PeopleFund and Capital One Bank team to provide financing for new Accion Texas corporate campus

Accion logo colorAccion Texas will soon begin construction on its new corporate campus in San Antonio at 2015 W. Martin Street.  The new campus consists of four buildings. The centerpiece is a 13,100-square-foot headquarters complemented by a 1,897-square-foot business incubator center, a 1,400-square-foot workshop and training building as well as a 1,000–square-foot café which will be used as a culinary learning center.

Accion Texas President and CEO Janie Barrera and volunteers have spearheaded the project and initial fundraising since a multi-million-dollar capital campaign was announced in June 2012.  The capital campaign was awarded a $1.3 million grant from the United States Economic Development Agency.  In addition, approximately $1.4 million in grants and gifts have been raised from other benefactors.

Although the capital campaign is doing very well, Accion is short of its goal needed to begin construction.  However, recognizing the community impact of the project and also the successful history of Accion, PeopleFund and Capital One Bank were able to complete a creative financing solution that closed on December 30, 2013 to allow Accion to immediately begin construction.

The financing included a $6.1 million New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from PeopleFund with a tax credit equity investment and leverage loan from Capital One Bank.  Capital One also provided a $3.5 million construction loan.

“With our rapid growth, we have run out of space. Now we have funding in place to promptly build the entire campus as a single project,” Barrera said. “We thank PeopleFund for awarding its NMTC to us and to Capital One for providing construction financing to allow us time to complete our capital campaign.  Now our goal will be to continue our capital campaign to raise the remaining funds.”

On Sept. 17, the three organizations committed to the project. According to PeopleFund President and CEO Gary Lindner, “We seek to place our NMTC credits in high impact non-profit community projects located in severely distressed census tracts. Accion Texas is a great organization and a perfect fit for a NMTC investment.”

Capital One Bank, led by its Austin Market President and Commercial Banking Executive, Mike Perrine, also played an essential and pivotal role in making this financial deal a reality. “New Market Tax Credits transactions represent an example of how federal resources and local know-how can work together to support revitalization of underserved areas,” said Perrine.  “Capital One Bank has partnered with Accion and PeopleFund on a number of their important community programs, and that makes this latest transaction even more special.”

Peoplefund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Established in 1994, it is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $250,000 to Texas businesses that lack access to traditional financing. It also provides clients business assistance and education. 89% of loans are to a target market of minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. Over 50% of loans go to startup businesses and high social impact nonprofits. Through access to capital and education, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability to build healthy small businesses.

Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $206.9 billion in deposits and $289.9 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Accion Texas
Established in 1994 in San Antonio as a nonprofit organization, Accion Texas Inc.’s financial and business-support services help entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities.  Accion has the nation’s largest microloan portfolio and is committed to providing capital to entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources. Since its inception, Accion Texas has disbursed 14,000 loans totaling more than $152 million and now operates in eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.  For more information, visit or call 1-888-215-2373.

CPS Energy and San Antonio EDF Honored for “Visionary” New Energy Economy Initiative

cps energy logoSAEDF_logoCPS Energy and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development award for the energy provider’s New Energy Economy initiative, an approach to clean energy that leverages CPS Energy’s buying power to create jobs, economic development and educational investment in San Antonio.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented the award at its annual conference in Philadelphia on October 8, calling the initiative “visionary”. IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The non-profit organization applauded CPS Energy’s commitment to protect the environment by diversifying its generation portfolio to include 20 percent renewable energy, investing in clean technologies and creating economic development opportunities in San Antonio.

“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize CPS Energy and San Antonio Economic Development Foundation as being two of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” said IEDC chair Paul Krutko. “These awards are meant to honor the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities.”

“When we started the New Energy Economy, we knew it was the right thing to do for the community. It drives economic development and creates job opportunities for our customers,” said Shawn Eddy, senior director of enterprise facilities and asset management. “As for education, we have always been on the leading edge of mentoring programs and support for local schools. With one-third of our employees eligible for retirement within five years, it is good business sense to invest heavily into science, technology, engineering and math to solidify a pipeline for the next generation of CPS Energy employees.”

