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SBA + Tacos and Tequila= Success

Restaurant Owner Diego Velasquez


 Meet Diego Velasquez who, after working more than 14 years in the Georgia restaurant industry, decided to open his own restaurant, Tacos and Tequilas Mexican Grill, in Atlanta. What started in 2010 as a small restaurant quickly became successful; prompting Diego to open a second location. The dream and the success continued and today Diego owns four locations spread throughout metro-Atlanta, that have altogether created more than 120 new jobs. 

When Diego launched the first location he used his saving and support from his family. However, when he wanted to expand to additional locations he knew he needed help. He was advised to visit the local SBDC to discuss financing options. In addition to discussing financing options, he received assistance with revenue forecasting, competitive analysis, demographic reports and help compiling all of the information required for his loan package. “I was impressed by how much they helped me. Usually when you apply for a loan, you just give the bank the information and no one explains the process to you. The SBDC not only explained everything, they were with me at every step in the process,” recalls the restaurateur. 

Diego was eventually approved for a 7(a) loan, a process that he repeated two more times for each of his new locations. Even with all of his restaurants’ success, Diego constantly consults the SBDC before he makes major business decisions. “I consider the SBDC as part of my long term success plan for my business,” Diego triumphantly exclaims.