SBA Loan Helps Local Company Survive Recession
Chief Rufus Davis, a Tribal Chief of the Adai Indian Nation in Louisiana, is the founder and CEO of Chief Solutions, Inc. based in Houston, Texas. Chief Solutions is a technical consulting firm specializing in sewer systems providing mapping of underground utility services, identification of problems in underground infrastructures, and physical inspections of water and wastewater drainage systems. Chief Davis started the company with $1,200.00 in 1985 installing sewer systems and related services with rented equipment. Today, Chief Solutions is an industry leader in sanitary and storm sewer evaluation studies with over 100 employees and field offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Robeline, and Louisiana.
Although Chief Solutions is now a thriving company, the recession impacted the business like many others. In 2007, Chief Davis updated and replaced nine of his sewer cleaning trucks with brand new trucks and purchased an additional five new trucks to meet the projected workload in 2008. However, in early 2008, Chief Davis realized that the recession was going to affect his business requiring him to reduce his inspection crews from eighteen to nine. The loss in revenues and the additional equipment expense put a significant strain on their cash flow. Finding a lender to restructure the debt served a challenge for Chief Davis. “I checked with several banks during this time and received the same answer - they were not interested in restructuring my loan,” said Chief Davis.
Having attended the Greater Houston Business Procurement Forum for the past 20 years Chief Davis called on its President Milton Thibodaux for help. Thibodaux referred him to a local lender for a Small Business Administration loan. “At that time my perception of the SBA was not a place to restructure my loan but I pursued it, furnished all the necessary information, and was successful in obtaining a $2.5 million dollar SBA loan,” said Chief Davis. The SBA 7(a) program loan reduced his monthly payment by 76%.
Chief Davis is now focusing on the development of his new invention, the Sewer Line Power Generating System (SLPGS). The SLPGS, patented in the United States and abroad, is an innovative hydroelectric generator that captures the power of wastewater and recycles it into electricity. It has the potential to become an important alternative to carbon producing energy. Chief Davis has several other inventions and patents and is always thinking of ideas to keep up with the latest technology in the environment and sanitary engineering industry. He has completed over twenty-seven years of successful evaluation inspection studies of 180+ million feet of storm and sanitary sewer lines.
Chief Davis is also the founder and CEO of three other companies, Chief Contractors, Inc., Chief Southeast, Inc., and Chief Alternative Energy, LLC. Their reputation for professional excellence has earned them many awards and special recognition from various organizations, including the Outstanding Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Contractor award in 2004 from the City of Houston, the large Business of the Year Award in 2007 and 2008 from the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Texas, the large Business of the Year award in 2007 from the North Texas Regional Certification Agency, and the Minority Contractors Hall of Fame in 2007 from the National Association of Minority Contractors.
In addition to running four companies and serving as Chief of the Adai Indian Nation, his extensive leadership and civic engagements include Vice President on the Board of Directors of the El Camino Real National Trails Association, a Board Member of the President’s Council of Northwestern State University, President of the Saint Anne Catholic Church Finance Council, the Mother Church of the Adai Indian Nation and many others.. He was also appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to serve on the Advisory Committee of Equal Opportunity Board of the State of Louisiana and has served from 2009 to present.