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Flourishing Floor Business in Victoria

Mary Garcia didn’t begin her career as a business owner, but she’s certainly had the flooring industry covered for years to help her get there. She’s worked for Carpet Masters-Carpet One in Victoria, Texas since 1998. She started as a salesperson specializing in flooring concepts, then became business partner in 2009. By January 2020, she was the sole owner—the company’s third since the business opened in 1954. When COVID-19 shut down most businesses, Carpet Masters- Carpet One stayed open. To remain operational, Mary included safety measures to protect her employees and customers. She credits her previous work and training with the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in preparing her for the pandemic. She continues to see increases in revenue and clientele. Mary applied for and received

Serving Up Sweet Success

Since 1986, Chef Julie Albertson has been serving tasty pies in Central Texas. Her sweet success has played a role in recognizing the company’s home location, the City of Kyle, as the Pie Capital of Texas. What first started as a business operating out of her home, the Texas Pie Company is now a full-service restaurant and a retail and wholesale pie bakery. In 2016, H-E-B recognized Julie’s pies as the year’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best Grand Prize Winner. In early 2020, the Texas Pie Company received the SBA San Antonio District Office Women Owned Small Business of the Year award. In 2017, Julie Albertson contacted the Texas State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance to increase sales and find capital. When COVID-19 dealt an unhealthy

Advising Success Continues Virtually in Laredo

When Alma Leticia Santos worked in the retail and service industry as a telecommunications provider, she met many individuals and business owners who had little knowledge of credit reports and the information they provided. She helped her own family members and friends increase their credit scores and taught them how to manage their personal finances. Recognizing the need, Alma was motivated to start her own credit repair services business. In 2007, she launched South Texas Credit Advisors (also known as STXCA, LLC), a Laredo-based business specializing in credit analysis, repair, education and restoration. Alma started STXCA at home. She worked with local business leaders from the Laredo Chamber of Commerce, Neighborhood Works, BBVA Compass and many mortgage companies to offer presentations and seminars. This allowed her to share her credit

A Rewarding New Start to Teaching Children

Belinda and Raul Cantu have more than 10 years of experience in early childhood education, gaining much of it through their work as educators at La Joya Independent School District in Hidalgo County, Texas. They founded Kaleidoscope Early Childhood Learning Knowledge, LLC, a learning center offering day care services and superb, quality education for young children in Pharr, Texas. Established in 2016, Kaleidoscope rapidly gained popularity in the Rio Grande Valley. Soon, the Cantus had a waiting list of interested parents who wanted their children to have this unique educational experience. But, just as with many school environments, COVID-19 forced Kaleidoscope to close. The center lost most of its employees because of shelter-in-place orders set in late March. With little staff to operate, the business shut its doors. By early

Dishing Up New Ways to Succeed

Hosting family and friends and serving up home-style food, Huddle House, a restaurant in Eagle Pass, Texas, dishes out every plate from the heart. Claudia Oyervides is the owner of Huddle House and Microtel Hotel. The restaurant serves a wide range of menu items from hearty breakfast meals to delicious dinner deals. Huddle House has carried this tradition nationwide for more than 50 years. In March 2020, Claudia needed guidance on how to stay open during stay-at-home orders. She reached out to the Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The small business owner closed the restaurant’s dine-in section and implemented new ways to stay open, such as offering curbside and to-go services. In 2018, Claudia Oyervides contacted SRSU Rio Grande SBDC for assistance in

Clinically Proven Success

Established in 1988, Fort Davis Family Practice provides important medical care for an underserved population of West Texas. Miles away from big city medical centers, the clinic is located in Alpine, Texas. Owned by physician Dr. James D. Luecke, the clinic’s dedicated staff is committed to the health and wellbeing of its community. Before COVID-19, Fort Davis Family Practice was a thriving medical clinic, but it was hit hard at the start of the pandemic. The county’s shelter-in-place orders meant the staff had to do business and see patients differently. As a result, the clinic faced financial troubles. New to the SBDC network, the medical provider received much-needed assistance from their business advisor, Virginia Arredondo. Since then, the clinic has been able to retain jobs and remain open. On March

Powering Technology and Commercialization

James McKinion is no stranger to farming. Growing up in Mississippi, he spent time visiting his grandparents at their farm. When it was time for the family to decide on what to do with their land, he wondered if he could come up with a way to maintain the agricultural use of the land and generate solar energy. In 2016, James, an electrical engineer, founded Helical Solar Solutions LLC, in the Austin, Texas region. He is pursuing his ideas around agrophotovoltaics (APV), the practice of generating solar energy while simultaneously growing crops and raising livestock on the same land. As it goes with the innovation of new and untested technologies for commercial markets, there are a myriad of scientific research and development (R&D) issues and resource challenges to be resolved

Calculating New Angles to Success

In 2016, Christian Schomaker became owner of Mathnasium of Corpus Christi, a neighborhood math-only learning center, helping young students in Grades 2-12. This franchise offer year-round extracurricular math programs, including assistance with SAT & ACT (math only) and special programs for Pre-K through first grade. The center uses The Mathnasium Method®. It’s a method helping students understand math by using what they already know that would make sense. It helps them learn quickly and boost their confidence. In-center instructions plus learning from home—or elsewhere—through Mathnasium@home were made available for all students. COVID-19 presented challenges for Mathnasium of Corpus Christi. Social distancing and additional safety precautions were enforced to protect the health and well-being of students and instructors. Because of Christian’s action plans, the summer months at Mathnasium became the most

Webinars Help Ranch House Wrangle New Business

Marsha and Max Stabel have owned and operated Ranch House Meat Company in Menard, Texas since 1978. The long-standing business is known for its award-winning meat production. Ranch House sells their products online, in retail stores and at major stock shows. One of their biggest yearly events is the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo. When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of this stock show and rodeo and many others across the state, Ranch House Meats was left with a major gap in overall sales. Owner Marsha Stabel contacted the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance. She worked with the SBDC for many years on previous projects and needs. She contacted Business Advisor Dezaray Johnson for her guidance on the application process for both the Paycheck Protection Program

Keeping El Paso Wired for a Brighter Future

When owners George and Edith Ponce started Alpine Electric in 1997, their mission was “to be El Paso’s first choice for construction and electrical maintenance.” From homes to hotels, retail stores to truck stops, Alpine Electric delivers construction and electrical services throughout the El Paso area. George and Edith believe no job is too big or too small for their business. When COVID-19 hit their community, stay-at-home orders were enforced. Alpine Electric’s commercial business segment suffered, resulting in employee layoffs. Committed to their customers, George and Edith looked for ways to keep their business open and contacted the El Paso Community College SBDC for assistance. With the SBDC’s help, they gained access to capital, kept their employees and sustained their business. George and Edith Ponce first came to the El



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