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Construction Company In Georgia Shows Latinos Can Run Big, Successful Projects 

When the banks denied her a credit line, Guiomar Obregón found a way to launch her business and become a government contractor. 

Colombian Guiomar Obregón had to refinance her house 21 years ago. She also asked her family for a loan because the banks had refused to finance the project she and her husband, Carlos Sánchez, were trying to launch.

Today, Precision 2000, the small business they painstakingly set up in 2000, is among Georgia’s largest construction companies.

The company has won contracts with the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the cities of Atlanta, Marietta and Roswell.

The Colombian engineer’s business adventure began when the company where she used to work was restructured. Obregón lost her job and thought it was time for a new beginning.

Guiomar Obregón advises other Latinos who want to launch companies, “You have to be guided by those who have already walked that path.” (Negocios Now)

When the company got its first contract, it needed money to begin working.

“I remember that I went to the bank happy because we had a contract. I wanted to request a line of credit, a starting loan, and they [the bank employees] looked at me as if I had come from another planet,” said the entrepreneur.

“Come back when the job is done, and you have profits,” they told her.

Like many other Latino entrepreneurs, Obregón managed to get the money. “We refinanced the house, and my mother lent us her savings because we needed to show we had working capital,” Obregón said.

“We pulled money where we could,” she said, explaining she even used her credit cards.

A large Hispanic company 

Today, Precision 2000 is a sizable Hispanic company. It has been certified as a minority-owned business to become a government contractor. However, its competitors are any of the “big construction companies” in the state, said Obregón, who graduated with a degree in civil engineering, earned an MBA from Georgia Tech.

Obregón wants to break the stereotype that “a Hispanic business is not on the same [quality] level as others. We can do big and complex projects.”

The company has had up to 85 employees during the summer, which is peak season, according to Obregón. It continues to grow, and along the way, she has learned many valuable lessons that have helped the company face new challenges.

Precision 2000 hires up to 85 employees in the summer, which is helpful to the many Latinos seeking employment in the construction industry. In this video, a company called Bider connects Hispanics with companies that employ them, such as Precision 2000.

“Yes, we have been successful … but it is because we have worked hard. But to say that we are successful and have already reached the top [is too much]. I do not feel that way, because we are growing professionally and as a company every day,” she said.

The engineer urges other entrepreneurs “to prepare themselves and learn. Many believe they know everything. But if you are not open to learning, you will not grow. You have to be guided by those who have already walked that path,” she said.

Precision 2000, la exitosa empresa de Guiomar Obregón, un ejemplo de superación was first published in Negocios Now.

(Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos; edited by Fern Siegel)

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