3 questions with Band of Brothers, SBA's top veteran-owned business in Hawaii

3 questions with Band of Brothers, SBA's top veteran-owned business in Hawaii

Band of Brothers Investment Group, LLC, a company that supports businesses in the real estate, health, fitness, and wellness industries, and has nearly 50 employees, was named the Hawaii District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Veteran Business of Year 2023 for the state.

Dearonne Bethea is the founder and CEO of Band of Brothers. She said that at first, Band of Brothers had startup costs of $750,000. This was paid for by a loan from Wells Fargo, SBA, and a 25% deposit.

Bethea retired after 20 years of service, having been promoted 11 times and becoming an officer.

According to their website, Band of Brothers, and Tri-City Equity Group (a sister company), manage real estate assets worth more than $40,000,000. Bethea will host the Hawaii Millionaire Mindset Conference, which will teach investing strategies for building generational wealth. The conference runs from June 29 to July 1, at Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii Island.

What one lesson did you learn in the military and how have you applied it to your business? I am a big fan of systems, processes, and placing the right people in positions. It's a lot like my military days. I am always on the lookout for things that could cause us trouble, and also at our profitability. What can we do to improve margins?

How did you stay afloat in the face of the pandemic and keep your business going? We were called high risk in the fitness industry but we have always been frugal. We've always been conservative. We have never been overreaching. We were therefore in the best possible position. We got more sleep and made more money - in fact, the pandemic was a success. SBA paid everyone to get an SBA loan. We didn't pay anything because the SBA paid directly. We were able get the PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] loan. Don't misunderstand me, it was a setback. We had plans. We don't over-leverage. We pay for our expenses and use the money we have to purchase other businesses or property.

What is the current trend in your industry? When it comes to working with landlords they are less aggressive in their terms. We'll get maybe $3 or $4 if it was $6. Rents are dropping. We are seeing landlords be a bit more friendly in their concessions.

Address: 747 Queen St. Honolulu HI 96813

Phone: 808-744-5300