SBA and the South Padre Island EDC solidify Small Business Support with a Strategic Alliance Memorandum

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Pictured from left to right, back row, South Padre Island EDC Board members, Joanne C. Williams, Dr. Beth Vance, Ron Pitcock, Bob Friedman, Dan Stanton, Sally Scaman, and Irv Downing. Sitting are Executive Director Darla Lapeyre and SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District Director Angela R. Burton.

Texas Border Business 

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND ─ The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office (LRGVD) and the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation (SPI EDC) signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) to encourage entrepreneurship and economic empowerment through increased collaboration on entrepreneurial and financial education for local residents and small business owners. 

The formal acceptance took place at South Padre Island City Hall during a SPI EDC board meeting on Tuesday, January 17th, with Executive Director Darla Lapeyre and SBA District Director Angela Burton signing the memorandum.

“The benefit of the collaboration is clear, the SAM is intended to spur economic development through entrepreneurial education and programs that advances greater access to capital, expanded technical assistance and access to procurement programs,” District Director Angela Burton said.

The SBA focuses on three key areas to prospective small business owners: Capital – access to financing options to start or grow a business; Contracts – the SBA encourages federal agencies to award more contracts to small businesses; and Counseling – seminars, assistance with writing business plans, market studies, sales projections, certifications and eligibility determination.

Upon closure of the first quarter fiscal 2017, SBA lending partners made three federally backed loans to small businesses at South Padre Island hitting more than $3.8 million.  Those three loans resulted in the retention of 15 jobs and the creation of two. 

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The SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office is located in Harlingen, Texas with a branch office in Corpus Christi, Texas.  The Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office covers 14 counties and serves approximately 176,000 small business firms and is comprised of a diverse landscape to include international ports of entry, beaches, deep sea ports, ranch land, and metropolitan cities.  Its geographical and demographical mixture is greatly reflected in its entrepreneurial spirit and economic outlook.