CPS Energy launched the New Energy Economy in June 2011 by building partnerships with companies dedicated to turning innovation into economic development. SAEDF assisted in the effort to attract the partners and their suppliers to San Antonio. In two short years, it’s been praised by others as new local headquarters, offices, or plants for seven clean technology companies have either opened or are under construction, including:

  • OCI Solar Power – consortium with three partners (Nexolon, ERCAM, and Kaco) committed to creating 800-plus,      long-term jobs and $1 billion in economic development as part of a 400 megawatt solar energy deal; headquarters opened in downtown San Antonio in      Spring 2013.
    • Nexolon America – constructing solar panel manufacturing plant in south San Antonio; headquarters opened in Spring 2013; nominated for designation as a State Enterprise Project.
    • ERCAM Trackers – manufacturing dual-axis trackers for solar facilities; opened office near east San Antonio in 2013.
    • Kaco New Energy – manufacturing inverters for solar facilities; opened office near east San Antonio in 2013.
  • GreenStar LED – opened LED manufacturing plant in northwest San Antonio in 2012; created nearly 40 jobs.
  • Consert – opened local office in northeast San Antonio in 2012; created nearly 70 local and out-of-area jobs.
  • Silver Spring Networks – opening local office in San Antonio in late 2013; committed to creating 40 jobs.

The New Energy Economy will spur the creation of more than 1,000 jobs by 2018, with roughly 250 jobs already in existence, and pour millions of dollars into local education. Several educational institutions or groups have already received a total of more than one million dollars.

For more information about the initiative, visit

CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric company, providing service to 741,000 electric and 331,000 natural gas customers in the Greater San Antonio area. The company offers the lowest rates among the top 10 largest U.S. cities, while ranking number one in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned energy systems and number one in Texas for solar generation. For more information, visit

September 2013 Word from the Chairman

Rollins_Brad-ChairmanIn August, the North SA Chamber offered our members the opportunity to hear first-hand from Mayor Julián Castro, recognized USAA CEO Maj. Gen. Joe Robles with the Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. Salute to Excellence Award and partnered with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber to inform our members of important economic trends at the Mid-Year Economic Report.

As both of our Chambers endeavor to advance business and economic development in San Antonio, it has truly been a pleasure to work with the Hispanic Chamber CEO, Ramiro Cavasos, and their board toward our common goal to serve business. A big part of that, of course, is to serve as an advocate for business and provide our members a collective voice before their elected officials. We came together at the joint chamber City Council Meet & Greet, hosted by Frost, and our boards visited with the newest and returning Council members, as well as Mayor Castro.

I want to thank Frost for their demonstrated support of business and downtown redevelopment, as well as Government Affairs Council Chair and 2015 Chair-elect, Rob Killen, for his volunteer leadership and help in coordinating this event, and for his efforts to keep our members informed of the important issues that face our community and their businesses. Additionally, on behalf of our board of directors and membership, we thank our elected officials for their public service and the work they do on behalf of our citizens and businesses.

MPO Public Meetings
The North SA Chamber has a demonstrated commitment to keeping San Antonio moving. As you may know, according to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), “By 2040, the San Antonio metro area will have nearly 1.5 million new residents raising the region’s population to over 3.4 million people.” That’s approximately one million or more cars added to our roadways in the next 25 years. The MPO conducts careful deliberation to ensure that major transportation projects are planned with public feedback. To address future transportation needs, we currently have a 25-year metropolitan transportation plan (MTP) that programs approximately $12 billion in transportation funding through year 2035. The MPO is now working on “Mobility 2040” which must be approved by December 2014. Area residents are invited to review plans and provide input on Mobility 2040’s vision and goals at a series of public meetings. Click here for the schedule.

Calendar of Events
We have a number of events coming up and hope you’ll join us.

The Business Technology Series features UTSA’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, Ray Simms, and is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25, starting at 7:15 a.m. at the Petroleum Club. Learn how to Maximize Security and Control Costs with cyber hygiene, wireless security and online commerce.

The Enterprising Women’s Conference will be Tuesday, October 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Omni Hotel Colonnade. Featured speaker will be author and trainer Jennifer Webb, Magic Communications, and the luncheon program from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. will feature the ATHENA Leadership Awards® presentation. Congratulations to the finalists and we’re excited to reveal the award recipients at the luncheon.

Additionally, learn about the latest digital trends at On the Horizon on Wednesday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oak Hills Country Club. Hear from IT and cyber security specialists about digital fraud and how to avoid cyber break-ins.

You can register for these and all of the North SA Chamber events here.

Thank you for all you do to keep Bexar County strong and I hope to see you soon.

May 2013 Word from the Chairman

Rollins_Brad-ChairmanOn behalf of the board of directors, thank you for your membership and involvement with the North SA Chamber. Since the beginning of the year we have welcomed more than 80 new members and refocused our energies on orienting new members and facilitating participation across the organization. In doing so, we have initiated a personalized welcome for all new members at monthly Networking Breakfasts, personal calls from Membership Committee members, an email series detailing visibility opportunities, and most recently, we have added a new staff member to help navigate new members into involvement that best matches individual focus areas. Christabel Cook is the North SA Chamber’s new Marketing & Membership Services Coordinator and she is available to help connect you to chamber resources.

