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Client Stories

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We’re proud to share our clients’ journey in business ownership. You’ll find great determination and dedication to their family and business. Their stories are part of the fabric of the communities and diverse businesses we serve.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][mk_page_section bg_image=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/grayshapes-copy.jpg” bg_position=”center center” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” bg_stretch=”true” enable_3d=”true” video_color_mask=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527781760510{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Edinson ArenasAzteca Mexican Candy

$45,000 loan to buy equipment and expand family business.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/bigazteca.jpg” image_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”7/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527711161821{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

The Arenas family- namely father Jose Antonio and son Edinson—realized the Dallas market was hungry for dulce, or sweet, traditional Mexican treats, so they opened Azteca Mexican Candy in 2007.

Edinson, a professional AV tech, eventually left his job to help his father grow the brand and establish Azteca as a popular place among Dallas locals. The growing customer demand soon surpassed their local distributor’s supply and importing was too expensive, so they decided to expand the company by making the dulce in-house.

The father-and-son team took multiple trips to Mexico to learn how to make and perfect the traditional candies, but learned they needed professional equipment to meet customer demand. After the company purchased the wrong machine, the two visited several local banks for funding, but they were unable to secure the working capital they needed to succeed.[accordion autoclose=false clicktoclose=true][accordion-item title=”Read More” state=closed]

In 2010, Edinson found LiftFund, where he was approved for a $45,000 loan. Four years later, Edison received additional capital to purchase more equipment and expand the business. “LiftFund helped us when nobody else would, [they] gave us the opportunity to succeed, and allowed us to get equipment that we still use today,” he said.

In 2017, Azteca sold over 1 million candy units, and the company is projected to pass that milestone in 2018. Today, Edinson serves as Azteca’s president and has expanded the staff to include six other employees, all members of the Arenas family.

Thanks to his successful lending history with LiftFund, Edinson was approved for a business loan with a local bank, which he hopes will allow for bigger growth for the company.

“Thanks to those [LiftFund] loans” our company is able to bring “people together and take care of them [as employees],” he said. “We are always [moving] toward a better future. At the end of the day, there will always [be difficulties as a small business owner], but we are still here.”


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Aleia Shipman’s journey to entrepreneurship began with a career change. She left her speech pathology career and took a sales job at a chemical company in 2006.

“I had never done sales before, but I knew I wanted to try something different,” she said. “I loved that sales meant having to get out of the office to generate leads and opportunities and meeting with [people].”

Aleia built a loyal customer base for her employer, and learned the ins-and-outs of the chemical manufacturing industry for a decade. However, when she filed for divorce she began searching for better opportunities to provide for her children. “Unfortunately, my boss was not receptive to my ideas for growth, so I knew I’d have to go out on my own,” she said.

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In 2016, she opened 3G Chemical Solutions, named for her three children: Gavin, Giyah, and Gerrisyn. Aleia started her business out of her apartment and was able to move into a small office, but realized she would need capital to grow her business further.

With help from LiftFund, Aleia qualified for an $11,000 microloan to lease a warehouse and professional office space. She saw immediate growth and was able to hire staff and double her sales while maintaining quality customer service. She hopes to expand throughout the South and set an example of success and hard work for her children.

“I am proud that I stepped out there and did it even though this a male dominated industry and I’m a minority female– I stuck to my [goals],” she said. “I want my kids to be a part of [my work and daily life], and see me in my element. I want them to understand the process, and never question what it is that mommy does…I do it for them.”


[/accordion-item][/accordion][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527785522490{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Aleia Shipman3G Chemical Solutions LLC

$11,000 micro loan to lease a warehouse and professional office space.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/bigaleia.jpg” image_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator border_width=”3″ el_width=”70″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”45px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527785762861{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Dr. Iisha BaileyThe Mastectomy Boutique

$15,000 loan to open her boutique, purchase inventory and office equipment.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/bigdriisha.jpg” image_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”7/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1528391659200{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

After 11 years working with breast cancer patients as a licensed pharmacist and losing three family members to cancer, Iisha decided she’d had enough. She realized medicine was only one part of the solution for cancer treatment and wanted to open a business focused on breast cancer recovery, healing and awareness, so she opened the Mastectomy Boutique.

Iisha first started her business online, but knew she wanted to do more. A physical location could create the warm and welcoming space she dreamed of to uplift women and provide health services and education to those fighting breast cancer. She approached her bank for a business loan, but as a startup, they couldn’t lend her the funds. “It gets really depressing after you attempt to get a loan from the local banks and you don’t get it. You start to feel discouraged,” she said. Refusing to give up, she continued searching until an SBA representative and the director of programs for Propeller referred her to LiftFund.

