Entrepreneurs get access to much needed capital

At BakerRipley, we’re working to provide all Houston entrepreneurs with equal opportunities. 

In a normal year, minority entrepreneurs usually face a number of challenges others might not. Including a huge gap in access to funding, higher interest rates, and more loan denials.

At BakerRipley, we’re working to close this gap and provide all Houston entrepreneurs with equal opportunities. Even more so during an event like Covid-19.

As this recent article illustrates, minority business owners are disproportionally impacted by the pandemic as well:

“From February to April of this year, there was a 41% decline in Black-owned businesses and a 32% drop in Latinx business owners. White entrepreneurs experienced only a 17% decline. Among those who applied for Paycheck Protection Program support, a report from Color of Change and Unidosus found that only 12% received the assistance they had requested and forty-one percent received none.”

Our Entrepreneur Connection team has been working alongside our neighbors to ensure they receive much-needed capital. So far, we’ve seen a huge increase with local entrepreneurs. As of June 30th, our neighbors have accessed $554,600 in funding – 16 times more than in all of 2019.

Read about some of the entrepreneurs BakerRipley is working with. Most funds came from the SBA’s Payment Protection Program (PPP) and an Economic Disaster Injury Loan (EDIL).

Mari Briz, Vice Versa Group

Vice Versa was born from the need to do quality advertising communication in a multicultural market. Since the pandemic began, customer flow dropped considerably.

She was able to obtain the SBA loan and this has helped her pay salaries for two months. Mari says that the loan has been a great “breather” for her company in difficult times.

Mari is also using this time to approach existing customers to assist with their new needs and collaborate on various community webinars.

Carlos Valmory & Omar Aguilar, Made Men Barbershop

Made Men have been in business for over 10 years and have overcome their share of obstacles. However, dealing with a pandemic was new, as they were ordered to close for two months.

During this time they wanted to make sure their employees had income, while also preparing the barbershop to reopen following all safety guidelines.

They were so grateful to be able to receive the SBA funding and used it for personal protective gear for their employees and a safer environment for their clients.

Juan Pablo, Lourdes & Roberto, L&R Flooring

Although L&R flooring was deemed an essential business they had to reduce their employees’ hours.

The owners were also worried about their employees’ health and families therefore have adjusted how they do business. In addition, they have experienced a decrease in revenue.

“With the SBA funds, we can secure our employees’ salaries and it gives us all peace of mind.”

Lorena Lock, Million Cakes

Lorena dreamed of owning her own bakery for many years and recently she was able to open her second location.

When the pandemic hit she started to receive order cancellations and began to quickly lose revenue.

“My biggest fear was not being able to pay my employees”. Ultimately she decided the best thing to do was close her doors of both locations.

Once she received the funds she was able to cover her employees’ salaries, pay vendors, and cover her overhead expenses. She has now opened her doors with a new vision and marketing strategy.

Shronica Randle-Holmes, The Rose Residential Care Home

The Rose is a residential care home for older adults. Shronica started the business after seeing so many seniors living alone because they refused to go into an assisted living or nursing home.

“I wanted to change their fears of leaving their homes by providing them a new place to call home.”

The Rose was set to start checking in residents at the beginning of March 2020 but COVID-19 hit and all of the prospects decided to keep their loved ones at home since the elderly population is the most vulnerable.

During this time she has had to continue to pay all of her overhead expenses along with her startup loan. Luckily, she was granted SBA funding which has been used to cover expenses, payroll, and marketing to reach her target audience.

“This entrepreneur journey didn’t start off like I wanted it to and has been very stressful but I don’t regret it one bit and I refuse to give up a dream”.