Aspiring small business owners in Norfolk, NE get a helping hand - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Aspiring small business owners in Norfolk, NE get a helping hand

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Prospective small business owners in Siouxland are getting a crash course in how to start or expand their companies, thanks to the efforts of community leaders.
KTIV US92's Eric McKay has more.

When Dave Cerny started his fabrication company Precision Components Midwest in Norfolk Nebraska last year, he found that going from having the idea to actually getting the business up and running involved a lot of moving parts, many of which seemed a bit overwhelming at first.

"The concept probably took two years to develop. There were a lot of conversations back and forth and lot of work with various agencies," Cerny said.

Norfolk economic development officials say Cerny isn't alone in facing the at times daunting task of starting a small business.

"For small businesses in the area and for entrepreneurs and potential small businesses, there are a lot of resources available but they might not know where to go first and how to navigate through all of them," said Courtney Klein, Norfolk Economic Development Director.

With that in mind, numerous area groups have come together to form the Norfolk Small Business Resource Team, a team made up of various city and regional entities that prospective business owners will eventually have to deal with.

"We thought if we brought all the different organizations and agencies together and had sort of a one-stop shop it would be easier," Klein said.

The resource team hosted a conference in Norfolk this week to introduce themselves to area businesses…and get prospective entrepreneurs some face time with the usual first point of contact for start-ups - the local bank.

"The hope is the banks will get the businesses into the right hands, and then those entities will come back to the bank to be the lead financier," said Russ Wilcox with Midwest Bank.

Resource Team members say the idea is to give small business owners like Dave Cerny the opportunity not only to start their business in Norfolk, but the resources to expand and keep their businesses in town.

"When everybody pulled together, they all saw potential and it really helped us along," Cerny said.

Norfolk economic development officials continue to stress the importance of developing home-grown businesses. 84% of the businesses in Norfolk were founded locally.

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