Meet Dee Espinoza, a latinx business owner from Colorado’s San Luis Valley who began Espinoza Consulting Services (ECS) in 2010, providing cultural and natural resource regulatory compliance services to local, state and federal agencies and commercial clients.
Espinoza has a broad understanding in cultural resource management activities and over 19 years of hands-on experience as a contract administrator, principal investigator, project director, field director/supervisor, analyst, and laboratory director. As a Small Business Administration (SBA)-certified woman and minority owned 8(a), an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), and HUBZone, ECS offers turn-key cultural resources, environmental compliance services and staffing support nationwide. Focused on employing diverse professionals, ECS specializes in thoughtful and creative approaches to federal, state, and local environment’s cultural and natural resource laws and regulations. Thrilled by how far her business has come, Espinoza mentions that her road to success was nothing short of challenging.
After several years of being denied funding and having to rely on a business partner, First Southwest Bank (FSWB) helped ECS consolidate mortgages and provided additional working-capital for Espinoza to buy out her business partner and continue to grow her business exponentially. The ability to secure SBA certifications that focus primarily on women owned businesses and has allowed the rural Colorado company to receive almost 90% of its revenue through federal contracts.
“First Southwest Bank was ready to lend to us personally on other projects and really sees us as partners in economic development — our bank actually gets excited when we bring them a new project,” Espinoza said. “It’s taken us eight years to go from cobbling together alternative funding sources to being able to get a sizable signature loan or an unsecured business loan in a few days. It’s taken tenacity, creativeness, family and finding the right lending partner.” (first cited on standford.edu).
Now, with over 35 employees, Espinoza Cultural Services has expanded it’s team into six different locations across the nation while maintaining its headquarters in La Jara, Colorado. Espinoza is pleased to have found the right lending partner with FSWB, a rural community bank who jumps at any opportunity to partner with the Espinoza Consulting Services team as their economic development continues to grow.