The 2014 Spirit of Small Business Award winners for the Los Angeles District Office were announced today. The event is co-sponsored by the SBA.
Along with the team at BusinessUS, I would like to congratulate the winners for their success and their positive impacts on their communities. This year’s winners are:
East Ventura County – Agnew Multilingual
West Ventura County – Staples Construction Co.
South Santa Barbara County – The French Press
North Santa Barbara County – Old Town Market
San Luis Obispo County – The Wallace Group
Minority-Owned Business – Alliance Wealth Strategies
Women-Owned Business – Ohana Pet Hospital
Exporter of the Year – Zesto Audio
Green Business – AB Design Studio
~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS
Congrats to and for winning their first round match in Puerto Vallarta!
Check out the scores here:
(PS nice pic Allen Szto!)
BusinessUS is super proud to announce our sponsorship of Olympic-hopeful women’s volleyball player Whitney Pavlik (@WhitneyPavlik)!
She’s a superstar athlete, (note the skywalker on the left of this awesome Allen Szto photo – and she’s not even the hitter on her team!).
Whitney’s strength and hard work really inspire us.
She’s in China for the first tournaments of the 2014 FIVB season, and sporting some fine BusinessUS gear – – Bring back some hardware, Whitney!
Business US continues to build its lending team with the addition of experienced SBA lending veteran Ivette Hernandez, who brings 20 years’ experience in small business lending and real estate financing to the California-based nonbank lender.
Ivette reports to Stephanie Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending and Chief Credit Officer. She started with BusinessUS on March 6th.
Read the press release.
“When a small business can’t get a loan from a bank, they’ve increasingly been turning to alternative lenders. These lenders … are willing to take on more risk, provide capital faster, and require less documentation than the big banks.” – see the infographic here
Small businesses should be careful of lenders, however, who promise fast cash – and keep an eye on the interest rates!
~Norris Lozano, BusinessUS
Two big articles in the Wall Street Journal this week highlight the next big opportunity in renewable energy: energy storage. Proponents of big utilities, coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, and other grid power solutions have been saying for years “… your stuff is all when and good until the sun goes down/wind stops blowing.” Simply put, the shortcoming of solar is night, and for wind, it’s calm, windless skies.
In a previous lifetime, I was fortunate to be on the leading edge of renewables in developing a mobile solar solution for businesses. There, two older technologies were married (silica-based solar panels – virtually unchanged since their invention in the mid-20th century and only about 15-20% efficient; and humongous lead acid batteries, the mere name of which makes clean energy folks shiver.) The batteries weighed a ton apiece. We were aware, along with many in the industry, that a new battery technology could change the way power is harvested and released. (In a closer view, upgrades in Inverter technologies are also important).
Southern states are ideal for solar, and as we learned financing both mobile and fixed solar solutions, California is a leader (see article). And with climate change increasing the scale and frequency of large storms, “emergency power” is going to become a significant product category, as seen in this piece in Greentech Media.
We believe that small business loans are ideal for renewable technologies, and welcome conversations about financing solutions.
As for the future, this article suggests we keep an eye on Tesla capitalizing on their storage acumen by building a multi-Billion plant (in the US – fantastic!), leveraging ideas in a similar strategy to what Apple did in music, and then telecom.
~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a national small business lender interested in financing renewable energy projects.
From eco-genius Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute, here are the Top 10 Clean Energy Developments of 2013.
As BusinessUS gains traction and lending capacity, we want to participate in the expansion of renewable energy facilities in a big way.
~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS
C-Level Boost: 27-Year Veteran Stephanie Bitters Joins SBA Lending Team at BusinessUS
Stephanie Bitters, an experienced SBA lender with track record at several of the most successful small business lenders, joins Norris Lozano and AZ Zate at BusinessUS, a national non-bank lender that provides SBA 7(a) small business loans. The C-level hire will help the company compete in target markets, including franchises nationwide, and traditional small businesses in Southern California and New England.
Check out our press release: “C-Level Score: BusinessUS Lands SBA Pro Stephanie Bitters, 27-year Veteran”
“Dec. 26, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Norris Lozano (CEO of BusinessUS) has announced the hiring 27-year SBA lending veteran Stephanie Bitters as Chief Credit Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Bitters joins veteran small business lenders Lozano, Antonio “AZ” Zate, and Tara Johnson on the operational team of BusinessUS, a non-bank lender delivering SBA 7(a) loans to American small businesses that cannot get credit elsewhere….”
Read the release:
“We love the Los Angeles Small Business community”, says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, “There’s an excitement and innovative spirit here that’s unlike any other city. Take the Rising Sun Jeans Company, for example…”
What it is: A company that makes unique custom-made jeans.
Why it’s cool: Rising Sun is like the new Levi Strauss—their modern jeans are composed of all quality, hand-cut fabrics and sewn by a person on a sewing machine. There’s no factory, no conveyer belt assembly line, no robots, and all products are made in America.
They do, however, maintain a certain back-in-the-old-days appeal (many of their sewing machines date back to the 1920s), and they believe in crafting clothing that will last. While they do custom jeans in-house, they also make and sell jeans in standard store sizes.
This blog post quotes from this article: http://www.businessinsider.com/coolest-small-businesses-in-la-2013-9?op=1#ixzz2ntQ1Czsl
Some small businesses provide us with essential goods and services. They do this so well as a group that “small business” in America delivers more sales, and more jobs, than “big business”.
Another important benefit small business brings to the economic table is innovation. Smaller, nimble, focused business ideas are like laser beams to address the wants and needs of consumers.
And at the spear point of innovation, the ultimo sans pareil mucho swifto, are those businesses that are recognized as “cool.”
Of those, none could possibly be cooler than cool small businesses located in LA. And of those, well, there are only 22.
“Don’t laugh, the next Apple Computer or Red Bull might be in this group,” observes Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, “striking a target while striking a chord in popular press is rare, and should be applauded. And when the time comes for them to expand into other cool areas, we hope they’ll come to the coolest non-bank lender in LA.”
On this year’s Coolest in LA list are a beekeeper, a social commerce site that ties to celebrity advice, a shop for dandy men, a site for pet vacations, a glow-in-the-dark bicycle maker, a supermarket for Time Travel and a store that sells only hot sauces.
Doesn’t every city have small businesses like these?