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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tax expert Talibah Bayles started her career in a big way, working for the FBI in Washington, D.C, but in 2006 she decided to move back to her hometown of Birmingham, Ala. and launch her own business so she could focus on taking care of her young family. While Birmingham is a much smaller city, Talibah was determined to make a big impact on her community.
Small Business Majority’s Outreach Team advocates for entrepreneurs on two fronts: It supports policies that would benefit small firms, and it offers workshops and events that help small business owners grow their companies. We have found this work to be even more important during this global health and economic crisis.
This week we are spotlighting Josaline Cuesta, Small Business Majority’s Senior California Program Manager and Southern California Outreach Manager.
Q: Could you tell us about your position at Small Business Majority?
Middle school teacher Talia Waller started making her own organic candles for fun because the price point for similar products are so high in stores. In the early days of the pandemic, her candle-making hobby became a successful side hustle for Talia. These days, Catherine Ann’s Candles—named for Talia’s two grandmothers—is a thriving business with a storefront and bulk contracts with her local supermarket.
After working as a rescue specialist at a fire department in Mexico City for many years, Hector Chavez and his family moved to the United States so he could pursue certifications and advance his career. But 10 years later and out of opportunities to continue his passion, Hector decided to open Plaza Garibaldi, a Mexican restaurant in Soledad, Calif.