Blog : Guest Blog

What is an SBA Loan?

What is an SBA Loan?

This is a guest blog post by Grindstone Coworking member Angel Melgoza. Angel is a fee-only financial planner. you can find out more about Angel and his company MyLife Financial at



The Rio Grande Valley is full of ideas, energy, and entrepreneurship. A lot of the time, some of these ideas are not realized because of the lack of education in funding options available to budding entrepreneurs. There are also business owners whose energy and passion fades away because of high startup costs that eat away at their pockets. This causes them to doubt themselves and think twice about their venture. As it is, being a small business owner is stressful and full of risks, but there are resources available to help alleviate the financial risk involved. Enter the Small Business Administration…

I should start off by telling you who the Small Business Admiration (SBA) is and what they do. The Small Business Administration is a government agency that helps provide support to small businesses & entrepreneurs in the form of counseling and loans. So, what is an SBA Loan? An SBA loan is a loan that is provided to small business owners by a local bank or lending institution that have partnered up with the Small Business Administration (SBA). A certain portion of these loans are backed or guaranteed by the SBA in case the borrower defaults on the loan.

SBA Loan vs. Conventional Loan: What’s the Difference

There’s not much of a difference between a conventional loan vs. an SBA loan when it comes to credit. Both loans require the borrower to meet certain credit requirements; that’s just the nature of seeking credit. Where they may differ is the flexibility in collateral needed as well as the length of repayment. In a conventional loan, banks have certain requirements that borrowers must meet (i.e. credit, collateral, cash flow, etc..) before they loan someone money because if the borrower defaults, the bank loses out. However, with an SBA Loan, these requirements loosen up a bit. Why? Because they are guaranteed not to lose as much money since the SBA is backing up, or taking on financial responsibility of a certain portion of the loan.

Different types of Loans

Not all business owners are in the same phase of their business or in the same industry so the SBA has different types of loans. The most basic is the 7(a) Loan Program which borrowers bust apply through a participating lender. This loan is for anyone starting up their business or looking to expand their operation.  There are also loans that help small business owners that have been affected in disaster areas; these types of loans help endure losses that businesses attain through things like tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. Another popular loan is the 504 Loan Program; this loan is meant to purchase fixed assets such as buildings, machinery, or do renovations on used buildings.

What do I need to apply?

Like any other loan, there is a loan process. The process for SBA loans is much quicker through a preferred lender of the SBA. Some of the things a preferred lender may ask you for are:

  • Background and Financial Statement
  • Profit & Loss Statement
  • Projected Financial Statements
  • Ownership and Affiliations
  • Business Certificate /License
  • Loan Application History
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Resume
  • Business Overview and History
  • Business Lease

Want to know who can help you with your business venture? For a list of the SBA Preferred Lenders in the Rio Grande Valley, click here. (<– list coming soon) 


Angel Melgoza

MyLife Financial

[email protected]



The top 10 snacks for people on the go …when you can’t make them yourself!

The top 10 snacks for people on the go …when you can’t make them yourself!

You walk into any grocery store or convenience store and you’re faced with hundreds and hundreds of choices for “foods of convenience” a.k.a snacks. We’ve made snacking a normal part of our everyday routine. And if you’re a parent of a small child, you know how important snacks are, particularly to avoid melt downs in public. Whether out of habit or necessity, snacking helps provide sufficient energy until our next meal. Although in a perfect world, we’re better off sticking to three main meals a day… well-balanced that is so that we’re not hungry an hour later, unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. In the real world, we’ve got places to go, people to see and an eternal list of to-do’s. Meal times get cut short and often times you have no choice but to grab something quick and on the go. So rather than hitting a vending machine and hoping for a miracle that there’s something remotely nutritious available, why not visit your local Sprouts and stock up on healthy foods that are easy to carry and actually provide you with little things called nutrients.

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Okay, this is technically a drink, however who couldn’t use more hydration. Many times when we feel hunger, we’re actually thirsty, so why not add coconut water to your daily routine and let your body soak in the electrolytes like potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Sometimes referred to as “Mother Nature’s sports drink” due to it’s natural electrolyte content, coconut water contains less sugar than regular sports drinks and much less sugar than sodas and fruit juices. Your local Sprouts in McAllen carries a variety of coconut water brands; however stick to the non-flavored, unsweetened brands in order to avoid unwanted added sugars.


So this one is a no brainer and lucky for us most grocery stores already carry pre-packaged “snack-size” portions of fruits and veggies, including apple slices, carrot sticks and even celery sticks. Let’s not forget the easy to take with you fruits that don’t necessarily need packaging…including oranges, mandarins and even kumquats. These healthy carbs offer a nutritional punch including fiber which can help you stay full longer. Costco is a great place to buy organic, pre-packaged sliced apples that are great to grab on the go or add to a kid’s lunch.


These are actually one of my favorite snacks to carry for emergency situations like being delayed at an airport or during all-day trainings and conferences with long hours between meals. Nut butters, like almond and peanut butter, boast both protein and healthy fats which provide satiety and long lasting energy. So instead of carrying tubs of almond or peanut butter, opt for the single serve packets which now come available in a different variety of combinations like walnut or hazelnut butters and even coconut and sunflower seed butters.


So you feel like eating chips but want to avoid the guilt afterwards. Try kale chips to satisfy the cravings for something crunchy or salty. Considered a nutritional powerhouse, kale contains many nutrients that are sure to nourish you on the go.


Trust me on this one. I always thought the only way to eat seaweed was to eat sushi. But luckily we have roasted seaweed easily available at Sprouts or Costco. Seaweed is a good source of iodine, which your thyroid relies heavily on to function properly. It comes in individual packages, which make it an excellent on the go snack. These tasty treats come in sheets and can be enjoyed on their own or crumbled in different foods.


If you’ve never heard of tiger nuts, (you’re not alone); however they’ve been around for over 4,000 years. And they’re not even a nut, they’re small crunchy tubers (like potatoes) that contain lots of fiber and have a sweet, nutty flavor. I was very surprised to see them in my local Sprouts in McAllen and are ready to eat out of the bag. If you like to venture out and try new foods, tiger nuts are for you. They also can be used to make a delicious grain-free granola!


Rich in heart-heathy mono unsaturated fats, olives are an excellent, satisfying snack. And since they’re available in single serve packages at your local Sprouts, it makes it easier to start that Mediterranean diet you’ve always wanted to try. I’d run, not walk, for these.


If you’re considering a protein bar, try EPIC bars, which are available at Sprouts and HEB. These life savers are made from actual protein meat, like bison, beef, chicken & turkey rather than protein powder. They are combined with dried fruit like cranberries and nuts for a surprisingly tasty treat. And if you’re adventurous, consider cricket protein. They say cricket protein is the way of the future. Made from cricket flour, these bars are excellent for workout recovery as they contain complete proteins, and are a great alternative to high-sugar granola bars. Lucky for us we now have cricket protein bars available at Sprouts.


Jerky has been a favorite for many years as a high protein snack, whether it’s from beef, turkey or bison. It’s one of the easiest snacks to grab on the go, just be careful to avoid jerky with excess added sugars or fillers. There’s even liver jerky, but let’s not push it.


Many people know these as pepitas. Pumpkin seeds make an excellent snack not only because they’re easy to grab and go but because they’re also high in several key nutrients like zinc, calcium and magnesium. They’re also a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted to serotonin and eventually melatonin for a good night’s rest. Enjoy them roasted, on salads or even in trail mixes. You can find sprouted pumpkin seeds at Sprouts and they can be easily added to trail mix or salads.