If you’re trying to grow your small business, you know it takes hard work. But even when you’re willing to put in the hours and elbow grease, it’s not always enough to ensure your business thrives—or even survives. Enter REACH, an initiative designed to offer small business assistance. REACH helps ensure Omaha’s certified small and emerging businesses (SEBs) have the tools, resources and connections they need to bid and capitalize on new projects and achieve their strategic goals.
So, how can REACH benefit your business? Let’s recap what the initiative has accomplished so far, see what’s next on the to-do list and show you how you can fulfill your company’s potential with small business help from REACH.
Teaming up for success.
Championed by the Greater Omaha Chamber, REACH was formed in 2015 as a collaboration to help SEBs build capacity and respond to increased contracting opportunities in Omaha and the surrounding region. And because SEB success requires a collaborative effort, REACH has partnered with various organizations like the City of Omaha, Metropolitan Community College, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Seventy-Five North Revitalization Corp. Having the opportunity to connect with organizations like these and build strong relationships helps break down barriers, and it could give your business the boost it needs to get to the next level.
A year of REACHing higher.
With just a year under its belt, REACH has built a solid foundation and has already realized significant milestones, including securing more than $3.4 million in SEB contracts, $900,000 in financing and more than $1 million in bonding. At the same time, Omaha’s certified SEB pool grew by more than 100 firms, and more than 3,100 hours of one-on-one consultations or group education sessions have happened so far.
“Two months ago I had the mother of one of our REACH contractors call to thank me for our efforts and to tell me what an impact that our support had on her son,” says Winsley Durand, executive director for REACH. “It is these immeasurable accomplishments that keep me going and tell me that the REACH program is both needed and greatly appreciated.”
What’s next for REACH?
REACH is moving full-speed ahead into year two with clear and well-defined goals that build on its initial success. For example, the initiative aims to increase the certified SEB pool by 20 additional businesses, as well as continue to offer valuable education sessions on topics that include:
- Entity Formation
- Financial Planning and Literacy
- Social Media
- Construction Law
- Surety Bonding
- Insurance and Credit
- Digital Strategy
- Employment Law
REACH is also working to establish a mentoring program and a plan room to offer industry training by local industry experts.