Small Business Profiles
Derreck Johnson is painstakingly aware of how the current global health crisis has impacted not only his small business but the entire small business ecosystem in Oakland, Calif.
Derreck has been an entrepreneur for the past 30 years and has always had a passion for identifying a community need and filling it with a business. His entrepreneurial journey started with a small car washing business, but now he is a restaurateur and the proud founder of the now employee-owned restaurant Home of Chicken and Waffles.
With open enrollment for 2021 now live and U.S. Supreme Court hearings that could determine the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) happening this week, healthcare is top of mind for many small business owners. Rich Gordon, a solo-entrepreneur and healthcare agent in Georgia is amongst them.
Rich actually started his business in response to the passing of the ACA. He had worked his entire career in health insurance and was approaching retirement. He saw the ACA as an opportunity to both help people and sustain an income in his retirement.
Tammy McDaniel started working in travel management after serving in the Iowa National Guard for five years and the U.S. Air Force for more than two years, but she’s always had a curiosity and passion for the travel industry. As a young woman who vacationed with her family every year, she found travel booking to be an interesting way to make a living. She sought opportunities to help her learn more about travel management, and eventually she opened Tammy’s Journeys in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Guana Stamps, owner of Keep it Moving & Associates LLC in Chicago, Ill. opened her limousine service with the idea of offering a safe, reliable way of transportation for her clients. Keep it Moving is a pet friendly car service, which is an uncommon feature in the transportation business and sets her apart from the local competition.
After working as a public school teacher in Los Angeles during the height of the 2008 recession, Corissa Hernandez was inspired to launch her first mission-driven company to support her local community in Covina, California. Through Legacy Full Circle Financial & Insurance Services, Corissa educates low to middle-income families about financial literacy and planning. But she didn’t stop there.
Rob Lightner and his business partner Chris Coomber opened East Brother Beer Company, a brewery and taproom in Richmond, California with the idea that beer can be a democratizing force—by being more accessible to those who wish to try new “potions,” enjoy some downtime and foster relationships in an inclusive community.
The pandemic has been an isolating time for everyone, but especially for seniors. Fortunately, D.C. entrepreneur Carleigh Berryman had already started testing a solution to engage seniors socially and mentally when the pandemic led to the shutdown of nursing homes and retirement communities across the country.
Luisa Santos was only eight years old when she and her family moved from Bogota, Colombia to the United States in search of better opportunities. Since then, Luisa has found creative ways to support and participate in her community, and started her entrepreneurship journey with LuLu's Ice Cream, a nitrogen ice cream shop and catering business in Miami, Florida.
Kiev Morales has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. His product? His music. The 20-year-old violinist has performed all over the world, but these days is having to adapt to virtual audiences and online streaming and only recently began performing outdoors again.
What comes after the pivot? Many small business owners who initially re-tooled their business to better suit the needs of consumers during the pandemic are starting to ask themselves this very question. Among them is Eric Cup who expertly adapted his business early on, but is now finding his pivot, while necessary, is not sustainable.
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