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Veteran Taps New Loan Program that Assists Latino Small Business Owners in L.A.

August 31, 2018 | Small Business Loans

Gustavo Ramos worked for many years as a franchisee for a major glass company until it became clear he wasn’t getting the branding and marketing support he was promised.

“I was doing all the work and getting little in return,” he said. “I was even restricted in the territory I was allowed to market to. There just didn’t seem to be any advantages.”

So Gustavo decided to pull the franchise plug and hang his own business shingle. A straightforward entrepreneur, he called his new venture the Los Angeles Glass Company. With territorial freedom, he was determined to expand his new enterprise throughout L.A., Orange County and the San Fernando Valley.

Tackling Key Challenges: Customer Retention and Marketing

Gustavo Ramos carefully positions glass in his workshop

His initial key challenges were twofold: to retain former customers and develop an attractive website that would reflect the quality of his work in residential and commercial settings. Both required cash beyond his monthly revenues.

A disabled Air Force veteran, Gustavo was accustomed to challenges, but didn’t foresee the reaction he would get from banks when he applied for a working capital loan. They viewed him as a start-up business and declined his request for financing.

His next stop was America’s Small Business Development Center in L.A. They helped him with his business plan to make sure he was putting his best financial foot forward and then guided him to loan officer Antonio Pizano of Small Business Finance Fund, a community development financial institution (CDFI) and affiliate of CDC Small Business Finance. Gustavo qualified for a new loan product designed specifically to assist Latino-owned small businesses in Los Angeles. He was approved for $150,000 and immediately put the financing to work, fulfilling outstanding purchase orders.

Related: See how another Latino small business owner benefited from the Small Business Finance Fund

New Loan Program Looks Beyond Numbers to Consider Character Assets

“Antonio actually came over and saw my operation and listened to my plans for the business,” he said. “I didn’t expect that level of curiosity and service.”

Gustavo carefully measures and guts glass for customer

Antonio was equally impressed with Gustavo: “We were excited about his discipline and potential for creating new jobs. And we recognized that our financing could be a bridge to larger plans, like buying his own building for the business some day. In addition, L.A. Glass is located in a low-moderate income area of Gardena, where we are committed to making an impact.”

“Our assessment focuses as much on the character of the entrepreneurs and what they bring to the table, not just the numbers.”

Antonio Pizano
Loan Expert
Small Business Finance Fund

Gustavo’s new financing is not only supporting his efforts to service his customers – building management companies, homeowners and some of the region’s top hotels such as Hotel Bel Air, Luxe Sunset Boulevard and Hilton – but will allow him to continue to employ his current workforce and hopefully create two more jobs in the next year or so.

Are you a Latino or African American entrepreneur in Los Angeles — and looking for an affordable loan to grow your business? Learn more about Small Business Finance Fund, offering loan products designed specifically for you.
Let’s talk! Contact Antonio Pizano at apizano@cdcloans.com.

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2 responses to “Veteran Taps New Loan Program that Assists Latino Small Business Owners in L.A.”

  1. […] Veteran Taps New Loan Program that Assists Latino Small Business Owners in L.A. […]

  2. […] Veteran Taps New Loan Program that Assists Latino Small Business Owners in L.A. […]

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