Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief options and Additional Resources
CLICK HERE Close

Cleaning up contracts with the help of the SBA

Situation

Jesse Camacho came to the U.S mainland from Puerto Rico with his family in 1968.  They settled in the South Bronx.  His family had an entrepreneurial spirit…his dad had a grocery store in PR, and when they came to the U.S., Jesse’s dad instilled that entrepreneurial spirt in his children to work hard, take advantage of opportunity, and become the American Dream.Jesse Camacho, President, Camacho Janitorial in Greenfield, Indiana

How the SBA helped

Jesse took his dad’s words and actions to heart.  After graduating from college, he worked selling cleaning products for a major distributor throughout Indiana.  Times became tough for Jesse and his young family when the company was sold, and Jesse was laid off.  That’s when he turned his bedroom into an office and used his connections to continue his sales career.  He began dreaming of expansion—hiring his own crews to clean the huge office spaces in Indianapolis.  But Jesse didn’t know how to get his foot in the door.

“I saw potential,” Jesse said, “but I didn’t know who I needed to talk to to secure cleaning contracts for all of these offices and facilities downtown. I talked to a connection of mine who was a member of the Hispanic Business Council (HBC).  He set me up in the HBC Mentor/Protégé program.”

Jesse’s mentor suggested he work with Indianapolis SCORE to develop a comprehensive business plan.  He also suggested Jesse look at the SBA 8(s) Business Development Program.

“Applying for 8(a) was one of the best moves my mentor suggested,” Jesse said.  “In the beginning, nine years sounds like a long time, but it’s not.  During that time, I was able to learn how to be the kind of company that federal government wants to hire—one that reliable, bonded and professional.  I also learned where to find bids and how to put together proposals that win contracts every time.  That’s valuable knowledge that can also be applied outside the federal contracting sphere.”

The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program is designed to assist entrepreneurs to become more competitive in the government acquisitions marketplace. The program utilizes several tools including marketing advice, business strategic planning, and federal contracting provisions, so businesses know how to take advantage of federal opportunities when they arise.  

Impact/Outcome

Jesse graduated from the SBA 8(a) program in 2017. Because of 8(a), he has long-term contracts with multiple federal agencies, including GSA and the Veteran’s Health Administration.  He also applied what he learned to secure prime contracts with the City of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Eli Lilly and others.  Jesse currently has 10 full-time employees and has established relationships with other small businesses to become sub-contractors supplying the crews to carry out the conditions of his larger contracts, ultimately providing jobs to hundreds of people at any given time in the greater Indianapolis area.

For more information about 8(a) business Development Program, other SBA contracting resources go to www.sba.gov/federal-contracting .

-xxx-

Company Name: 
Camacho Janitorial
Location: 
Greenfield, Indiana