Blogs

Discovering cultures through cuisine: Restaurateur brings her Filipino zing to Wisconsin

Only a couple of months away from receiving an engineering degree, Alexa Alfaro decided to go out on a limb and pitched a business idea to her family. She’d spent the better part of her life learning about her Filipino heritage with her father, and cooking was the main ingredient for her to do just that. That’s when she launched Meat on the Street, Milwaukee’s first Filipino food truck in 2014.

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Small business owner is keeping the world warm, one blanket at a time

For Rosie Arias, her mission is simple. She wants to keep the world warm one baby at a time.

Whimsical Charm, based out of Long Beach, Calif., was incorporated in 2011 after Rosie’s close friends began having children and she couldn’t find a blanket that was unique and different to gift them. This inspired her to use her fashion degree and sewing skills to make an easily-maintained, practical blanket that looked nice. 

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Georgia bakery owner strives to create sustainable careers for her team

Georgia leads the nation in production of peanuts, pecans, blueberries and spring onions. Don’t forget the peaches. The warm weather, diverse soil types and rural surroundings make for fresh, rich produce. For Sarah O’Brien, owner and founder of Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta, this luscious produce is one of the main reasons she moved to the South to start her business in 2010. 

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Veteran food truck owner turns to quick financing to stay afloat during the pandemic

When federal funding programs don’t work for the small businesses they were designed to support, owners may be forced to seek out much riskier avenues to capital in order to keep their doors open. Unfortunately Chef Frisco Thumbtzen in South Carolina is one such example. 

After his military service left him with disabled veteran status, Chef Frisco turned to entrepreneurship. In the military, he worked as a limousine driver and when he was discharged, he was given his own vehicle so he could start up his own transportation business. 

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California business owner struggles to stay afloat after being targeted by predatory lenders

More than a year and a half into the pandemic, many small businesses are unsure if they will be able to recover after fighting to stay above water and accruing crippling debt. Small business owners of color, women and immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as they’ve faced barriers to accessing federal relief programs and traditional lending. Small business owner Daysi Del Rosario Rivas Peralta is one example.

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Latino business owner expands his social enterprise to increase access to nutritional meals

Owning a small business can be challenging if you don’t have access to resources and tools to help you understand and manage the operational side of your business. For Javier Haro, this came at a high cost when his short debut as a restaurant owner came to a screeching halt after shutting down his business when the 2009 economic downturn hit the market.

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Hot sauce creator decentralizes her businesses to survive the pandemic

Deb Ramirez Rock’s Sonoma, Calif.-sourced hot sauce has been her passion project for more than seven years, but after a series of unpredictable events—starting with a wildfire in 2019 that destroyed her crops—it has been an uphill battle to make her organic, locally made hot sauce. 

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DC camera company finds funding to keep the lights on during the pandemic

Freelance cameraman, cinematographer and Emmy award winner Erich Roland first learned his craft by his father’s side. For many years, he worked freelance until July of 2004, when he decided to expand his passion into a small business. He used his own personal inventory, which includes premier motion picture and photography equipment, to rent audio and visual equipment to customers, and DC-Camera was born. 

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Latino business owner on path to rebound, but a Catch-22 is holding him back

Martin Garcia opened Gramercy Gift Gallery in 2018, in the bustling city of San Antonio, T.X., with the vision to fill a gap in his community. As a minority-owned business, Gramercy Gift Gallery brings unique gifts, art, decor and novelties to a community that continues to expand, grow and attract retail chains. And while the growth is rapid in the area, small businesses and independent shops are still scarce. 

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Panel of experts share best resources for Hispanic and Latino small business owners

From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing resources for Hispanic and Latino small business owners. This year, we asked Small Business Majority network member Jaqueline Vrba and National Latino Outreach Manager Latavia Pineda about their work with the Hispanic community and their favorite resources.

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