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Iisha received a $15,000 loan to open her store, purchase inventory and office equipment. “These funds really helped me open the doors,” she said. Since opening her clinic and boutique, Iisha has seen her vision come to life. She has developed a strong relationship with a network of oncologists and nurses who refer patients to her, and has been able to hire two employees to keep up with the demand.

Iisha has also started a fund to support uninsured breast cancer fighters and survivors to post mastectomy necessities and advocates for women’s health initiatives with her two daughters, Ashley and Alexis.

“I am so very proud when I see a lady walk out the door with a smile on her face, and she is uplifted.” said Iisha. “I am proud to be of service to those who need me the most.”


[/accordion-item][/accordion][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator border_width=”3″ el_width=”70″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”45px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”7/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527711114925{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]When Martha began her journey as a doctor more than 15 years ago, she saw elderly patients face constant barriers to accessing health care. During her medical residency at Texas Tech El Paso, she provided patients with home health care rather than ask them to visit a clinic.

With the support of her family and personal savings, in 2009 she launched New Light Primary Care— a practice specializing in geriatric care. With a record of success, Martha and her team have revived the art and science of house calls in El Paso.

Despite her experience and expertise, the business still encountered growing pains. New Light launched in 2010 as a family business of three. As of 2017, Martha’s practice employed 30 employees and was an 800+ patient provider.

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That’s when the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce referred her to LiftFund. After much preparation, Martha received an SBA 504 loan—a loan that helps small businesses grow wealth through land, heavy equipment purchases and improvements— from LiftFund and First Light Federal Credit Union.

Armed with a new building and an amazing team, Martha is ready to help El Paso serve better serve the elderly population. “I want to go further and serve more people,” she said. She looks forward to sharing best practices and experiences with doctors and a new generation of practitioners, as they treat elderly patients in the comfort of their homes, and work to improve quality of life and reduce medical expenses. “God has given me the opportunity to start something, and I want to complete it. I want to give hope to people that are homebound.

[/accordion-item][/accordion][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527781805860{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Dr. Martha Manquero-ButlerNew Light Primary Care

SBA 504 loan to acquire real estate for her clinic.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/bigdrmartha.jpg” image_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”35px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1527710680050{background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}”][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527781860392{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

LiftFund is a certified 504 SBA lender in Texas and South New Mexico. Through a partnership with the SBA and local banks, LiftFund is able to offer the 504 loan program to business owners seeking to finance heavy equipment, real estate and improvements, and other large assets. Since 2008, we have helped 290 business owners with nearly $225 million in capital supporting more than $530.2 million in total project financing.

2017 Impact
Clients served: 15  |  Capital provided: $18.3 million  |  Total Small Business Project Financing: $42.2 million

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator border_width=”3″ el_width=”70″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”45px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527781878940{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Michelle QuirozReserva Coffee Roasters

$225,000 SBA 7a Community Advantage loan to build out the coffee shop and purchase professional equipment.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/bigmichelle.jpg” image_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”7/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527781918125{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Michelle and Danny Quiroz began their small business journey with curiosity and a passion for great coffee. “This really started as an experiment [between] me and my husband,” Michelle said. “We were fascinated by the science behind fresh coffee and how to make the best cup possible.”

Michelle, who enjoyed a successful engineering career, began working with Danny to roast and sell coffee at weekend farmers markets and local trade shows in late 2015.

As they continued their weekend business, they learned of the McAllen Buydown Program– a partnership between the City of McAllen and LiftFund, which provides small businesses with 0% interest loans– and decided to take on the business fulltime.

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The couple met with Marlene Rodriguez, a LiftFund team member, to share their business idea. “Whenever we had a question [Marlene] would help us find the answers,” she said. After developing a solid business plan, they were able to secure a $225,000 SBA 7a Community Advantage loan to build out the coffee shop and purchase professional equipment.

Michelle, who left her job in October to focus on the business full-time, was excited to open Reserva Coffee Roasters with Danny and their daughters, Carolina and Evelyn, in December 2017.

“My favorite part of running this business is [seeing] regular guests, kids [who] come here for study sessions, and companies that hold meetings here. Creating that community and engagement is what drives me.”

Today, Michelle employs 10 full-time staffers who are dedicated to creating quality coffee and service experiences for their customers. The business’ success has inspired her to grow the brand and open new locations. “[Our coffee] has already brought so much joy to people, it’s pretty awesome,” Michelle said. “To see how far we’ve come from our first meeting with LiftFund to where we are now, is exciting.”


