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Lucas & Marcia, Universal Art Gallery

Thanks to Valley Economic Development Center for this story!


Lucas and Marcia Da Silva, owners of the Universal Art Gallery in Los Angeles, have been in the custom art framing business for 16 years, and were facing an all too familiar problem:  the need to expand versus the fear of an uncertain economy.

The custom picture framing industry is cyclical; although the Da Silvas have many clients ranging from corporate to retail and wholesale, the turnaround time combined with the accounts receivable terms were leaving the Universal Art Gallery owners looking for funds to bridge the gap and to purchase more equipment to speed up production.

“We approached several banks and everyone said they are not doing loans right now.  The banks got financial assistance from the government but we didn’t and we needed help,”  said Lucas Da Silva.  “It seemed like no one was willing to help.”

That’s when Mr. Da Silva decided to contact VEDC for a small business loan. With the help of VEDC and a Citywide Small Business Loan the Universal Art Gallery was able to purchase new equipment allowing them to shorten their project turnaround, giving them the flexibility to take on more projects.

“VEDC stepped up during a critical time.” noted the Universal Art Gallery co-owner. “We were afraid to deplete all our funds during this uncertain economy but with the Citywide Small Business Loan we have been able to purchase new machines and expand our business.  We have also been able to take on new employees.  We’re even looking at the possibility of buying another delivery van.”

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