Success Stories

Situation

Coming from a family with a long tradition in contracting, Mike Nieto learned at an early age that being a contractor meant that you had to be tough, smart and hold a stiff upper lip.  After many years working in the construction industry with this philosophy, Nieto saw the detrimental effects of high employee turnover and asked himself, “What if we focused on building people first and projects second?” In 2005, he answered this question by creating Catworks Construction, a construction company unlike any he had experienced before.

Solution

After several years of taking on private sector work, Nieto wanted to take his company to the next level and pursue working with the world’s largest customer, the U.S. government.  He realized he needed help in gaining a foothold in government contracting and discovered the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program through a fellow contractor.  The SBA 8(a) Program is a nine-year program offering a broad scope of... Read More

Expanding your Business

Situation

After years of working in retail and establishing a national women’s fashion brand store in Portland, Oregon; Dawn Stanchfield decided it was time to work for herself and established Lily Atelier fashion boutique in 2003. In 2007, Stanchfield was presented with a rare opportunity to lease an adjacent property giving her the needed space for her growing business. The new space required more than $60,000 in renovations and Stanchfield knew she needed to find the capital to make her vision come to life.

Solution

Help came in the form of an SBA-guaranteed loan when a local lender introduced Stanchfield to the SBA 7(a) Loan Program which helped her secure financing for the needed renovations to her new commercial space. The 7(a) Loan Program is the most common SBA loan program providing financial help for businesses  needing a loan up to $5 million to fund startup costs, buy equipment and more.

Impact

Lily Atelier’s expansion came in the... Read More

photo of Lauren Purvis

Situation

Combining a life-long obsession with tea and a fateful visit to Kyoto, the cradle of Japan’s tea ceremony, Lauren Purvis partnered with a local matcha tea grower and founded the Mizuba Tea Company in 2013.  Purvis wanted to share the matcha tea experience with the rest of the world and knew that her Portland-based business would have challenges breaking into a market traditionally known for its coffee culture.  As a new small business owner, Purvis knew she could use some help to guide her through her new journey.

Solution

In 2015, Purvis participated in the SCORE Women’s CEO Roundtable where female business operators can leverage their collective wisdom and expertise to help one another attain sustainable business success.  Purvis also gained valuable insight and experiences from the SCORE mentors facilitating the roundtable.  The monthly meetings allowed for confidential discussion, feedback and advice from other CEOs and business owners.  Purvis... Read More

Image of worker at tortilla making machine

Situation

Miguel Diaz Sr. sold his three tortilla factories when he emigrated from Mexico to the United States with his family. In 1994, after 15 years of working in other industries, Diaz returned to tradition and started La Morenita Tortilleria, the same name as the ones he owned in Mexico.  Orders for La Morenita tortillas exploded in recent years and this family-owned business needed additional space to meet the growing demand for their products.

Solution

A local lender introduced the Diaz family to the SBA 7(a) Loan Program which helped  them secure financing for a new  warehouse and production facility as well as obtain refinancing of their current debt.  The 7(a) Loan Program is the most common SBA loan program providing financial help for businesses  needing a loan up to $5 million to fund startup costs, buy equipment and more.

Impact

La Morenita Tortilleria is on a steady growth trajectory with the purchase of a new warehouse/production... Read More

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