Government Affairs
On May 1st, the North SA Chamber was honored to host U.S. Senator Ted Cruz for a Small Business Roundtable discussion at the chamber office. A dozen business owners had the opportunity to ask their Senator direct questions and express their concerns over topics including tax reform, government contracting availability for small businesses and health care reform – among many others. We thank Sen. Cruz for asking the North SA Chamber to host the discussion and we were pleased to provide our members the opportunity to have their voices heard before their elected official.

More recently, our Government Affairs committee gained insight on the issues of higher education funding, downtown development, health care and justice.

UTSA Director of External Affairs Albert Carrisalez reviewed the State’s changing role in higher education funding. He explained that up until the 1970s, public universities relied heavily on the legislature for funding. Today, State funds are only about 17% of UTSA’s budget. UTSA been a responsible steward and has been successful in raising private funds from the community for many of their capital building and research funding needs. The university is now seeking approximately $46M from the State to build a new science building to replace their existing 37 year-old obsolete building. The university asks for your support before the legislature to support SB 16 for revenue bonds.

We were also joined by Director of Center City Development Lori Houston. As a direct result of SA2020 vision planning, Houston’s department was created to facilitate redevelopment of our inner city and downtown core and her team is focused on creating more housing and retail opportunities. Here’s a quick synopsis of our downtown economic impact. Downtown is home to an $11B tourism industry – the city core’s anchor, 65K employees representing $2.4B in wages, and 3.4K households accommodating 18K downtown and surrounding area residents. Overall, this has a $6B economic impact on San Antonio. Additionally, Center City is working to mitigate the regulatory challenges to development in downtown, reviewing and amending the Universal Development Code annually and offering incentivized development. If your business is part of a new development or redevelopment project in downtown or the surrounding area, please seek out Center City Development to help facilitate meetings with city departments.

Finally County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson reviewed the County’s focus areas in transportation, healthcare, neighborhood revitalization, jail population reduction, resource recovery – recycling, and energy consumption reduction. Overall, approximately 62% of County revenue comes from property taxes and the County focuses 80% of their efforts on health and justice. Commissioner Adkisson explained that as property values have increased, the County has been diligent to maintain or lower tax rates. The County works with the State, Texas Workforce Commission and nearly 40 nonprofits to correct offenders re-entering society in an effort to reduce re-offenses and volume in Bexar County jail. On the heath front, Commissioner Adkisson says the University Health System is focused on clinical treatment versus emergency, reactive care. The UHS is moving to a leadership role in diabetes control to lessen the costly care that can result from lack of preventative treatment.

Upcoming Events
We’ve got a full slate of summer programs scheduled and there’s sure to be a topic to meet you interest area. Our first CSO SustainAbility Summit is Wednesday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Hilton San Antonio – Airport. CSO Workshops, presented by the Mission Verde Alliance, precede the Summit from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

I hope you’ll join us to “Get the Bexar Facts” at the Eighth Annual State of the County Address with Judge Nelson Wolff on Friday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Judge Wolff will present the County’s priorities and will likely announce a newsworthy initiative or two.

Additionally, the Small Business How 2 Series topic is How 2 Generate Social Media Content: Strategy, Photo, Video and Blog. The seminar is designed for small businesses just launching a social media strategy and will take place Thursday, June 6, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Hilton San Antonio – Airport.

Lastly, the Technology Council presents the Business Technology Series: Accounting Software & Your Business on Wednesday, June 12, from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Petroleum Club. Learn more about what considerations should be made before purchasing, upgrading or transitioning programs.

Be a part of it.
I hope you will join us at these and our other upcoming events, enroll on a committee and be a part of it all here at the North SA Chamber. Thank you for all you do to keep Bexar County strong and I hope to see you soon.

Applications being accepted for citizen positions on the Goal Setting Committees for the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Program

city of sa economic development dept logoThe City of San Antonio is currently accepting applications from residents in all City Council districts who are eligible to serve as citizen members on two (2) Goal Setting Committees for the SBEDA Program. The SBEDA Program uses Goal Setting Committees to identify the contract-specific tools that would most effectively promote the use of small, minority and women-owned businesses on individual contracts. Each appointed citizen member will serve a two-year term and may be re-appointed to serve one additional two-year term.

Applications are available at by selecting “Apply for Boards and Commissions.” The positions will remain open until filled. Individuals interested in the positions must be available to serve a two-year term.

For more information, contact Aurora Perkins, Sr. Economic Development Specialist, at (210) 207-3996.