South-West Texas Border SBDC's are Open for Business ** Details

  • Shannon Gaude Hayward Gaude Photography

    Hayward and Shannon Gaude own Hayward Gaude Photography and have been clients of the UTSA SBDC since 2013 and in business for over 10 years. The Gaudes tragically lost their family’s visual legacy during Hurricane Katrina, which spurred their relocation to San Antonio. The Hayward’s experience gives them a unique connection with their clients and a deep understanding of the priceless meaning behind portrait photography.

    Just like all small businesses, they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have had to adapt their business model to the limitations on an art that requires being in the same space as their customers. They began by creating new marketing materials communicating how much they miss their clients, calling them “hug” cards. They also began contact-less delivery of clients’ portraits that were completed prior to the stay-at-home orders, because they did not want families to have to risk coming to them or waiting to receive their cherished memories.

    They have also created a YouTube channel, where they interview other local small business owners to discuss what they are currently focusing on and how they are preparing for recovery. Their weekly postings serve as encouragement and a sense of community that small businesses are not in this alone.

    The Haywards also wanted to find a way to show their gratitude to the heroes on the front lines helping our community fight against COVID-19 in keeping our essential services open. “Portraits for Heroes” allows people to submit information about the hero in their life and in return their hero will receive a gift voucher for a signature studio portrait session. They have been able to gift 20 local heroes.

    The Haywards are receiving current assistance from UTSA SBDC’s Senior Advisors Crystal Darby and Patrice McElfresh through guidance in applying for SBA disaster relief funding and staying informed of available options.

    Visit Hayward Gaude Photography Online

    View KSAT12 News Story

    View story in Rivard Report

  • David Dilling Filtration Products

    Since 1995, Filtration Products has manufactured air filters for HVAC systems. The company is owned by David Dilling. Other companies in San Antonio resell air filters, but Filtration Products is the only manufacturer of filters in South Texas. The company’s products are used in professional office buildings, retail centers, hotels, restaurants, and hospitals, and are sold to distribution companies and air conditioning service companies as well as individual homeowners. The pleated air filters are of high quality and can be manufactured in any size needed for every business application.

    Dilling came to the SBDC initially for help with his website and marketing his business. Senior Business Advisor Crystal Darby helped with updates to his website and assisted him in obtaining publicity in the San Antonio Express-News about his home delivery service. Crystal also helped him prepare for government contracting. She researched the GSA pricing of his competitors and helped him put together a price list which he has used for several government bids, including the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy.

    With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dilling has had to rapidly innovate. His new focus as a result is offering their same quality air filter that they have been manufacturing for government, commercial, and residential facilities for the past 25 years and turning them into inserts for face masks.

    “We are used to protecting hospitals and military bases from dust, allergens, and other airborne contaminants,” says Dilling. “Now we can give individuals that same protection, just in a smaller, portable size.”

    Filter inserts convert cloth masks to M14 / 95 protection. They are 5-inches by 6.75-inches, the right size to slip into a pocket or lining in a face mask.

    Filters4Air has donated filters locally in San Antonio, while also offering individual and wholesale options. “Our service in San Antonio is contact-less, and we ship nationally as well. We take the stress away from measuring air filters, going to the store, and searching shelves,” Dilling says.

    For more information on Filtration Products and their services visit

    View the KSAT12 News Feature

  • Meet Vicki and Deidre, owners of The Refinery Men’s Grooming Lounge located in New Braunfels, Texas.

    Vicki and Deidre, owners of The Refinery Men's Grooming Lounge

    Vicki and Deidre, owners of The Refinery Men’s Grooming Lounge

    The Refinery Men’s Grooming Lounge is the creation of two local women who aspired to create the premier men’s salon in New Braunfels.  Their business is centered around the idea that a men’s salon can be a different kind of experience. Top notch attention to detail no matter how simple the service.

    The Prince Solms Royal Shave with steam

    The Prince Solms Royal Shave with steam

    Here like-minded stylists and barbers provide the highest quality services in a clean and masculine setting.  Their goal is to provide the best service to every client, every time. They are extremely grateful for the support they have received from the local community and strive to reciprocate that support at every opportunity.  

