Small Business Administration loans
75 N. University Ave., Provo
Deborah Lamb, manager/loan officer
For American Fork’s Zara Quintana, owning her own business has been a dream since her days at Provo College. While earning her associate’s degree, she learned how to put together a business plan, think through a marketing strategy and find financing resources.
After working for years as a controller and bookkeeper for others, the opportunity to be her own boss came during the last quarter of 2014.
She took it.
“I had done this type of work for other people for a long time,” she says. “I was confident in the business model and in my ability to do the work. I just needed a small business loan to help get us off the ground.”
Zara’s new company — Small Employer Solutions in American Fork — assists businesses that have fewer than 10 employees with bookkeeping, payroll and financial reporting services. She created her venture after her employer with a similar type of company found it necessary to close the doors. She started her own business to keep the doors — and source of income for her and four of her co-workers — open.
“I wanted to keep things going, but I needed commitments from the amazing women I worked with,” she says.
She approached different professionals in her office and asked if they would join her newly formed company. Eventually, four key players all agreed.
With the team tentatively in place — and with precious little time before her anticipated Jan. 1, 2015 launch date — Zara knew she needed small business funding.
“I’d tried to start my own business when I was younger and I tried to do it from scratch,” Zara says. “I knew this time I needed a loan to get us off the ground.”
She also knew there were SBA loan programs specifically designed to help women-owned businesses. She just needed to find the right institution to help her get the needed capital.
While Zara was helping a client prepare some financial reports for her own small business loan, the client suggested Zara approach Deborah Lamb at Central Bank.
“My client told me how great she was to work with and how easy she made each step,” Zara says.
She contacted Deborah and found everything she heard to be true.
“It was easy,” she says. “I was confident in my business plan. I had a good team committed to be with me and we had experience in the area. I was able to email most things to her, which was great because with all the other work I was doing to get the business ready for January 1, I didn’t have a lot of time.”
With Central Bank being locally owned, decisions are made efficiently and communication is easy. Plus, Central Bank’s decisions are based on improving the communities in Utah Valley, not based on shareholders living on the east coast.
Now, Zara is able to help other small business owners build their dreams, with the help of Small Employer Solutions.