Para la versión en español, por favor oprima aqui.
Rocio Esparza and Veronica Reyes contributed to this blog.
In 2019, Frank Villegas was able to do something he’d always dreamed of: He started his own business in the U.S.
FV Logistics, Frank’s trucking company, operates out of Columbus, Nebraska, and specializes in refrigerated transport.
A native of Cuba, Frank lived in different parts of the world before coming to the U.S, and he had already dipped his toes into the world of entrepreneurship when he owned a restaurant in Spain for several years. Upon moving to America, he hoped to find another business opportunity to explore.
FV Logistics was born out of that desire, and even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Frank kept his trucks running.
“When the pandemic shut things down, my workload decreased, so I’ve had to increase the number of routes,” said Frank. “Without COVID-19, it would be better, but we’re doing what we can.”
Including himself, Frank employs three people full-time, and he leases out a truck as well. He has been able to start and keep his business in operation due, in part, to guidance from the Center for Rural Affairs.
Center Latino Loan Specialist Veronica Reyes has assisted Frank throughout the process of obtaining financing for his business and coached him through one-on-one business counseling. Frank also received technical assistance through the Center and attended business training events hosted by the organization.
Frank increased his sales exponentially in the past two years, and Veronica said FV Logistics is one of the fastest-growing businesses she has ever worked with. And, he has more expansion plans in place.
“Frank is what I like to call a ‘next-level’ client,” said Veronica. “He is always thinking about the next step while still working on a business milestone. His decisions have been assertive and smart since he started the business, and he is not afraid of working hard.”
One of the things Veronica admires most about Frank is how easy it is for him to teach others.
“He has been a mentor for other startup trucking clients of the Center and has passed a great deal of information along to me about the industry so I can better serve my other trucking business clients,” she said. “The industry is so intricate and interesting that having him as a guide is like having a bright light in the darkness that you can access at any time.”
Veronica said Frank is a great example for other business owners, whether they are in the startup process or are already well-established, and she feels lucky to work with him.
“I am very proud of his growth, discipline, organization, and research abilities,” she said. “Frank won’t get stopped or discouraged by the things he doesn’t know or the first answers he finds. He will dig and dig until he finds the best option.”
Frank is grateful for all of the Center’s help, and recommends the organization to other business owners who are looking for assistance.
“Working with the Center has been a good experience,” he said. “I have referred many people to the Center—everyone should take advantage of the opportunities they offer. I have done very well because I have had the opportunity to grow from the Center’s support.”
Learn how you can accomplish your small business dreams at cfra.org/lending.
At a glance
FV Logistics, LLC
Frank Villegas Alvarez
3383 36th Ave.
Columbus, Nebraska 68601
Contact at any time.