MISSION, RGV – During National Small Business Week, state Rep. R.D. ‘Bobby’ Guerra announced he has a bill backed by the largest small business association in the country.

The National Federation of Independent Business has over 21,000 members. The group testified in support of HB 2248 when Guerra laid the bill out in the Texas House Economic & Small Business Development. The legislation was born out of a recommendation from the Small Business Advisory Task Force, which was created by Rep. Guerra in 2013.

State Rep. R.D. ‘Bobby’ Guerra

Guerra said his bill would benefit small Texas businesses by “identifying barriers that hurt job creation and review regulatory challenges that small businesses encounter.” He said it would also provide recommendations to the legislature to improve small business creation across the state.

The NFIB testified that HB 2248 would help encourage the thriving small business industry in Texas and ensure that regulations are not over burdensome or costly to business owners. For example, one aspect of the bill provides that if an agency is made aware that a proposed rule or regulation would create an adverse economic effect on small businesses, then the agency would need to prepare an economic impact statement. “This would provide the agency and the business community a thorough understanding of the economic impact the proposed rule or regulation would have,” Guerra said.

The McAllen legislator added: “Small businesses are the backbone of the Texas economy employing two-thirds of all newly created jobs. Duplicative and onerous regulations are the hidden small business tax. This is why it is imperative that the legislature create the best business climate possible to ensure we continue to grow and nurture our Texas economy to prosperity.”

National Small Business Week

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week. It recognizes the “critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon, 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, penned an op-ed to coincide with National Small Business Week. In the op-ed, McMahon wrote:

“Our community lending partners in the Lower Rio Grande Valley District provide financing solutions for those in need of capital. For the second consecutive fiscal year, more than $66 million in loans were approved to help start or grow new retail stores, medical facilities, restaurants and franchises, as well as construction, manufacturing and technology firms in the District.

“And we train small businesses on how to compete for government contracts and the ability to sell their products and services to the world’s largest customer – the federal government. In the last five years, small disadvantaged businesses in Lower Rio Grande Valley District were awarded more than $450 million in federal contracts.”

2017 Award Recipients for RGV 

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Angela Burton, district director for the SBA in the Rio Grande Valley, held an awards ceremony at the Cimarron Club in Mission on Tuesday. A list of the small businesses that won awards is listed at the end of this story.

Angela Burton

“Small businesses create two out of every new jobs in the U.S. every year. Free enterprise represents the ideals of hard work and vision. Small businesses from startups to mom and pop shops are essential to our local, state and national economy,” Burton said, in her remarks the luncheon.

She added that small businesses are the “pillars of our community” and agents for a growing economy.

“We rededicate ourselves to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that has forged the strongest economy the world has ever known. For more than two centuries American innovation has sparked ideas that have changed our lives and the course of history for the better,” Burton said.

The awards ceremony started with speeches from the owners of three companies that won start-up funding under Mission Economic Development Corporation’s Ruby Red Ventures program. The three were Jennifer Shipp, co-creator of Knife Glider, Pilar Gonzalez of Dip It!, and Ariel King of the Historic Bryan House.

2017 Award Recipients:

Small Business Person of the Year Award

Leodegario Neave, Abraham Neave, and Abisai Neave of JDG Jewelers

Small Business Awards

8 (a) Graduate of the Year:
Jose Luis Muñoz, Guzmán & Muñoz Engineering and Surveying, Inc.

Small Business Exporter of the Year:
Pedro Valdez, Export Distribution & Consulting Services, Inc.

SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year:
Peggy C. Ramon, PR Nutrition Consulting, Inc.

Entrepreneurial Success Award:
Dr. Juan D. Villarreal, Harlingen Family Dentistry

Champion Awards

Home Based Business Champion of the Year:
Ricardo De Luna, Journey Charters & Tours, LLC

Minority Small Business Champion of the Year:
Christian D. Ibarrola, Productos Winnuts LTD Co.

Women in Business Champion of the Year:
Lou Crain Gracia, Valley Trophy Services Company

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year:
Elvia B. Lozoya

Financial Services Champion of the Year:
Suzanne E. Muñoz, The Numbers Company, LLC

Lender Appreciation Awards

SBA Lending Resulting in the Highest Volume of 7 (a) Loans and Highest Dollar Value of 7 (a) Loans in FY 2016:
BBVA Compass Bank

SBA Lending Resulting in the Highest Volume of 504 Loans by a Community Development Corporation in FY 2016:
Texas Certified Development Company, Inc.

Rising Star Award:
LiftFund, Inc.

Special District Director Awards

SBDC Advisor of the Year:
Aaron L. Gonzalez, UTRGV-SBDC

SCORE Mentor of the Year:
Alejandro Ordaz, SCORE RGV Chapter 220

Small Business Journalist of the Year:
Steve Taylor, Rio Grande Guardian

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows the award recipients at this year’s SBA RGV awards event.