Small Business Majority's blog

Los Angeles designer has passion that extends well beyond fashion

Johana Hernandez has been surrounded by fashion her whole life. Growing up, her parents worked in sewing factories in Los Angeles, which enabled Johana to learn all about garment design and the production of high-end clothing firsthand. In the beginning, making her own clothes was simply a hobby that Johana and her mother enjoyed doing together in their spare time, but soon it became a passion and her path to entrepreneurship. 

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Bed sheets and Bootstrapping: One small business owner’s guide to surviving the pandemic and making a difference

After a trip to visit a friend’s son at a local pediatric ward left Kevin Gatlin disheartened, he became determined to make lengthy hospital stays more comfortable for kids and parents alike. He thought about how his kids utilize the limited space in their own bedrooms by playing games, doing homework and reading on their beds. From this point, Kevin let his imagination run wild and created Playtime Bed Sheets, interactive sheets to help keep kids entertained from the comfort of a bed. 

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Bay Area business owner has big resolutions for the new year

Ten years ago, Sway Soturi woke up to find that her face had swollen “to the size of a watermelon.” After speaking with doctors and friends, she decided to cut out inflammatory ingredients like gluten and dairy from her diet. 

After 15 years working in the restaurant industry and battling an eating disorder, Sway had to re-define nutrition and her relationship with food. Over the next few years, she shifted to a wellness mindset becoming a personal trainer and cooking with more natural and local ingredients. 

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Cycling through pivots during a pandemic

The gut reaction to quickly pivot their business was a survival method that saved many small business owners from closing their doors this year. Now, nine months after initial stay at home orders were set in place in response to the spread of COVID-19, many entrepreneurs across the country are looking for their second pivot of the year in order to survive.

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Stories of Resiliency: Small business owners who inspired us in 2020

Over the summer, as small business owners began to share how they were pivoting their businesses to meet the needs of their communities and stay open during the pandemic, we were inspired to launch our Stories of Resiliency campaign on Instagram

Over the past six months, we have shared dozens of stories from small business owners in our network who have expertly adapted their businesses and overcome massive unexpected setbacks. Here are some of their stories.

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Chicago business owner knows to tap into local capital resources when traditional funding is unavailable

As the owner of a catering company, Nicole Jordan has seen an extreme decline in contracts and income since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately for this Illinois-based small business owner, as a former banker she is well connected to the financial resources in her community.

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Meet our Outreach Team -- Rachel Shanklin

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 Rachel Shanklin, Small Business Majority’s new Georgia Outreach Manager, to let small business owners know how our team members can assist them.

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Closures have greater impacts than you may think as ecosystems are disrupted

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.

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Georgia Healthcare Agent Talks Open Enrollment and Supreme Court Hearings

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. 

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