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Veteran Resource Day Event Takeaways

The event organized by the SBA Houston District Office was celebrated on October 30, 2017, at the Houston Community College West Loop Center. The event was part of a series of activities organized nationwide by the SBA to promote Veteran-Owned Business Week that is celebrated from October 30th – November 11, 2017.

More events for VOB:

SBA VOB Program:

It was divided into 4 blocks of panel presentations:

  1. Lender Panel
  2. Resources Panel
  3. Veteran Resources Panel
  4. Contracting Panel

The Lender Panel

Miguel Ruiz, Lead Business Opportunity Specialist (Moderator)

  • Texas First Bank – Matt Crable
  • BBVA Compass – Janean Germany
  • LiftFund- Anthony Lopez
  • People Fund – Nini Gutierrez

Access to capital and Cash Flow can be important problems to entrepreneurs.

SBA can serve as a guarantor for business searching for loans.   They are a different type of institutions that serve Prefered Lenders with the SBA: regulated banks or credit unions and a community-based organization, also called “Alternative Lenders”.

The panel was integrated by two representatives of banking institutions, as well as two representatives of alternative lenders.

The basic questions when you are going to ask for a loan.

  • Who you are
  • What are you trying to do
  • How much you need
  • How you are going to pay back

For the lending representatives some of the elements business owners need to take in consideration are:

  • Stablish a relationship with your financial institution, don’t wait until you need a loan.
  • Don’t wait to top your credit before applying for your loan, as your credit will be review
  • Do the loan application early in your process, don’t wait until you have signed a lease or need to make a payment in a short time.

SBA Business Loans

The SBA does not provide loans, but they served as a partial guarantor of the loan.

The loan can be obtained from a regulated bank, a credit union or a community-based organization, like in this case People Funding & LiftFund (former AccionTexas).

Find an SBA Lender

“LINC” is an SBA online tool that matches business with local SBA lenders.

To learn more about the SBA Loans and lenders visit the SBA website

Start-Up Funding

Start-Ups are more difficult to finance that already existing business.  The company Forecast and the Business Plan are a very important part of the success in obtaining a loan.  But even with those tools your financial institution no necessary can be interested it in your business model.  Have a conversation with your banker and if you do not fit their profile ask them for recommendations of other institutions that can be interested it in your type of business.  The conversation with the SBA specialist can include questions as:

  • Who can help me?
  • Do you have a reference?
  • What institution specialized in this line of business?
  • What do they will need from me?

Veterans Program

Most of the SBA Preferred Lenders have a Veterans Program that offers a discount price in the loan, something from 0.25 point plus other type of benefits.  When you apply for a loan make sure you ask for this program.

They are several options for veterans that want to start a business.  One option is a Franchise.  Some lenders offer Startup Loans.  Each one will have their own requirements but is important to know that they all will require a minimum equity injection from 15% and up.

The Resource Panel

Valerie Maher, Lead Economic Development Specialist

  • SCORE – Dick Rybacki
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – Tim Stanley
  • Women Business Center (WBC) – Tracee Seals, Director
  • MBDA- Warren Winston

The Veteran Resource Panel

Mark Winchester, Deputy District Director

  • VBOC- Juan Santos Flores
    • Learn more about VBOC here *****
  • VetBizBattle– Mark Martin
    • Is a business plan competition celebrate in February. To be eligible, applicants must be honorably discharged from a branch of the U.S. Military and a resident of the United States. Applicants may seek funding for a start-up business or an existing business they own that needs investment for growth. The event is organized by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization-Houston (EO) and the Rice University Veterans Business Association.


  • David Regenbaum, Silver Fox Advisor, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Center for Entrepreneurship; Vice President of the HCC Foundation; and instructor and mentor in the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
  • City of Houston, Office of Veterans Affairs (COHOVA) Carl Salazar, Director

901 Bagby, 4th Floor, Houston, TX 77002
P: 832.393.0992

The Contracting Panel

Valerie Coleman, Program Manager, Prime Contracts

  • SBA- Miguel Ruiz
  • PTAC- Bob Warren
  • Department of VA- Joey Grismore