Grind Time Facilities – Getting SBA Loan Ready

If you’re located in the Whittier area of Southern California, Grind Time Facilities is the place to work on those healthy New Year’s fitness resolutions or up your sports game.

Starting with a 5 am Ground Zero Fitness class, members have an opportunity to work out every hour in individual or group sessions running through 8 pm.  Participants range from 7 years old to 18+ and work on everything from speed and strength to sports specific fieldwork.  Here’s how the owner of Grind Time Facilities is working with SmartBiz Loans® to get SBA loan ready and expand his business.


Jacob Almaraz, owner of Grind Time Facilities, comes by his entrepreneurial spirit honestly. His father owns a successful trucking company and Almaraz learned the ins and outs of running a small business while working for him.

“I really have no business experience except just watching my dad run his business,” Almaraz says. “He always wanted me to follow my dreams and is proud of me for going out on my own. He can relate to struggle and growth.”

Like many, passion led Almaraz to start down his own entrepreneurial path.

“I played baseball for a long time and wanted to continue to stay in the sport,” he says. “In 2014, I saw the need in our community for athlete development along with mental and physical health.”

Almaraz self-funded Grind Time Facilities and has been running his business successfully almost three years. However, he identified opportunities for growth and knew that he needed low-cost funds to move forward.

Almaraz couldn’t find the loan size with long terms that he needed to properly scale his business. “I looked into a lot of different types of lending but I didn’t meet the criteria for the loan I needed.” That’s when he came across SmartBiz Loans on Instagram. He determined that a low-cost SBA loan with a 10-year term would be the best way to fund Grind Time growth initiatives. However, he didn’t qualify… yet. That’s when he learned about the new SmartBiz Advisor ™ tool, that SmartBiz® launched in late 2017. 

SmartBiz Advisor is a transparent online tool to help small business owners learn how to get low cost SBA and bank funding they deserve.  The tool gives small business owners their unique Loan Ready Score*, built by analyzing thousands of small business financials through an intelligent platform.

To get started, Almaraz uploaded his most recent business tax return and answered a few simple questions.  In minutes he learned how Grind Time stacked up in key areas banks use to evaluate businesses. Debt coverage, debt usage, credit and business revenue trends are a few of the criteria looked at by banks.

“I learned how I can make my finances work,” says Almaraz. “My credit is strong but I need to increase my business income to qualify for an SBA loan.” 

Almaraz logs onto his SmartBiz Advisor dashboard once a month to see where he stands and determine if he needs to concentrate on other key financial areas. Almaraz shares his thoughts about SmartBiz Advisor after using the tool for several months. “I love the functionality of it,” he says. “I like how you’re given a number so you can see how far off you are or if you already meet the requirements. It’s extremely user friendly.”

To reach his goal of increasing income to qualifying for an SBA loan, Almaraz is working to get the Grind Time Facilities name out in front of his community. He has excellent word-of-mouth referrals and is also using social media – specifically Facebook and Instagram – to increase awareness and attract a more high-end clientele.

“It’s tough because I’m always in the gym but I’m going to try and reach out through local city events too,” Almaraz says.

Almaraz knows he can grow and strengthen his business with proceeds from an SBA loan. “I want to look for a new location with an open floor plan. I also need to purchase additional equipment and add some staff,” he says. “We’re the first of our kind in this area. When we get bigger and better, we will dominate.”

Almaraz is working hard to reach his dreams. “I work non-stop, full go, usually putting in 60+ hours a week.” All of that work is worth it, he says. “The best part of owning Grind Time is having ownership of something that’s a reflection of yourself. The growth and failure of the business depends on me,” he says. “I don’t have to answer to anyone.”


Are you a small business owner in need of funding? An SBA loan is known as the “gold standard” due to low rates and a 10-year term.  If you’re not sure you qualify, try the new SmartBiz Advisor™ online, educational tool to learn about how you can get your business SBA or bank loan ready – no cost involved.  You can assess key criteria banks consider and where your business stands on each. Learn more about SmartBiz Advisor here.


* The Loan Ready Score is for educational purposes and is not the same as scores used by lenders for credit decision. SmartBiz Advisor is an educational tool to help you learn about how lenders may view your business. As such, you should not rely on this as the primary source of your business or personal financial decisions SmartBiz Advisor is not a financial or legal advisor as defined under federal or state law.