A longtime Chadron business is thriving, thanks to its new owners and the guidance they received from the Nebraska Business Development Center office.
Customers come to The New Leaf for everything from floral arrangements and landscaping services to tuxedo rentals and event planning. Angela Lollar and her husband, Phill, purchased the business on January 8, 2018 — the same day they made Chadron their home. Keeping the name it had for decades, The New Leaf stayed open throughout the transition.
Natives of Brighton, Colo., the Lollars had spent time as children at Lake McConaughy and eventually bought a house there. In search of a stronger sense of community, they decided to relocate to Nebraska full time and began looking for business opportunities. Their real estate agent suggested they look at buying The New Leaf.
They sought logistical assistance from the Chadron NBDC office in the months before buying the business and continued to collaborate with consultants Gary Dusek and Jennifer Wittrock after taking over The New Leaf. “We discussed some of our startup concerns with them and they helped us focus on being the best we could be,” Angela says.
The New Leaf’s products and services include flower arrangements, toys and gifts, tuxedo rentals, wedding and event planning, lawn and garden care, spring and fall cleanup, and mowing. Customers can also order floral arrangements online.
“We want to be a one-stop shop for events like proms and weddings,” Angela says. “You can rent a tuxedo and order a boutonniere or corsage all at the same time.”
The business is adding services. “We offer kitchen and bathroom remodeling,” she says. “Phill brought more than 20 years of construction experience to town and is making many of these historic homes fresh again.”
In addition to assisting Angela with resources such as financial templates and a sample business plan, the NBDC identified possible issues the new owners could encounter.
“My background is in business, but I’ve never been involved on the ground floor like with this venture,” Angela says. “They offered advice on types of loans and how to establish a parent company. Jennifer walked me through all that, and gave us tools we needed to get going.”
The Lollars have become strong supporters of Chadron and the region. Both are members of the Chadron Chamber, and Angela is a Chamber Ambassador. The Chadron Chamber of Commerce honored them as Member of the Month in May 2018 and as New Chamber Member of the Year for 2018.
In addition, Phill is on the Chadron Tree Board. He completed the Chadron Leadership Course with the Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation. An Army veteran, he is a member of the American Legion.
Angela says the NBDC office has been a “critical” resource for their business. “It is such an intimidating process, I think every new small business needs that kind of experience and support.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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