Spotlight on a Native Business: Aztec Printing Solutions Inc.
Aztec Printing Solutions, Inc. has provided printing and promotional items to Native American communities and businesses across Arizona and the entire United States for 24 years. Founded by Catarino Becerra, Aztec Printing is Native American-owned and operated, with Catarino’s son Carlos Becerra now serving as Executive Vice President. We recently talked to Carlos about the history of Aztec Printing, how the company has evolved and adapted to doing business during COVID-19, and what the future holds. One of the keys to its success? Exercising cultural awareness with its clients.
We hope you enjoy learning about Aztec Printing Solutions!
1. Tell us a little bit about your company?
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Aztec Printing Solutions is a Native American printing and promotional item business serving Native American communities in Arizona, as well as throughout the United States. We are one of the largest Native American-printing companies in the Southwest and have been recognized as an outstanding Native business. Key to our success has been our ability to exercise cultural awareness with clients, allowing us to build and retain solid business relationships. We aren’t just looking to make a sale: we pride ourselves in taking the time to get to know our customer’s business and its special needs. In the end, we know who our customers are and how we can contribute to their success.
2. When did you open and how did you get the idea to open Aztec Printing?
My father, Catarino Becerra, started the business over 24 years ago in 1996 at the age of 51. To date, he has worked in the printing industry for nearly 57 years. His dream was always to run his own company—to be his own boss, and to start a hardworking family owned business.
3. How have you been managing through the COVID-19 pandemic?
It has definitely been a challenge for us, as it has been for all businesses. The pandemic has forced us to reevaluate how we do business and allowed us to imagine new and creative ways to better serve our customers. During this time, we’ve invested more capital toward our online presence and our technology.
In April, we were able to secure a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration and are in the process of applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) as well. Our 24 years in business has honed our resiliency, and we look forward to the time beyond this pandemic to a bright and stronger future.
4. How has your tribe supported Aztec Printing Solutions?
We are proud members of the Tohono O’odham Nation. In 1999 our tribal nation offered a $75,000 business grant to its qualifying members. This working capital enabled us to upgrade our production and office equipment, which then permitted us to operate a very successful satellite office on the Tohono O’odham Nation, in Sells, Arizona, for 5 years.