New Accion rep means better loan access in Portales

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Accion New Mexico will soon have a new representative in southeast New Mexico who will help out entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to expand in the Portales and Clovis area.

Pamela Nance was selected as the regional outreach coordinator for the Accion New Mexico, a non-profit organization that increases access to business credit. Nance will be able to help out entrepreneurs who want a loan to start a small business or to expand their existing business. Nance said she can help with those who are seeking loans which range from $200 to $50,000.

“I’m very excited,” Nance said about the position. “I’m really looking forward to working with partners from the communities. My background in lending is an asset. We have a very simple application process.”

One of the big pushes for Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega and Portales City Manager Debi Lee is to bring in new business and to see more Portales residents starting small businesses.

Linda Lee, Accion New Mexico Outreach and Business Development director out of Albuquerque, and Nance were in Portales on Wednesday. Lee said Nance has been introduced to Hobbs economic development, chamber and city officials earlier in the week and on Wednesday made a trip to Portales to reaffirm the partnerships the City of Portales has with Accion New Mexico.

Linda Lee said Accion New Mexico received $5 million from the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corp. in 2004. Lee said Accion representatives began lending the money in January of 2004 and by the summer of 2005 all of the $5 million was lent out.

Lee said Accion New Mexico has secured more than $100,000 for nine businesses in the Clovis and Portales area since November of 2004.

Lee said Nance will be working out of the Hobbs office, the first branch office of the Albuquerque location. She said the office is still being worked on and the grand opening will be in late February. Lee said people who are interested in a loan can call 1-800-508-7624.

Nance said she will help people with financial literacy so they are able to request loans. Nance has 17 years of banking experience.

Accion members are wanting to expand on some of the work they have done with entrepreneurs in the Portales and Clovis area. Accion officials held a workshop for business owners and entrepreneurs in late January. Approximately 40 people showed up to Portales city hall for the workshops.

“We discovered that there is a lot of entrepreneurship in this community,” Linda Lee said. “There is a lot of community support from local government for small businesses. There is so much creativity here from small business owners.”

Ortega was encouraged by the turnout and Linda Lee said Accion members would like to have more workshops in Portales and Clovis.

Linda Lee said loan applications are completed over the phone and ACCION employees work with partners such as Wells Fargo lenders in Clovis and Portales to finalize the loan. Lee said Lisa Dunagan of Wells Fargo can make trips to the Portales office to help those who are interested in business loans.