Success Stories

Willa Kveta Captures Life’s Biggest Moments as a Photographer and Small Business Owner

One can almost taste the sea salt in the air, feel the dew covered grasses and smell the wedding bouquet’s fragrance when gazing at Willa Kveta’s photographs. She is the creative mind and owner of Willa Kveta Photography, a Santa Barbara-based photography business. 

“I never imaged being a wedding photographer,” said Kveta.  Reminiscing on her current path as a photographer and business owner, and how it took shape by virtue of her desire to leave Whidbey Island near Seattle and see the world.

She recalls in the same breath, “I saw true happiness where I didn’t expect to find it…and I learned to believe in miracles,” said Kveta, who traveled solo for two plus years around Central and South America.  She quickly acquired the gimlet eye of a seasoned traveler through her many indelible experiences.  A couple of which were hitch hiking extreme distances and being caught up in a police raid – these life experiences were just two among the many she recounted along her... Read More

Gradillas Court Reporter Chronicles Own 8(a) Success Story

“It’s important work,” said Josephine Gradillas, principal and founder of Gradillas Court Reporters, a licensed California court reporting and litigation support business.  “Especially when witnesses are under oath…the transcripts are extremely important and are used to come to legal decisions and conclusions.”

Gradillas Court Reporters was founded in 2001 but more recently in 2010 the growing firm entered into the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps socially and economically disadvantaged individuals gain a foothold in government contracting. The program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year development stage and a five-year transition stage.

Although Gradillas was steadily growing and maintained non-governmental work prior to becoming an 8(a) certified company, Gradillas would receive only occasional request from government agencies requiring court reporting assignments.  That would all change after... Read More

North Hollywood Hosts One of Three State-of-the-Art Gas Station in California

A newly built Chevron gas station in North Hollywood, California is one of three state-of-the-art gas stations having a new vaulted concrete system that ensures zero ground contamination from the gas station’s fueling system.

The gas station is owned by Bijan “Ben” Pouldar who emigrated with his family from Iran to the United States many years ago.  In 1979, after earning his B.S and M.A. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri, he and has family bought a gas station in the San Fernando Valley – this would be the first of 13 gas stations he and his family would buy over the next 34 years, some of them using the SBA’s 504 Loan Program.

The Chevron gas station provides 15 jobs and hosts a bustling sit-down Mexican food restaurant, a lavish convenience store and a car wash that can handle 60 cars per hour.  The project came together with the backing of Regina Grant Peterson, executive director of Advantage CDC, a non-profit SBA certified development company... Read More

Sanjay Kucheria Wins 2013 Small Business Week 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award

“The Small Business Administration has helped open doors for us.  Helped us with education, helped us with advocacy.  All of those things that really help small businesses like ourselves achieve the success we’ve achieved so far,” said Sanjay Kucheria, CEO of Trinus Corporation.  Trinus Corporation is a business intelligence and data management solutions company, which was founded in 1995 by Kucheria.

In 2003, Kucheria took his intense desire to make Trinus a market leader and entered into the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps small disadvantaged businesses compete in the federal marketplace.  At that time, Trinus Corporation had been steadily growing for eight years but not at the pace Kucheria had envisioned.  He had been keeping the operating expenses low and investing every penny of profit back into his company to avoid the need for any loans.

He contacted the Los Angeles SBA District Office and inquired about the 8(a) Business Development... Read More

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