    Cleansing Comal Facial with steam

    Cleansing Comal Facial with steam

    At The Refinery Men’s Grooming Lounge they love to mix old school tradition with modern trends and cutting edge skill. They’re not a salon, but an uncomplicated place for men of all ages to get a cut, trim or a shave. If you’re feeling adventurous, try their new facials and waxing–they won’t tell!


    You can find The Refinery Men’s Grooming Lounge at 2363 Gruene Lake Drive, New Braunfels, Texas 78130, United States Unit A, online at or by calling 830.609.9727.

    Client Assistance:

    Vicki and Deidre used the assistance of the UTSA Small Business Development Center Satellite Office and met with Business Advisor Larry New to help with their business formation. Together, they worked on detailed financial projections and their business plan for a business loan. The UTSA Small Business Development Center’s Satellite Office is located at 940 W. San Antonio Street in New Braunfels and you can reach Larry at 830-214-6435.

    We are proud to be a part of The Refinery Men’s Grooming Lounge’s success!

    Find the UTSA Small Business Development Center at 940 W. San Antonio Street in New Braunfels and call us at 830-214-6435.

    Check out more New Braunfels and Seguin success stories!

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  • Frank McKay, a UTSA alumnus and U.S. Army veteran, and L.J. Letourneau have spent the majority of their careers working for an oil services company that did inspection and testing for high-pressure fracking wells. In 2018, they decided the time was right to fulfill their shared dream of owning their own business. With 20 years of combined experience in the oil industry—and a new, innovative technology to share with customers—the pair launched their own company, 2A Energy Services, LLC.

    The company provides services and products to the well stimulation and completion processes in the Eagle Ford Shale. Their products and services primarily focus on pressure containment, well control, and fluid transfer equipment. 2A Energy Services’ customers include companies who specialize in hydraulic fracturing, cement pumping, coil tubing, well drill out, well flow back, and well testing. They also have been carrying iron supplies, and well and gauge parts, in order to provide real time repairs in the area. 2A Energy Services also helped to design and build a radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology app with a prominent technology company. This innovative technology allows their customers to obtain inspection data and asset management in real time right from their phones, saving them down-time, money, and ensuring accurate field data.

    Frank and L.J. approached The University of Texas at San Antonio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and worked with Senior Business Advisor Lisha Garcia. She helped with the initial launch of their company by reviewing and refining their business plan and assisting them with developing financial projections. As the company grew, they needed to hire additional workers and were also seeking to move from their start up location in L.J.’s garage to permanent office space. Lisha worked with the owners to revise their business plan and prepare them to meet with high profile lenders, investors and CEOs, in order to help them reach their new company goals. The pair has now hired workers and has permanent office and shop space in Pleasanton, Texas. The move also allowed them to increase their capacity to store more equipment, hire additional employees, and fulfill their number one goal of providing health insurance for their employees.

  • Sam Pena of SAMS (Spine and Musculo-Skeletal) Clinic

    Sam had been a chiropractor working with a corporate practice for three years. He was able to save up some startup capital and planned to open his own practice. With his own practice, Sam is now able to operate and treat his loyal patients with the absolute passion and quality that he’s always wanted to provide under his own business model. Sam’s wife, Sunny, was familiar with the services of the UTSA Small Business Development Center. Once she and her husband were ready to make the leap of starting their own practice, Sunny recommended her husband visit with the UTSA SBDC in order to gain some startup assistance. During Sam’s session with his Business Advisor Hector Ramirez, they first discussed legal structure and the process of attaining an EIN in the effort of opening up a business checking account. Sam and Hector also reviewed several sample business plans. By understanding the value of business planning, Sam is well on his way to building a practice with future growth potential. Sam anticipates continuing to use the services at the UTSA SBDC by attending marketing workshops and follow up sessions with his Business Advisor.

    Additional therapy room on site

    Sam and Sunny Pena

    Facebook Page: SAMS Clinic SATX