Mayra Ordonez's blog

New restaurant owner perseveres to keep feeding her Chicago community

Most first-time business owners struggle to be profitable during the early stages of their business venture. But when you add a global pandemic into the mix, the chances of being profitable essentially go out of the window. This was the case for Nichole Jackson, a former educator who decided to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and become a restaurant business owner in 2019.


Business owners rely on their years of friendship to pivot their catering model during the pandemic

Starting a business venture with a friend seems like something out of a child’s imagination, but it is the case for best friends Kristina Gutierrez-Carreon and Sheena Rosell. After deciding they wanted to create healthy food together using high-quality ingredients, they opened Fresh Cut Catering in 2014 in Chino, Calif. 


State loan fund provides a lifeline for small business owner in California

When Alicia Villanueva moved to California in the early 2000s, she discovered the ways in which she could learn about different cultures through their native cuisines. And as someone who loves to cook and share her own culture, she worked for many years with her family to turn her passion into a real business. Today, Alicia is the proud owner of Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, a catering company and food processor facility located in Hayward, Calif. 


Denver boutique owner says good-bye to brick-and-mortar shop, and joins community of online retailers

The retail industry has always been part of Allison Orr’s life, so it’s not surprising that she eventually came to own a retail business. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, this experience has enabled her to turn her brick-and-mortar boutique into an online store to safely serve her community.

Kansas City entrepreneur cashes in on her experience to provide telehealth services to the underserved

When Dr. Shelley Cooper launched her telehealth consulting business Diversity Telehealth LLC in Kansas City, Mo. in 2015, she knew she’d face an uphill battle due to the nature of her work. “‘What is telehealth, and how does it work?’—Those are the questions I get all the time,” says Dr. Cooper. “But I’m here to tell you about the lifesaving benefits it can provide, and why you should care about it.”


Delaware dry cleaner gets washed out with debt to keep his business afloat

After working for several companies in the public and private sector, David Mercer Louie realized that he would always have little to no control over his own paycheck. “Even if I gave over 100% of my time and effort to these companies, I’d never earn as much as I could if I worked for myself,” says David. In his case, the alternative was more than obvious: Join the family business at the Harry Louie Laundry and Dry Cleaners in Dover, Del.


New surge in COVID-19 cases threatens the livelihood of Nebraska business owner

Veteran entrepreneur Roxanne Huggins has owned the Comstock Premier Lodge in Sargent, Nebraska since 2009. Working with her husband Mitch and one other employee, they have managed to expand their business from a large farm to a year-round bed & breakfast hunting lodge and ranch. 


Denver restaurateur pivots to outdoor dining concept, but with winter in full force she’s back to the drawing board

In the nine months following the initial coronavirus outbreak, small business owners across the United States continue to struggle to keep up with the changing demands of the global health crisis. From adapting business plans to launching new business ideas, entrepreneurs have been forced to be quick on their feet—or perish.


Entrepreneurs and small business owners: Open enrollment is underway!

This year we’ve seen how important it is for small business owners, their employees and their families to have access to health coverage. If you or your employees need to enroll in or renew your health insurance plans for 2021 through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual marketplace, your time is here. This open enrollment season is taking place from November 1 to December 15, and many will be eligible for premium assistance to help offset the cost of coverage.

Here are some key facts to keep in mind as you consider shopping for coverage: