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SBA Microloan fuels restaurant patio expansion

El Borrego – San Diego, California

Rodnia Attiq, co-owner of restaurant El Borrego, on how she used her working-capital loan from CDC Small Business Finance.…

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El Borrego Restaurant is the poster child of entrepreneurial grit.

Rendering of El Borrego’s new patio, which is being financed with a SBA Microloan from CDC Small Business Finance.

Owners Rodnia Attiq and mother, Rosario Sotelo, started serving their signature lamb tacos in a tented driveway on the weekends. Thrilled with customer response to their food, the mother-daughter team envisioned their own specialty restaurant. Their dream came true 12 years ago when they opened El Borrego, Spanish for “lamb,” within the El Cajon Business Improvement Area in San Diego.

Capitalizing on a loyal following, Attiq and Sotelo pursued an opportunity in 2017 to expand their restaurant with a new, upscale 2,000-square-foot patio and counter-bar. The project required new working capital so the Latina duo secured a $50,000 SBA Microloan from leading lender and nonprofit CDC Small Business Finance to achieve their goal.

Already designed, the new patio is expected to debut later in 2018. Attiq and Sotelo hope to usher in a new era of growth and customer service for El Borrego, and they also anticipate creating seven new jobs, in light of the expansion.

“I hope others will be inspired to reach out and get the same (SBA) help that we got, so they can be successful, too,” Attiq said. “I’m very grateful for the program and the (CDC) counselors who helped me understand the process. The loan is helping us get to our goal and to the next level.”

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