A recent CNBC report ranked Texas in the top five states for business.
For Houston-based Herman Packaging owner Jose Rivas, that report rings true. And the best is yet to come.
“We are very optimistic about the economy here in Houston,” Rivas shared.
Rivas launched his packaging business in 1994 after working in the industry for many years and setting his sights on entrepreneurship. A past president of the Latino Entrepreneur Chamber of Commerce, Rivas met with Regions earlier this year to learn more about the bank’s capabilities and local team in Houston. The team includes David Velez, Regions Bank SBA banker; Julio Cuadrado-Ortega, commercial banker; Jahaira Lazo, Private Wealth manager; and Jimmy Williams, SBA sales manager for Texas and Louisiana.
“Jose has built an incredible business through the years and was looking to expand, both his space and his team,” said Williams. “David got to know Jose, who was with another bank at the time, and really understands his business needs and the growth vision for Herman Packaging.”
Rivas had an existing loan on his original building and was looking to expand his space with the construction of a new building on his land. The Regions team was able to refinance the existing loan and finance the construction of the new facility, while expanding Rivas’ line of credit to allow for additional capital for growth.
“We currently have 54 employees at Herman Packaging, managing everything from design, warehousing, graphic design, specialty die-cutting to sales, assembly and fulfillment,” said Rivas. “With our additional facility, we are creating dozens of additional jobs in our community.”
“Our experience with Region has been great, the team always strives to assist their customer in any way possible and I love the professionalism in all levels of the bank experience,” Rivas continued. “With the increased fraud and financial security threats out there, we needed a bank that takes financial security very seriously.”
Latino-owned businesses have experienced a boom over the past decade, with an impressive 44% growth rate of new business starts, compared to 4% for non-Latino owned businesses, according to 2021 research by the Latino Business Action Network. Even with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Latino-owned businesses have thrived in the face of economic adversity.
Just over three hours west, nestled in the western corner of Travis County outside of Austin, sits Lakeway, Texas, home of Don Mario Mexican Restaurant. Owned by Leslie Huayek Isidro and her husband Mario, Don Mario Mexican Restaurant is another example of how creative business owners thrived in the face of the global pandemic – and now are in the enviable position of expansion.
“Having leased the space since the restaurant’s inception, Leslie and Mario were looking to purchase a building, allowing them to double their seating capacity indoors, outdoors and at the bar,” said Corey Dolina, Regions SBA banker in Austin.
Dolina met the Isidros through Carlos Gutiérrez at PeopleFund, a community development fund initiative (CDFI) the Regions Foundation works with throughout the bank’s footprint. Regions worked with Isidros to provide an SBA 504 loan to finance the purchase of the new building, which also allowed Don Mario Mexican Restaurant to hire an additional 11 employees.
“Corey and the Regions team worked with me every step of the way, explaining things patiently and guiding me through the complicated journey of the loan application process,” said Isidro. “They have been such an important stepping stone in the growth of my business, and I will be forever grateful.”
Celebrate your favorite Latino-owned business with a Hispanic Heritage Month Regions ecard.