Small Business Majority's blog

Small business owner grapples with business changing through the pandemic

Former finance professional Howard Konishi always dreamed of owning his own gym and making a difference in his community. After turning 30, Howard finally decided to trade his suit and tie for climbing shoes and a harness full time. 

The rock climber put his degree in economics to good use and started doing market research on where to open Top Out Climbing Gym. Finally, he decided on Santa Clarita, a smaller city north of Los Angeles, without a rock climbing facility. 

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Atlanta business owner uses predatory experience to educate first-time entrepreneurs

As a business owner, not asking the right questions in the beginning stages of your business can lead to years of financial repercussions. Georgia entrepreneur Markela Taylor knows this well. 

Markela was happy at her nine-to-five job until a family emergency pulled her away from the office. After believing her job would be safe while she traveled to be with her family, she was surprised when she got an email saying her job was in jeopardy.  

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Small Business Majority 2021 Year in Review

This year, we continued to educate small business owners and entrepreneurs about important resources, funding options, policy updates and more that could help their businesses recover from the ongoing pandemic and become more resilient. Over the course of the year, we hosted and participated in more than 430 events, partnering with more than 300 organizations and stakeholders. These events garnered more than 20,000 event registrants  and indirectly reached 150,000 individuals.

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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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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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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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Former federal employee helps minority-owned small businesses access funding

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. 

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Pandemic sparks entrepreneurship for rural candlemaker

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.

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