Author Archives: Angela Burton

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month


September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. With the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ida, I felt compelled to share information and encourage small business preparedness. First and foremost, every business has unique vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Knowing which disasters are most likely to affect your business can thus help you return to operations faster. In addition, a back-to-business self-assessment can help you gauge your risks for common hazards. This includes hurricanes,…

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Tips for Small Businesses For the Holidays & Beyond

holiday gifts

For small businesses across the Lower Rio Grande Valley District, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in history. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners have been resilient, pivoting and adapting their business models to navigate continually changing conditions. With the new year on the horizon, there are potential new opportunities to take advantage of and ways to adapt to challenges you may face. The holiday season…

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Shop Small on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday 2020 is on Nov. 28, marking the 11th annual Small Business Saturday. Last year, shoppers came together in full force to support their local communities. Small Business Saturday hit a record high with an estimated $19.6 billion in reported spending. This year surviving COVID-19 has become the sole mission of many small businesses. Despite the challenges, I have learned that local small businesses are resourceful and resilient.…

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Lender Match Makes Connections

Lender Match

It costs money to run or start a business. Funding a business is one of the first and most important financial choices most business owners make. The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched Lender Match, an online referral tool connecting small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders. Lender Match is an upgrade to Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital, introduced as a pilot in 2015. Lender Match brings together…

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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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