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Omaha Small Business Omaha NetworkSmall Business Network 2015-2016 ANNUA 2015-2016 ANNUAL REPORT Network INVEST. SUPPORT. GROW.

Welcome to the 2015 – 2016 Omaha Small Business Network Annual Report. I am excited to bring you, our friends and donors, an update on all of the wonderful developments for small businesses in Omaha. This year we have rolled out several innovative new programs to support small business in Omaha including monthly technical support and professional development training for new small business owners, a dedicated loan pool and training curriculum for minority contractors and suppliers, expanded administrative services for OSBN tenants as well as a business and banking training program designed to support existing businesses. Here at OSBN, we truly believe that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. Our small businesses located across East Omaha provided over 145 crucial jobs that are a foundation of inclusive local economic growth. OSBN maintains that job growth equals community growth. OSBN’s incredible tenants and loan clients earned an estimated gross revenue of $4 million dollars this year. That’s an additional $4 million dollars circulating in East Omaha because of the work we do at OSBN. We remain dedicated to bringing underserved local small business owners, entrepreneurs and nonprofits the tools needed to become successful and sustainable entities operating East of 72nd Street in Omaha. In 2017 we will focus on expanding our loan pool and increasing our technical support and business development training services to offer more classes for new and experienced entrepreneurs. We will also focus our attention on improving our OSBN Business and Technology Center (BTC) located on 24th and Lake to further compliment the wonderful developments cropping up along the North Omaha corridor. Board of Directors Tony Welchen, Chair Kenneth Johnson Sr., Vice Chair Tracey Wilburn-Rucker, Treasurer James H. McCarty, Secretary Chris Rodgers Tonya Conley, Esq Edward Breckenridge David Arnold Keith Harris Clint Sporhase Tahnee Markussen

In the new year OSBN will take up the cause of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship throughout East Omaha that will reshape the community and usher in a period of exciting economic development. We will focus on individual motivation, business acumen, credit remediation and financial literacy. If we strive to rethink our approach to economic development, continue to develop entrepreneurs and reaffirm our cultural commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit that makes our city great, we can overcome the systemic issues that have long plagued our underserved communities and stunted economic growth. We are grateful for all of the support OSBN has received this year from clients, friends and donors. We go in to this season dedicated to furthering our mission in hopes that it will resonate across the city. But we can't go it alone. We need your continued support to INVEST. SUPPORT. GROW. small business. Best,

Julia J. Parker Executive Director Executive Director

Omaha Small Business Network (OSBN) is a Community Development Entity (CDE) and Micro-Enterprise Development Organization (MDO) dedicated to bringing underserved local small business owners, entrepreneurs and nonprofits the tools needed to become successful and sustainable entities in Omaha, Nebraska.




Omaha Small Business Network (OSBN) has been responsible for assisting over 100 small and emerging businesses move from business ideation to execution by providing below market-rate office space in the heart of North Omaha, start-up incubation programs as well as microloans since 2010. OSBN has been able to administer over $2 million dollars in low interest rate microloans to those entrepreneurs unable to access traditional financing. OSBN assists entrepreneurs and small businesses through the business development life-cycle with programs such as business development training, individual small business consulting, business plan development, microloans, loan package preparation and affordable commercial office for lease. OSBN maintains that small business ownership is a path to financial freedom for the economically disadvantaged and historically underserved. OSBN currently offers three core programs: Microlending, Below Marker Rate Commercial Office Space, Small Business Technical Support + Business Development Training.

Here’s How It Works


Welcoming Environment

Knowledge Sharing

Providing a safe, secure + friendly environment will encourage motivation, networking + openness

Meaningful outcomes from sharing knowledge + networking. Applying shared Best Practices through mentoring + apprenticeship





Personal + Professional Growth

Open Interactions + Connectivity Access to local sector experts + landscape trends. TARGETED innovative sector experts available for mentoring + counseling

Resources provided through access to capital + professional development, training and assistance


OSBN is compelled by the desire to assist historically undercapitalized aspiring entrepreneurs achieve financial inclusion in Omaha’s underserved neighborhoods while improving economic mobility throughout the City of Omaha. 6

Where others see risks, we see possibilities.

MICROLENDING $500,000. 00 In outstanding Community Loans

$223,105. 00 Loaned to small businesses September – September

45 OSBN Supported Loan Clients

7 Unique OSBN Loan Pools for Entrepreneurs to chose from

$323,500.00 Amount of Loans Paid off September – September

0% Default Rate for New Loans

100% Repayment Rate for New Loans

Access to capital is always a critical hurdle for new business owners. When seeking to start a new enterprise, the ability to obtain a business loan strongly indicates whether that business will be successful and have the ability to create additional jobs. As a mission driven, community based lender, OSBN offers low interest rate microloans from $1,000.00 to $50,000.00 to entrepreneurs unable to access capital from a traditional financial institution. We must recognize that small business growth is driving our economy. As a community, we must continue to invest in our small business owners in order to spur economic activity. In 2012, new small business owner Justin Moore came to OSBN to borrow funds for his budding contracting and construction business. Justin had a great business plan, was dedicated to expanding his business and ready for work, however, he was unable to access capital from local area banks. Like so many new entrepreneurs from underserved areas, Justin was considered un-bankable. We worked with Justin to get him the technical assistance that he so desperately needed in addition to finding a low cost location in the OSBN BTC for his new business. OSBN approved an SBA microloan for Justin in the amount of $35,000.00. Just four years later Justin has expanded services, moved in to a new and larger facility and earned over $1 million dollars in revenue this year. When Ray Kyles was released from prison in 2002, he knew that he wanted to give back to the community and turn a negative experience in to a positive life. In 2010, Ray started his printing business You Are Not Alone or YANO 2505. He wanted to expand his growing business, but was turned down by three local banks for a small business loan. In April of 2016, Ray came to OSBN for advice on expanding YANO 2505 and to apply for a small business loan. Ray received a loan for $7,500 from OSBN to purchase new printers for his budding business. In just 90 days, Ray was able to triple his revenue and expand his service offerings. OSBN provides capital for small businesses and microenterprises that mainstream financial institutions might overlook.


