Basilio’s acrylic-plastic fabrication business, Chito Plastics, is a culmination of his 31 years of experience in the plastics business. Thirty-one years ago, Basilio began his career working with plastics fabrication as an employee at two plastics companies in Houston. Ten years later, he moved to El Paso, where he continued his work in acrylics. After 21 years, his employer in El Paso went out of business, leaving a giant void in the plastics market in his community. Basilio decided to start his business to fill the space left by the closure of his previous employer.
The idea to start his business, Basilio says, actually originated from his customers. After his previous employer went out of business, Basilio began to get phone calls from customers who remembered him from the quality work he had done for them. He says, “I had done a lot of work in El Paso and San Antonio, so customers knew me already. They began to call, and that’s what made me realize that I should try to go out on my own.”
Chito Plastics is founded on a simple philosophy of reliable customer service. The company offers literally any plastic product that fits a customer’s needs. Basilio has made products as varied as podiums for churches, museum displays, motorcycle windshields, bulk food containers and aquariums. He says, “When I do my work, I do it in a manner as professional and timely as possible. This causes people to refer my business to others, and that’s how I will keep my company successful.” In the future, he aims to continue growing his clientele base and keeping his current customers happy with his products.
Starting a business from nothing but a solid foundation of customer service and the promise of customers was not easy, however. Basilio began his business with $3,500 out of his own pocket, which he used to purchase machinery and materials. After he had exhausted his own finances, he turned to Kiva partner Accion Texas-Louisiana for the financial assistance he needed to complete his business’ start-up.
With this loan, Basilio will purchase the machinery and materials that he needs to complete his upcoming contracts. Without it, he says he would have had to go to commercial banks or exercise other credit options, such as credit cards, to complete these projects. It will allow him to continue to grow his business and reliably fill the plastic needs of his El Paso community.
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.