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Seeing our clients achieve key milestones is what drives our work at BCL of Texas. From startups that have expanded to multi-employee businesses to families buying their first homes, our success all comes down to you.
There are many different kinds of business owners out there. There’s the salesman, the organizer, the independent do-it-yourselfer, and more. But the successful ones? They build a team that can wear all the hats. Just ask Jason Herrera, owner of ClearVue Networks, LLC, an information technology (IT) firm that in just the past five months has grown from 5 to 13 employees, a number which is likely to double before the end of the year.
A South Austin stalwart since 1998, everyone knows Willie Flores’ business on South 1st Street. When he needed a small loan for equipment and working capital, he approached BCL of Texas to see what we could do. A quick chat with one of our loan officers and not long after that Mr. Flores had the new tow truck he needed and was ready to grow his business.
Junior Players, a non-profit that provides underserved kids with the opportunity to shine through summer and after-school arts programs in over 60 locations throughout North Texas, will be celebrating their 60th anniversary next year. In that time they have assisted thousands of children ages 5-18 from low-to-moderate income backgrounds to build their confidence, strengthen their social skills, learn to express themselves creatively, and transform their future.
Just a few weeks in, it’s easy to see the new Counter Cafe location is going to be a hit.
“We have some regulars who come in twice a day,” says owner Debbie Davis. “This is a place where strangers talk to strangers. How many places can you go where that happens?”
Ruth and Arnold Guerra were born and raised in Gonzales, Texas, where they have opened hotels, restaurants, and built homes to meet their community’s needs. “We started with nothing,” Ruth said. Now, they have built over 100 homes in their community of 7,000 people.
I visited the Guerras and we drove around the town, as Ruth pointed out both homes she and her husband had worked on, as well as other neighborhoods of older homes in states of disrepair. Gonzales has not had new home construction in a long time. “Big builders are not going to come into this town,” Ruth said. In a previous subdivision, a builder constructed about 5 homes and then left town, the work unfinished. We drove past a 17-home affordable subdivision of 3-bedroom homes the Guerras built in 2009.
Now, they are building Angel Oaks, a 6-home development for median income families, featuring 3-bedroom ranch-style homes with yards. A longtime customer of BCL, having worked with us in the past for an SBA 504 loan, the Guerra family is now working with BCL’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Texas Community Builders for our new pre-development loan product.
The demand for median-priced new housing in Gonzales is apparent, as five of the Angel Oaks homes have already been purchased, just as groundbreaking has barely begun. Most of the buyers are people of color, and all are first-time homeowners. “People are getting out of renting and into their first homes,” Ruth said.
And as with their hotels, their construction business is a family venture. They’ve taught their two daughters skills in construction, management, and project administration. “In the big city, you get a job and you learn one thing,” Ruth said. She said her daughters are now prepared with a wide range of skills to take on all kinds of jobs.
“I’m really glad that Texas Community Builders is investing in small developers,” Ruth said. “I appreciate that they saw that we have projects that will benefit individuals that probably never would have been able to buy a home. Without Texas Community Builders, we would not have been able to do this project.”
Adrian Paredes, owner of the Austin-based Tamale Addiction, was helped with two loans from the BCL Business Growth Fund. From pork pastor with pineapple and onions to vegan nopalitos and sweet guava tamales, Paredes has been able to learn from his customers and successfully diversify his product to meet new market trends.
Many of you know that BCL has a new Dallas office - but what you may not know is that one of our BCL customers, a florist, is now in the old BCL space! Martha Banda of Event Stems approached BCL because she was looking for a bigger and more permanent space for her business to grow.
Jamie and Ricky had always rented, and when the idea of homeownership came up they weren’t sure where to start. Jamie approached Daniel Garcia at BCL of Texas, who answered some of her initial questions and recommended they take the 8-hour Homebuyer Education course at the BCL of Texas HomeOwnership Center.
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