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Small business education designed to help entrepreneurs grow stronger companies

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The Greater Fremont Development Council is offering classes from its Small Business Education Series to assist those who own a small business or are simply looking into the possibility of starting one.

Each session takes place from 5:30-7 p.m., the third Thursday of the month in the First State Bank & Trust Education Center, 1005 E. 23rd St. in Fremont.

The classes cover such topics as credit building, risk management, and tax planning.

Guest speakers have included members of Greater Omaha Reach, which offers assistance for those working in the construction industry, and the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, which helps business owners overcome those issues that make financing a challenge.

During the two-part session on the Growth Wheel, B.C. Clark of Nebraska Enterprise Fund explained how the wheel serves as a toolbox for startup and growth companies to see the big picture of a business when setting agendas, making decisions, and establishing an action plan.

“GrowthWheel Online allows entrepreneurs to make 360° Screenings of their business to get a better focus on those areas requiring closer attention,” Clark said. “They can use the Scoreboard to list goals and ambitions as well as track their outcomes. Guidance is also available to produce a Business Profile that can be downloaded in PDF format.”

For further information about GrowthWheel and how to utilize it, visit the website at

In previous sessions of the Small Business Education Series, business leaders in the Fremont area participated in a panel called BAIL (Banking, Accounting, Insurance, Legal) to answer questions concerning these four major areas of business organization.

Megan Skiles, executive director of GFDC, worked in economic development at the Greater Omaha Chamber for almost five years before joining the Development Council in September 2021.

“Over the past years, I’ve really enjoyed working with the team and our board of directors to rebuild GFDC’s programming to fit the needs of our community in this post-2020 era,” Skiles said. “We started the Small Business Education Series in hopes of amplifying the efforts of the Fremont Creative Collective.”

Each year, the Greater Fremont Development Council meets with more than 80 businesses in the community to stay informed of Fremont’s unique benefits and challenges as well as connect businesses with resources.

“We are collaborating heavily with the Fremont Chamber and our local education partners to pilot several workforce initiatives,” Skiles said. “We continue to operate a revolving loan fund to help bolster the development of workforce housing in the community, and we help support a variety of quality-of-life initiatives such as the Hispanic Festival and the pursuit of a Creative District here in Fremont.”

In response to the global supply chain crisis, GFDC has been working closely with the City of Fremont and Dodge County to pursue the Municipal Inland Port Authority Act to make Fremont part of the solution to this ongoing struggle and create more opportunity for area businesses and farmers.

“Our internal team is small,” Skiles said, “but we have so many great community partners and businesses that work alongside us to do amazing things for Greater Fremont.”


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