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Success Stories

Designs for the stylish young clothes horse, Omaha's Little Miss Fashion sees opportunity thanks to SBA Microloan

She was so good at making pretty, new dress designs out of her old dresses that she almost lost her school’s financial aid.  Yolanda Diaz had earned a scholarship to pay for living costs and transportation to attend high school in the Mexican city of Chihuahua, and like every teenager, she wanted to have lots of different clothes to wear each day.  Once, though, she was called into her principal’s office and told her there would be no more aid, because such scholarships weren’t for rich families who could afford so many new dresses for their daughters.

Yolanda wasn’t rich, of course.  She’d just learned how to sew and design new clothes growing up poor in her small town some 500 miles south of El Paso.  Still, the principal didn’t believe her, not until she put Yolanda to the test:  “If you make dresses, then you make one for me.”

So she did. As a result, the principal was so impressed she helped Yolanda get her start as a clothing designer.  One of her first jobs was... Read More

Lincoln tech firm’s smartphone app links golfers with business rewards

Can playing a round of golf at your new favorite course actually be good for the environment?  Ryan Cooper says his smartphone app can make the connection between the most avid duffer and a course with its eye on sustainable water use.  A course that’s got a more natural, drier landscape could use incentive rewards through this app to lure new golfers to play there, and as a result encourage other courses to follow that ecologically-friendly lead.

That’s one of the serendipitous benefits of a product designed and developed partly with proceeds funded by an SBA Express loan.

Companies connect with golfers coming off a great round

Launched in 2012, by Ryan Cooper, a former manager of a couple of golf courses and an avid player himself, GolfStatus helps players track, archive and share their scores and achievements, discover new courses and keep tabs on their friends.  At the same time, businesses which want to reach golfers can hit them with instant rewards for... Read More

If you’re looking for a great new eatery, Voodoo Taco has just the thing for the daring diner in you

Try one bite of the alligator sausage taco and you’ll be hooked, and convinced that this quirky place off North 90th is a great addition to the gastronomic cornucopia of the Big O.  Voodoo Taco, the idea of restaurateur Eric Newton, offers fresh, far-out ingredients in its soft tacos, served up in an eye-catching casual dining environment, all which came to life in part thanks to help from the SBA.

“We do a lot of spices,” explained Newton, a self-described “foodie” who worked with his kitchen chef to come up with an eclectic menu:  Asadero cheese from Europe on a steak faijita, Cajun-battered shrimp, a Korean short rib selection with spicy Jicama slaw, and for the kids, a deep-fried banana and peanut butter taco.  For the brave (or foolhardy), try the one with habaneros, Ghost chilies and the Trinidad scorpion pepper.  Ouch.  Stick around for the double-chocolate, salted caramel, chipotle-bacon brownie desert taco. On tap at the bar are local and regional brews, and there... Read More

For years, Ultra Graphics provided top-notch service to its customers in the Columbus area and beyond.  But when the owner needed to spend more time with his family, he reluctantly decided to look for a buyer for his company.

That’s when Tony Windingstad stepped in.

Windingstad had been working with a business broker for a couple of years trying to find a small business to purchase both a building and the land it was on to reach his goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur.  The printing and graphic design company seemed a perfect fit--and the seller was willing to work with Windingstad during the transition to show him the nuances of the business, introduce him to key customers and help him preserve the legacy of a longtime Columbus fixture.

To finance the purchase, Windingstad and his lender, Wells Fargo, used a SBA 7(a) loan approved July 2012.  

And business has been good. “Since then,” Windingstad said, “we’ve been up 10 to 15 percent each month... Read More

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