BELOW MARKET RATE COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE $4,000,000.00 Average annual revenue of OSBN Tenants + Loan Clients

98 North Omaha Jobs

$1.59 + $1.00 Price per sq/ft per month for OSBN Office Space

2,800+ People Utilized the OSBN BTC September September

24 OSBN Supported Tenants

88% Average Occupancy Rate for OSBN Properties


The OSBN Business Technology Center (BTC) is located in the heart of North Omaha on the corner of historic 24th Street. OSBN maintains a 50,000 square foot facility which is home to over 24 small and micro-businesses. OSBN also owns and or manages several other commercial bays along the 24th Street corridor that are available for lease at an affordable below market rate specifically priced for new small business owners. The primary objective of the BTC is to provide below market-rate commercial office space to new and existing businesses wanting to locate in North Omaha. OSBN attempts to bridge the gap between technical assistance and entrepreneurial training by providing entrepreneurs with the assistance necessary to identify potential pitfalls within their business and learn how to take the necessary steps to efficiently solve them while keeping the business operating successfully – all under one roof. The OSBN BTC common facilities include a community conference room with wi-fi, computer lab and planning room for contractors all of which are accessible to OSBN clients as well as the entire Omaha Metro Area. Offices in the BTC rent monthly at $1.59 per sq/ft for for-profits and $1.00 per sq/ ft for non-profit organizations.

DON + YVONNE MCPHEARSON STYLES OF EVOLUTION OSBN Loan Clients + Tenants Operating as a specialty retail clothing store for the past eight years, Don and Yvonne McPherson have happily owned Styles of Evolution located on the corner of 24th and Ohio Street. Their motto has always been to make sure customers find quality, yet affordable clothing.

What do you enjoy most about your time as a tenant on 24th street and your experience being a part of the OSBN business community? What I love about my time in this neighborhood is the people and the talents that everybody brings to 24th Street. OSBN has been a great benefit to us because not only have they looked at us as a tenant, but they’ve looked at us as an investment. Our business struggled to be successful for the first six years on 24th Street but OSBN was willing to stick with us since our incubator phase. We have survived due to the support, training opportunities and the resources offered by OSBN. The benefit of being located in North Omaha is all about having the chance to carry the torch for others and living by example. You have to know that what you do makes an impression on any young man that comes in to the store that you don’t have to have a ton of money to start a business in our community. You just have to have faith and determination to make things happen. When you come in to our community you should smell great food, hear great music and see great apparel. This brings jobs in to our community and strengthens us. What advice do you have for other small business owners? Here is the best advice I have: Follow the Three D’s – desire, drive, and determination. The determination is about not letting anyone stop you. That was our frame of mind when we started in this business. If that meant working a day job and coming here afterwards, that’s what we did in our drive to be successful. It has made our business what it is and we are determined to keep getting better and better. It just takes a desire, drive and determination.


We recognize the need for increased collaboration and small business technical services around the capacity building of Minority Contractors + Suppliers.



Business + Banking Training Series MONTHLY/12 PER YR

Professional Business Development Training Series MONTHLY/12 PER YR

Minority Contractors + Suppliers Training Series WEEKLY FOR 18 WKS/ 2 PER YEAR

40+ Participants in OSBN Trainings in 2016

We recognize that underserved entrepreneurs have a variety of barriers to success including lack of formal business training. According to the Aspen Institute, a leading organization tracking microenterprise development, there are 20 million Americans who operate microenterprises, and at least 10 million of these entrepreneurs face disadvantages in establishing and operating their own businesses. Moreover, the majority of these nontraditional business owners do not have access to the types of resources and technical assistance that could help them successfully start and grow their businesses. OSBN invests in small business owners and entrepreneurs through continued technical support and business training services. OSBN provides technical support services to tenants and OSBN loan recipients including administrative support, training facilities, a computer lab and conference room spaces at no additional cost. OSBN also provides referrals, upon request, to low cost providers for bookkeeping, financial planning, marketing and communications services. Additionally, OSBN started the Business + Banking monthly workshop series in partnership with Wells Fargo and Barkdoll + Von Ahsen small business law firm to increase awareness about formalizing relationships with local small business bankers as well as learning about the legal aspects of forming a small business. The monthly OSBN Professional Business Development training series guides existing business owners through marketing and communications training sessions as well as Quickbooks refresher courses to ensure continued small business success. In 2016, OSBN launched the Minority Contractors + Suppliers GROW loan pool and Personal Financial Education + Business Development Training to assist Omaha’s Minority Contractors and Suppliers. Through the generous support of local foundations and a partnership with Creighton University’s Financial Hope Collaborative, OSBN has been able to offer this 12 week training free of charge to any interested minority contractor and supplier.


OSBN STAFF Julia J. Parker | Executive Director Jessica Smith | Operations + Facilities Manager Lillie Hooks | Program Assistant + Receptionist

Omaha Small Business Network 2505 North 24th Street Omaha, NE 68110 402.453.5336 | | @osbnbtc


2015 - 2016 OSBN Annual Report  
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