidewalk sales are this week - January 6-8, and Grand Island's are next week - January 13-16 (they are including Monday because of the Martin Luther King holiday). If you are interested in sampling or reducing the price of your product please contact us ASAP so we can get the information changed in our system.

Participate in Sidewalk Sales >>

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 >>

Why Add Items to GROW eCommerce Sites

Watch this video to see why and how you should add your products to the GROW eCommerce sites. Watch Now >>


Renewal Deadline is January 20

GROW Nebraska is excited that 2011 was a year of firsts. For the first time, our membership number hit over 400. For the first time, we hit online sales of over $5,000 in one month. We hope your year was full of firsts too.

We are also proud to announce that we marketed over half a million dollars in member products, and we hit a record of 82% of online sales going to out-of-state purchasers. Our online sales were up 100% over 2012. Our service members are also doing better than ever, with a lot of networking and member-to-member discounts.

Have you renewed? This year, the GROW Nebraska GROW Book deadline is January 20, so we need to know if you would like to renew your membership as soon as possible.

Remember, you are only up for renewal if you joined before April 1, 2011. If you’re not sure if you need to renew, please e-mail... or call 888-476-9632.

If you'd like to go ahead and renew now, select one of these options:

Renew and Pay Now >>
Renew and Be Invoiced >>

If you don't plan to renew, please fill out this form:

Take Exit Survey >>

Not Renewing and Have Product?

GROW Nebraska is lucky to have over 300 members' products in our retail stores in Kearney and Grand Island. Because of limited storage space, this year we are asking all members who are not renewing to remove their product by January 20. Any member who still has product in stock will be charged a $50 storage fee. If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail us at of call (888)476-9632.

Apply to Participate in 2012 Nebraska Passport Program

Applications and nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Nebraska Department of Tourism Passport Program. The DED Travel & Tourism Division is expanding the program next year to include 72 stops featured within nine categories: wineries, golf, festivals, culture/history, water recreation/adventure, parks, unique accommodations, family fun and culinary. Deadline to sign up to participate is January 13.

If you are interested in applying to participate, please contact Shannon Peterson at 402-471-3797 or for more information.

Download Participation Form >>

Are You Interested in Helping with MarkeTECH?

The GROW Nebraska MarkeTECH conference is just around the corner. This year, the event will take place on Thursday, April 19 in North Platte. We are currently working on setting up a steering committee to help pull the conference together, find speakers, and talk about ideas for how to make it our best conference yet. If you are interested in assisting us, please fill out the form below.

Join the Steering Committee >>

Are You Utilizing the GROW Facebook Page?

GROW Nebraska has over 5,200 followers on our Facebook page. Are you utilizing it? Please post information about your business, upcoming events, sales, or services to let over 5,000 people know about you! If you have questions about how to do this, please e-mail us at for assistance.

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 Our online sales have been great creating a need for more!

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 >>

Have Your Business Featured on Facebook

Promote your product or service for FREE to 5,200+ people who love Nebraska products. Sign up now to have your product or service featured on the GROW Nebraska Facebook Fan Page. This is a GREAT opportunity and all you have to do is sign up and then comment when your product or service is featured to help further promote your business. We want to make sure our fans have the opportunity to purchase your product or service. Do you want to build your company brand or increase your sales? We need participants for 2012! We ask that you please have a Facebook Fan page to sign up for this opportunity. If you need assistance doing this, please contact us at

Click here to sign up!

Be Our Next 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

GROW GetterThis week's GROW Getter features Annette Snyder's Drive Thru! 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 for more information on this new service.

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 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.

New Members

No new members this week.

Member News

Lilly's Sweet Tooth Featured - Member Lilly's Sweet Tooth was featured this week in the "Best Of" for Lance's Journal. Congrats! You can view the video here.

Do you have news about your business? Please let us know at

Save Yourself $20,000

Gallup is looking for recommendations of companies to participate in their 2012 business assistance program. Requirements are that the company be ‘poised for growth,’ have between 4 and 500 employees and be Nebraska-based. If selected, the company’s participation will be sponsored by the Gallup Organization, Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), University of Nebraska/Foundation and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. 2012 is the last year this service will be free as they are in a trial period. After that time, the program will cost upwards of $20,000 per business. This is a wonderful opportunity. More information about the program is available at Deadline to send in recommendations is January 6.

Do you sell Beef Jerky?

