Author Archives: Angela Burton

Mentors Increase Small Business Success

Paola Carmona photographs her favorite clientele. (Courtesy)

January is National Mentor Month, a perfect time to connect with a counselor/mentor at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Lower Rio Grande Valley District partners provided counseling and training to 9,094 small businesses in 2017, and helped create or retain about 481 jobs. These partners also helped start 111 new businesses. Mentors can be invaluable to small businesses. After all, it can be overwhelming to juggle dozens of responsibilities and…

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SBA Loans Pump Cash into Economy

SBA loans

The Small Business Administration’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District saw an increase in the amount of money loaned to businesses in fiscal year 2017, even though there was a slight decrease in the number of loans approved. The LRGV district guaranteed 191 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. These programs combined provided more than $71 million to small businesses that created 633 jobs and retained 984. The loans…

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Veterans Make Big Economic Impact

National Veteran's Week

As a veteran, the celebration of Veteran’s Day is near and dear to my heart. Veteran’s Day also reminds me of the many veterans using their military and leadership skills to serve their communities through entrepreneurship and job creation. We just celebrated National Veterans Small Business Week, a reminder that veteran entrepreneurs are a driving force in our economy. Nearly one in every 10 American businesses today is owned by…

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Women Make Headway in Business World

Marlen Saenz

When Marlen Saenz began selling picture frames at a local flea market 12 years ago, she never dreamed her little business would grow to where it is now after receiving a $1.3-million SBA 504 Real Estate & Equipment Loan. At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we know business success can be achieved with the right tools. And Saenz is just one of the 54,773 reasons the Rio Grande Valley has…

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Brothers Credit SBA Programs with Growth

Federal programs and contracts pay off Brothers Samuel and Saul Maldonado founded SAM Engineering & Surveying Inc. in June 2008 with only three employees and yearly sales of $400,000. Today, the firm has grown to 55 employees with sales in excess of $4 million.  The brothers attribute part of their success with assistance provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Starting initially as an engineering and surveying firm, SAMES added…

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Disaster Assistance … The SBA You Never Knew

What used to be a family home is now splintered debris after being beat by strong winds. An office building or retail store that serves as a source of sales and income for several workers is now unusable and unprofitable in the blink of an eye. Who do you call? Helping communities recover and rebuild after hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other disasters is a side of the U.S. Small Business…

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Op-ed: SBA loves Rio Grande Valley Small Businesses

Local assistance for small businesses It is exciting when a new business opens in the Rio Grande Valley, and we LOVE it because it strengthens both the community and the economy. The latest U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy stats show small firm openings have accounted for 40 percent of the “new” American jobs over the last two decades. During the first quarter of fiscal 2017, SBA approved 31…

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