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Buffalo District Office Success Stories

Buffalo District Office Success Stories

Andrea Paruta, Preparation Partners Counseling LLC

Entrepreneurial Event Marks 19 Years; A Perfect Place for Andrea Paruta

BUFFALO, NY –Have you ever wished that someone could provide you with unbiased information about your business? Give you advice on what steps to take when opening or growing? That’s what Andrea Paruta, founder Preparation Partners Counseling LLC, discovered last January, while attending SBA’s 18th Annual Straight Talk Conference and Series.

Straight Talk 2015 promises to be even bigger and better this year. Entering its 19th year, the program, which has attracted thousands of participants over the years, will take place on Saturday, January 24.  The half-day seminar will offer participants workshops like: “Show Me the Money”, “Business Basics”, “Make Yourself Credit Worthy”, “Accessing Business Opportunities through SBA 8(a), DBE and MWBE Certification”, “Business Assistance for Veterans”, “Navigating Your Business through Taxes & Permits”, “We Did It! You Can Too!” and “Marketing Your Small Business".

Paruta attended SBA’s Straight Talk Conference and the Series, where she gained valuable information and advice about business plans, financing, taxes, and understanding market strategies. She received help on everything from formulating her business plan to marketing assistance for her new business.  Just six months after attending Straight Talk, Paruta opened her doors.

“For me, it was a pivotal moment, deciding between forced unemployment or starting my own business.  That’s when I decided to contact the U.S. Small Business Administration who informed me about Straight Talk and the opportunities the event would bring. The small business education, training and counseling was just what I needed to jump start my plan,” says Paruta.  Without hesitation she gives credit for her success to the advice she received from the conference mentors and professionals with business expertise.

Paruta’s business, Preparation Partners Counseling LLC, offers substance abuse and mental health treatment.  Her company specializes in providing NYS approved impaired driver screenings and assessments.  She also offers treatment for substance use disorders, anxiety, grief and loss and relationship building skills.   Paruta’s clients receive personalized solution-building strategies that are goal-oriented and strength based.  Paruta also encourages family-members to participate in treatments and allows them to attend at no additional cost.

Several months ago, Paruta received a $15,000 M&T Bank/SBA (7a) Community Express loan to help pay for initial marketing expenses and start-up location costs. The SBA guarantees up to 85 percent of such loans. Her next goal is to expand her client base and generate new business.

“Don’t be afraid to walk through the process of starting your own business. Fear is not the answer, you need to listen to those mentors who will help you start or grow,” says Paruta. “Find the answers you need, and attend Straight Talk 2015 on January 24!”

To learn more about Straight Talk, please visit our SBA website at www.sba.gov/ny/buffalo or register now by visiting www.WNYStraightTalk.org. Information can also be received by calling the SBA’s Buffalo District office at (716) 551-4301