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Star Client Awards

Every year across New Mexico, each NMSBDC center selects a business that has shown an extraordinary commitment not only to their own business success but also to their community.  The businesses selected meet criteria based upon the diverse New Mexico economy.

Pictures from this years event


SBDC @ Luna Community College

Katherine and Fidel Valdez, the new owners of the Napa Auto Parts Store in Las Vegas, NM are no strangers to success. The couple have a long history of working with the Small Business Development Center at Luna Community College. In September of 2009 they opened their first business, an auto parts store in Angel Fire, NM. Most recently, in January of 2015, Katherine approached the SBDC for assistance in expanding their business with a second location in Las Vegas, NM. She requested information and assistance regarding loan programs and resources that could help their vision become a reality. In June of 2016, Napa Auto Parts opened its doors and is located at 231 Mills Ave Las Vegas, NM 87701.

The new Napa Auto Parts store in Las Vegas is one of the more than 6,000 independently-owned stores across the United States. Katherine and Fidel began by leasing the building they are in and obtaining a loan from Bank and America for start-up costs and inventory. SInce then, they have employed many locals in both locations. The Las Vegas location even employs a few Luna Community College students. “The SBDC was a great resource for me to open up my new business location,” says Katherine. “The SBDC was instrumental in getting answers to all of our questions.” With the couples experience and the resources provided by the SBDC, the vision of having multiple locations came into reality.

Currently, the couple owns and operates both auto parts stores. The future looks bright for the business and the couple's plans consist of “being successful not only in business, but in community outreach and engagement.” This dynamic duo takes pride in being local business owners that want to add the “local flavor” into their businesses.

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