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A new tool for small businesses in OPPD territory

January 18, 2022 | Jason Kuiper | commercial and industrial, economic development
James Caraway small businesses

OPPD has launched a new program to help attract new small businesses and grow existing ones.

SizeUpNebraska is a web platform that features different tools and research to compare competition, identify market characteristics and find ways to optimize marketing efforts.

“We believe this tool will give small business in our area an advantage when making critical business decisions,” said James Caraway II, Senior Economic Development Coordinator at OPPD. “When our business owners are looking for accurate data, they either pay to gain access to an online database, or spend hours searching websites for updated information. SizeUpNebraska provides advanced updated information, for free.”

In the course of doing benchmarking work on other utilities to see how they help provide value to large and small businesses, OPPD’s Economic Development team saw that several of those utilities were using SizeUp. The team began working to bring SizeUp to OPPD’s service territory.

How businesses compare

SizeUp helps businesses determine how they rate with their competitors. Businesses can benchmark themselves through multiple measurements and identify the top businesses in the area. SizeUp offers recommendations based on the data.

C&I_SizeUp 2021 jpg

“SizeUp will help grow existing businesses as well as startups in the OPPD territory by giving them access to crucial market research and data that they otherwise could not find,” said Mark Hays, Director of Business Development at SizeUp. “Research shows that a significant number of businesses fail because of a lack of information, so SizeUp will be used to help reduce this number.”

Hays said SizeUp is industry specific, so “there is no business too small to benefit from SizeUp.”

The platform is free for every business to access. Its simple-to-use interface means businesses can use it on their own without any formal training.

Jim Reiff, executive director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, said the role of SizeUp is key.

Access to information

“This is a dynamic and vibrant tool that will support our small businesses as well as budding entrepreneurs,” Reiff said. “It gives them access to high-quality reliable information that allows them to make solid business decisions based on data.”

Through OPPD’s leadership, SizeUp will be available to the communities served by the utility, Reiff said.

“It is this leadership that understands the importance of valuable and timely information for our small business ecosystem,” Reiff said.

Caraway said only one other community in Nebraska has SizeUp at this time. He said the platform will help smaller businesses get data that they might have difficulty seeking out on their own.

“It isn’t a cliché,” Caraway said. “Small businesses are the backbone of a community. They help stimulate our economy by providing jobs and promoting innovation. We will do whatever we can to support their growth.”

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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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