Veteran Owned Business Uses Multiple SBA Programs

Situation

  • In 2013, Alejandro Ramirez retired as a U.S. Army combat officer after 22 years of military service.
  • Mr. Ramirez started Universal Spartan, LLC in 2013, a company that provides a one-stop federal government product sourcing solution for tactical, IT, electrical and medical equipment.
  • The company is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.    
  • Despite the experience and contacts, company revenues grew slowly. Sales were mostly to individuals through e-commerce, not to federal agencies.

Solution: How the SBA helped

  • Mr. Ramirez connected with the University of Kentucky SBDC in Elizabethtown, near the Ft. Knox Army Base where Mr. Ramirez had served.  The SBDC helped him develop a business plan and financial projections for the business.  
  • Before retiring, Mr. Ramirez also participated in the SBA Boots to Business program and later participated as a guest speaker for the program at Ft. Knox.  
  • Mr. Ramirez had sought advice from the SBDC on how to grow revenue. SBDC counselors connected him to the U.S. Export Assistance Center and helped him apply successfully for a State Trade and Export Promotion grant. 

Successful Impact/Outcome

  • With help from the USEAC, Universal Spartan has established a business in Columbia, South America and secured contractors in Egypt and Israel.
  • The SBDC helped the company obtain three more STEP grants and introduced Mr. Ramirez to the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
  • Mr. Ramirez’s combat experience, past performance, industry knowledge, network of suppliers and assistance from the SBDC, USEAC and PTAC have enabled him to grow his business as a successful defense contractor.
  • Sales and profit continue to increase. The company now offers over 150,000 products from over 1,000 suppliers.
  • Mr. Ramirez supports numerous community and charitable organizations, particularly in the area of youth sports and veterans’ services.
  • Mr. Ramirez also founded the Kentucky Veteran Business Alliance in 2017, with a mission to “…unite, empower and provide networking and resources to all veterans in order to create ‘esprit de corps’ and unity of effort. The end goal is to nurture new business and create new jobs for all veterans, the community and the state of Kentucky.”
Company Name: 
Universal Spartan, LLC
Location: 
Vine Grove, KY