“Community Capital’s SCALE program helped us build skills and develop more confidence in our ability to grow the business. Our instructor Julieta continues to work with us, always demonstrating how attention to the financial and operational details can make a huge difference in expanding Wilmar.
Owner, Mario Alvarez
Support: Spanish Language SCALE Graduate, Credit Builder Loan, Quickbooks training
Impact: Minority owned business, creation of new Growth Plan, 9 full time employees
Background: Ecuadorian born Mario Alvarez arrived in the United States nearly two decades ago but like many immigrants, it wasn’t easy for him to find employment opportunities in the field for which he was trained – electrical contracting. Mario recalls, “I was just trying to make ends meet in those early years. I worked in a restaurant and even learned how to be a chef.” With time and determination Mario did in fact find his way into the electrical contracting business. He demonstrated tremendous grit and ambition and for a group of years, he worked 7-4 for an electrician and 5-midnight in a restaurant. As he gained more responsibility he finally left the culinary world and became the manager of 11 electrical professionals. But he always had the idea to have his own business. Fortunately, his brother Wilson had similar aspirations and the two were able to form Wilmar Electric. After nearly ten years in business Wilmar employs 9 full time staff and serves both residential and commercial clients in Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield Counties.
The Outlook: Although Wilson and Mario have defined roles, they were experiencing many organizational challenges. Through a family member, the Alvarez brothers heard about Community Capital’s Spanish language SCALE program – a 9 week course of study designed to help Hispanic small business owners acquire business skills, management know-how and mentoring relationships to improve operations and grow. Julieta McPherson, Vice President of Lending and lead trainer for the SCALE program notes “Mario and Wilson were two of the most focused entrepreneurs that I have trained.” In addition to completing a growth plan, the Alvarez Brothers capitalized on the opportunity to receive individual consulting with Julieta which enabled them to refine key logistics around scheduling, billing and inventory control. Mario reports, “this year’s goal is to continue building skills, making organizational shifts and working toward getting our MWBE certification that would allow us to bid on government contracts too.” Armed with a one-year credit builder loan, Wilmar’s strategy is to also develop a stronger credit history and lay the foundation if and when it needs a small business loan to fund its expansion.
Wilmar Electric; Pleasantville, NY 10570
Phone: (914) 762-2811