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Restaurateur Uses SBA/ARRA to Enhance Business

Ever wonder how often Americans eat out as a family?  According to surveys conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, three quarters of American's eat out at least once a week.

It’s not a statistic most people give much attention to, but it’s vital information for those working in the restaurant sector like Arellano Mariano, owner of La Fiesta Brava located in Hattiesburg, MS. 

Mariano desperately needed to make a change that would enable him to meet that demand.  “I was in the last year of my lease when I found this great property nearby that provided more square footage,” he said.  “Even better, the asking price on the building would have provided me a lower debt to service the loan than the leased property.”

On July 30, 2009, Mariano received a $1,666,600 7(a) loan from Community Bank of Ellisville guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).  The American’s Recovery Act signed by president Obama on February 17, 2009 enabled SBA to increase the guaranty from 75% to 90% and eliminate the guaranty fee.  “Those provisions were significant in incentivizing more lenders to participate in the program,” said SBA Director Janita Stewart.

In addition, the elimination of fees saved Mariano approximately $53,000 in guaranty loan fees on his project.  “This worked out wonderfully for us,” said Mariano.  His restaurant is now conveniently located across from the University of Southern Mississippi where he can tap into the thousands of attending students.  He also can take on special accommodations for larger groups and parties unlike before due to the new facility's increased seating capacity.

La Fiesta features authentic Mexican food, great service and a fun dining experience.  “Our accent is in the taste,” said Mariano.  “Our time-honored traditions and recipes have been passed down through generations and can be savored in every dish.”  Mariano also holds a Cinco De Mayo festival outside his facility each year.

“We have done a lot of improvements to the restaurant and business is growing daily,” said Mariano.

La Fiesta is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information on SBA’s loan programs, go to the Mississippi SBA website at www.sba.gov.

Arellano Mariano, Owner
La Fiesta Brava Mexican Restaurant of Hattiesburg, Inc.
6168 Hwy 49 N.
Hattiesburg, MS  39402
Ph.: (601) 584-9484