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LiftFund is proud to partner with the City of McAllen, Texas to provide 0% interest loans for local small business owners seeking to open or grow their businesses. Since 2013, LiftFund has provided 118 business loans totaling more than $4 million in capital.

2017 Impact
Clients served: 18  |  Capital provided: more than $912,000  |  Jobs: created: 33 / retained 72

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At a young age, Sophie Macey learned American Sign Language to communicate with her deaf cousin, Yasmin, and forged lasting friendships with other deaf children throughout her time in school. Upon graduating, Sophie’s aunt encouraged her to pursue an ASL career and follow her passion of bridging the gap between the deaf and hearing communities.

Sophie became ASL certified in 2008 and interpreted in various industries. While interpreting at an elementary school, she witnessed the high turnover and poor quality of interpreters working with the students. Sophie knew something had to change.

In 2017, she took matters into her own hands and opened Bayou City Interpreting, an ASL interpreting agency dedicated to providing classrooms with quality interpreters. After a successful semester, Sophie hired six interpreters to meet the needs of her clients. Unfortunately, that was the same time Hurricane Harvey hit and the school districts closed. With bills and employees to pay, Sophie wasn’t sure how her business would survive.

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“They weren’t processing our invoices,” Sophie said. “We were in a hard place… We were denied by our bank and our credit union. [Our business was] only nine months old, and even though we could show them hey, we have money coming in, it just isn’t here yet, nobody would lend to us.”

Sophie continued searching for funds and found LiftFund through her local Chamber of Commerce. “I was approved for the full $25,000 literally the day before payroll was due,” she said. “It really was like a Christmas miracle.”

Today Sophie and Bayou City Interpreting are doing what they do best: connecting students and communities through high quality and dedicated sign language services. “It is my dream to one day be able to take on other school districts,” she said.


[/accordion-item][/accordion][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527782030863{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Sophie MaceyBayou City Interpreting

$25,000 Harvey relief loan to cover payroll after the hurricane.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/bigsophie.jpg” image_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”35px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1527710730327{background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}”][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527868515820{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

LiftFund, with the generous support of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Groupon, JPMorgan Chase, and the Rebuild Texas Fund -a collaborative partnership of The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and The Texas Governor’s One Star Foundation- established an $8.3 million small business relief fund to support small business affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with 0% interest loans up to $25,000. Since the fall of 2017, we have provided $3.4 million in relief loans.

2017 Impact
Clients served: 101  |  Capital provided: more than $1.3 million  |  Jobs: 122 created / retained 355

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator border_width=”3″ el_width=”70″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”45px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/12″][mk_image src=”http://liftfundreport.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/newbigtruckin-min.jpg” image_size=”full”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527785807221{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Shaun LeeTruckin’ Tomato

$81,000 EDA loan to expand the business and relocate to a larger, customized location.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”7/12″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527624608747{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Shaun Lee and his wife, DeeDee, dreamed of a business that would bring people together through healthy and local food. “I’ve always been passionate about [providing] access to healthy food, and I was trying to figure out an innovative way we could bring the best foods from our region [to everyone],” Shaun said.

To make their dream possible they downsized their family home, sold their cars and liquidated their 401K accounts. After all their financial sacrifices, the couple was able to launch Truckin’ Tomato, a farmers market on wheels that quickly found a loyal following.

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Since 2014, Truckin’ Tomato has pivoted from direct produce sales to meeting the needs of restaurants and hotels eager to sell local sourced foods. Their wholesale distribution has grown to include San Antonio, Austin, and the surrounding Hill Country. With the expansion and demand came capacity challenges and Shaun quickly realized that they needed funding to grow.

Shaun and DeeDee’s bank referred them to LiftFund, where they were able to secure an Economic Development Administration Revolving loan, a program designed to spur economic development in the community.

“[LiftFund] was a great fit for us,” Shaun said. “It’s comforting to know they’re in our backyard, and we can always reach them and ask any questions we have.”

Today, Truckin’ Tomato serves nearly 130 clients and works with hundreds of regional farmers and ranchers throughout Texas. Shaun’s vision is to expand to Houston and Dallas and continue pursuing their mission of providing communities with locally sourced produce.


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In partnership with the City of San Antonio, The Economic Development Administration Revolving Program (EDA) Loan provides capital to growing small businesses to spur economic development through real estate acquisition within the city limits of San Antonio. Since 2011, LiftFund has provided over $8.2 million in EDA loans to diverse business owners.

2017 Impact
Clients served: 11  |  Capital provided: more than $1.5 million  |  Jobs: 39 created / retained 95

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