(Reprinted with permission from the University of Houston Small Business Development Center)

What can you do when your child is sick or injured and the pediatrician’s office has closed for the day?  You don’t want to wait in a busy emergency room but your child can’t wait till the morning.  NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care has the solution.

The first NightLight center opened in Sugar Land in 2007, the brainchild of three uniquely talented professionals:  Anastasia Gentles, M.D. , FAAP, with experience in Pediatric, Diagnostic and Ambulatory Medicine; Zawadi Bryant, with an MBA in Operations Management; and Connie Cazares, a Certified Medical Assistant with over 13 years of experience.  The trio combined their backgrounds and skills to create an affordable and hassle-free alternative to the traditional busy emergency room.  NightLight offers professional medical treatment to children of all ages by a team of certified Pediatricians and Nurse Practitioners, and as the name suggests, is open late for after-hours care, weekends and all holidays.

The business experienced such rapid growth and success that a second location opened in the Cypress Fairbanks area in 2009.  The owners knew that they needed assistance with managing growth, so Bryant enrolled in the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses program.  “The GS 10KSB program provided the framework and much needed time AWAY from the business to develop a realistic and profitable growth plan, identify the obstacles to growth, and how to remove the barriers and obstacles,”  said Bryant.  “The GS 10KSB program gave us a pathway to help us manage and grow our business.”

NightLight’s continued growth gave its owners the opportunity to open a third location, but needed help securing financing for construction.  Enter Charles Capers, Senior Business Advisor at the University of Houston Small Business Development Center.  Casper stepped in to assist Bryant and her partners by reviewing the NightLight financials and preparing their loan proposal.  His counsel helped NightLight secure financing and the capital to build the new clinic, creating seventeen new jobs in the process.
“Charles Capers has a wealth of banking contacts and knowledge which helped streamline the loan packaging process,” Bryant said.  Bryant added while it can be an overwhelming and discouraging process, Capers made it simple by providing a checklist of all documents needed, explained all the financial ratios requirements, and helped assemble the other financial details underwriters would require to approve our loan.  “He advised us how to handle our end-of-year expenses and investments in order to meet the required underwriting requirements, and without question, his advice made a significant impact in us securing financing for our Pearland location.”  Other support provided in the process including setting up the meeting with the banker, facilitating, the review of the financing package, and helped explain what can be a stressful process with little transparency.  Bryant added her thanks for the exception service provided by Capers and the UH SBDC team. “We are on our way to opening our Pearland clinic later this month!”
The business, which started with just the three co-founders, has now grown to a staff of forty professionals and will soon be adding more.  True to its mission to provide exceptional care for children of all ages, to develop outstanding team members, and to have the most admired workplace, NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care was in fact recognized as one of best places to work in 2013 by the Houston Business Journal.

To learn more about this kid-friendly facility and the professional care they provide, visit their website at www.nightlightpediatriccare.com.   To find out how Charles Capers and other SBDC advisors can help your business at no cost to you, visit www.sbdc.uh.edu., or contact Roberta Skebo, Director of Business Advising, at rskebo@uh.edu.