We recently had someone write into our eCommerce site wanting samples of beef jerky. He did not say what he will do with them, so we recommend that you contact him first to get more information. If you are interested in promoting your product this way, please contact him at the information below.

Jason Michel
140 Sierra Circle
Olathe, KS 66061

Agri/Eco Tourism Tasting Event

The seventh annual Nebraska’s Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 31- Feb.1, 2012, in North Platte at the Sandhills Convention Center. The “Taste of Nebraska Agritourism” networking event will be back by popular demand from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. This event offers the perfect opportunity for GROW Nebraska members to showcase their quality homemade and homegrown products. The event also is an excellent venue for networking and visiting with possible partners to cross-market your products.

The event is organized similar to a farmers’ market. While there is no charge for booth space, we ask that vendors provide product samples for approximately 150-200 attendees. Businesses are welcome to sell packaged, non-alcoholic products during the event. Proper licensing and certification procedures for food and beverage sales need to be followed.

We are also encouraging members participating to attend the workshop as well. Information is available on the form. You may pay when signing up for the tasting for the workshop. Those participating receive a $25 discount on the workshop (normally $75).

Sign Up Now >>

Do you know the difference between Mark-Up and Gross Profit Margin?

Margin: The percentage margin is the percentage of the final selling price that is profit.

Markup: A markup is what percentage of the cost price you add on to get the selling price.

These are different, a selling price with a margin of 50% results in more profit than a selling price with a markup of 50%. Here's a simple example to illustrate the point:

To read the complete article: CLICK HERE

The Logan (Tvrdy) Munro Fundraiser

Former member Fran Potter wanted to let everyone know about this fundraiser for her great-nephew. If you have any questions or would like to help, please contact her at

Logan is a 10 month old who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor. He is the great grandson of the late Emil and Mary Tvrdy, grandson of Susan and the late Ray Tvrdy, and son of Katie and Brad (Tvrdy) Munro.

Due to the insurmountable medical costs, the Tvrdy and Munro families are asking for your prayers and support as Logan battles this uphill fight.

Logan (Tvrdy) Munro Fundraiser
Ceresco Bank, Ceresco, NE
130 W. Elm
Ceresco, NE 68017
Phone: 402-655-3431

MarketPlace 2012

The Center for Rural Affair's annual MarketPlace Event is coming up at the Ramada Inn in Kearney. Save these dates:
Nebraska Youth Entrepreneur Day & RZ Bounce: Tues., February 21
Nebraska MarketPlace: Wed., February 22

Over 50% of small business owners who have attended MarketPlace have started, expanded, or made positive changes to their business. 20% saw improvement to their bottom line with a 10-40% increase in revenue. GROW strongly encourages you to attend, and you can learn more here.

Also, the 2012 Nebraska MarketPlace Conference is seeking foods from Nebraska family farms to be served at their event luncheon as well as at their morning and afternoon breaks. If you're interested, contact for more information.

Save the Date: Entrepreneurship Summit

The Nebraska Business-Higher Education Forum, the Gallup Organization and the University of Nebraska are hosting their annual Summit on Entrepreneurship on February 24 at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista Hotel and Conference Center in La Vista, Nebraska. Watch and your weekly update for more information.

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:
  • Alexa Whipple
  • Bert Anderson Collection
  • Big Red Popcorn
  • Country Taste of Homemade
  • EC Beads
  • HR Poppin' Snacks
  • Hunzeker Frameables
  • JB's Fatboy
  • Little Blue River
  • Nebraska Pantry
  • Ogallala Bay Rum
  • Rafter 7S
  • South Fork Vineyard
  • Two Ewe's
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:

379 Nebraska
Small Businesses

GROW Now Has:

5,248 Facebook Fans
1,565 Twitter Followers

Picture of the Week


New member Incredible Edibles in downtown Ord shows off her myriad of cookies and treats! Stop by and grab a treat or lunch today!

Do you want to submit a picture of the week? Please e-mail us at

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

Sign Up Now >>

Follow Us on Twitter

Upcoming Events

January 6-8 - Kearney Hilltop Mall Sidewalk Sales

January 13 - Practical Accounting Class

January 13-16 - Grand Island Conestoga Mall Sidewalk Sales

January 16 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 23-25 - What's Involved In Starting A Small Business Seminar

January 31 - Nebraska's Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop

Submit Your Event >>

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


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.

Video of the Week

CEO Janell thanks members for a wonderful year at GROW Nebraska!

Watch 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


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.