Noelia Gutierrez will use this loan to move her business, Electronic Tax Refund, from its current location in a cramped office to a larger, more inviting space across the street. The current location is so small that her customers have to wait outside to be helped. The new office will allow her to help her customers more efficiently and comfortably.
When she was 4 years old, Noelia and her family came to the United States from Mexico, working as migrant field workers. As a child, Noelia worked hard in school, and while not in school, she worked in vegetable and cotton fields with her family. When her father was diagnosed with cancer, her mother would pull Noelia out of school to sell tamales in order to pay the hospital fees. On the weekends, Noelia spent her time either selling tamales or working in the fields. Their neighbor worked as a notary public from home and started to teach Noelia how to complete income tax returns. The concept of working from home was incredibly appealing to Noelia. At the age of 14, she started doing the income tax returns of all the field workers for free so she could get experience. Noelia knew at a young age that she wanted a different life for herself and her family.
As a young adult, Noelia worked both in the fields and at an income tax firm as a clerk, and went to vocational night school. After graduating, she started helping people do their tax returns out of her house and it turned into a full-fledged business.
This is not her first loan from ACCION Texas. Her first loan helped her pay for computers because previously everything was recorded by hand. This upgrade was instrumental to increasing the number of individuals she served from 150 to 3,000 clients.
Noelia plans to eventually expand her business to more office locations in the Rio Grande Valley. She believes her business is so successful because she provides high quality work for an affordable price. She gives back by doing free tax returns for field workers who cannot afford her services. Currently, Noelia employs her husband and family at her office, and thus Noelia successfully reached her dream of creating a different life for herself and her family.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.