Eager to find work, 14-year-old Larry, thanks to his aunt’s assistance, began painting houses with a realtor as a summer job.
The day he began painting, Larry decided he wanted to become an entrepreneur, and he never stopped until he reached his goal. “Every year I learn something new about that business,” he said.
That long-ago summer job evolved into a passion for painting and now, at 48, Larry owns an El Paso, Texas-based business, ICI Coating, an interior and exterior finishing company where he works on vehicles, and residential and commercial buildings.
“I think the most important thing is that we care,” Larry said differentiating his business from competitors. “We care about our customers and we are committed to selling quality. We’re dedicated to service, we’re on time, we don’t use cheap products, and we don’t lie to our customers.”
Through his 34 years of experience, Larry opened a business that failed, where he learned to invest profits into his business. He said he did not know much about businesses and their elements, such as working with management and the IRS when he began his business in 1999.
Since then, however, Larry has opened his new business and hired four employees and now collaborates with a staffing company to hire more employees for larger jobs. He is currently contracted with The University of Texas at El Paso.
With the ACCION Texas Inc. loan, “the first thing I plan to do is buy more equipment,” Larry said. Funds will go to payroll, ladders and other materials. Without ACCION, Larry said he would have not been able to make payroll and have extra money in his pocket.
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.