Mariza Pacheco never imagined having her own business, but when her employer decided to sell his company, Gary’s Cleaning and Restoration, she figured the timing was right, and looked into purchasing the company from him.
After nine months of an uphill battle applying for loans and being turned down by traditional banks Mariza found a lender, but the loan wouldn’t cover all of her expenses. Her primary lender suggested looking to the Center for Rural Affairs for further assistance. Mariza was amazed to find the Center not only approved her loan application but her financing was ready to go incredibly fast.
“When the Center was willing to help, I was so grateful,” said Mariza. “I feel very blessed for their help. Working with them was easy, and in the blink of an eye I was approved and ready to go.”
The Center helped Mariza get set up with financing in May 2020 to help complete the business purchase and transition. One-on-one counseling was provided with funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.
“Mariza had been employed with the business for about two years when she and her family recognized an opportunity to purchase and operate this business,” said Kim Preston, director of Lending Services at the Center. “This all occurred toward the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic where businesses were going into lockdown and there were many uncertainties and difficulties, which prompted additional motivation from the seller to get the sale done quickly.”
Together, Center staff and Mariza decided the Express Loan was the best route.
“The streamlined Express Loan process was welcomed by Mariza and her primary lender as we were able to all work together and help Mariza complete the purchase of her new business,” Kim said.
Express Loans are designed for new and returning borrowers and are underwritten on a credit score and two personal bank statements, allowing for fast decisions. The timeline for this financing offers prequalification in 24 hours and a final decision within three business days after applications and documents are complete.
Mariza also took advantage of a business-related workshop provided by the Center. She was able to learn how to run QuickBooks Online, which she says has been extremely helpful with managing her business.
With money in hand, Mariza took over the business in June 2020 and made it her own. Now called Pacheco, LLC, Mariza and her staff of about a dozen full- and part-time employees do general cleaning projects in Scottsbluff and Gering, Nebraska, and the surrounding areas.
Mariza and her crew take on many types of commercial and residential cleaning, including general house cleaning, weekly or daily business cleaning, as well as the deep cleaning of carpets, tile, and grout.
She said running a business is stressful, but having the right people working with her makes all the difference. Six of her employees are family members, and the rest are close family friends.
“It’s been very busy, it’s been like a rollercoaster,” she said. “But I love working with my family, that's my favorite part. It’s nice to be able to trust people, and to know they have my best interests, and my business’ best interests, at heart.”
The business owner has also been looking toward the future. After talking with Center staff about her options, she hopes to obtain another loan from the Center to buy the building that houses Pacheco, LLC.
For others who are thinking of opening their own businesses, Mariza recommends working with the Center for all their financial and training needs.
“I’m so grateful I found the Center,” she said. “If you’re out there trying, just don’t give up. Keep looking until you find the person who will give you a loan. Thank you to the Center for giving us the opportunity to get started and for helping us out.”
To learn more about the Center’s lending options, including Express Loans, visit cfra.org/lending.
At a glance
DBA Gary’s Cleaning
1817 17th Ave.
Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m. for lunch)