Francisco Romero and his wife Maria Martinez own Pura Agua Lupita, a retail corner store whose primary product is purified water in Panorama City. They have been in business since 2004. Maria runs and manages the store because her husband Francisco is disabled. They came to the North Valley BusinessSource Center office asking for assistance to get a loan because they had multiple predatory loans that were resulting in serious cash flow issues for the business due to the high interest rate and aggressive repayment schedule.
In the initial needs assessment the business coach discovered that there were a couple of areas in which the BusinessSource Center could be of assistance the business. The client needed to gain a better understanding of sales taxes regulations, had questions about business operations, refinancing of the predatory loans and overall business plan/strategy.
In her first meeting Ms. Martinez learned that she was actually overpaying on sales tax due to a miscategorization of revenues. After learning about the different tax rates applied to different product types, she worked with her husband to refine their bookkeeping methods in order to document the different revenue streams and report sales taxes accurately, minimizing their sales tax liability and resulting in cash flow savings for Pura Agua Lupita.
Maria then decided that she needed more education around being a business owner and was excited to participate in the Business Plan series conducted in Spanish and focused on understanding and perfecting her pricing strategy.
The North Valley BusinessSource Center also worked with the client to identify an appropriate lender and package their financial documents. They were approved for a loan from Opportunity Fund that allowed them to refinance a number of their high interest rate debts. Ms. Martinez confirmed that the new loan was able to save them over 41% on their monthly payments and a reduction potential of about 75% on the interest. Through the cash flow savings of refinancing the loan as well as the sales tax modification the company was able to save one job.
The North Valley BusinessSource Center continues to work with Pura Agua Lupita on further strengthening the cash flow of the business and business operations.