- Tyrone Botelho and Tiffany Hoang, Circle Up Education
How do you turn a deep-seated passion for peace, justice and community engagement into a living? This is the question Tyrone Botelho, 31, and Tiffany Hoang, 26, were asking themselves in 2014. The two former Peace and Conflict Studies majors hit it off during a restorative justice training session Botelho was helping run and Hoang ...
- Javier Zamora, JSM Organics
As a working student and a father with a family to support, things were so tight financially that Zamora sometimes had to scrape together change to put gas in his car. Eventually, hard work began to pay off again and in 2011 he was able to lease an acre and a half of land. Through ...
- Stardusted Events, Joze Lopez
When the Great Recession hit, Joze Lopez was working as a contractor for HP in Silicon Valley as an industrial electrician until the company announced it was moving the operations to India and he was laid off. The father of three, he needed to provide for his family, but he also saw this as an ...
- Andrei Sobolev and Serhiy Misiruk, Creative Millworks, Inc.
When banks wouldn’t give Andrei Sobolev and Serhiy Misiruk a loan, they found a solution with Opening Doors. Now, they get frequent loan offers from those banks and can choose where they’ll take their business.
- Martín Madriz, The Green Waffle
In mid-2015, Martín Madriz found himself uncertain how to get his waffles off of the griddle and into grocery stores. El Pajaro CDC’s Kitchen Incubator gave him the space and support he needed.
- Nancy and David Ortiz, Buenaventura Travel Agency
Colombian immigrants Nancy and David Ortiz have been running Buenaventura Travel Agency since 1983, but needed to upgrade their equipment to compete with online booking firms. Thanks to a $5,000 MMS loan from Working Solutions they were able to make the changes they needed.
- Aureliano Lopez, Tacos el Tizon
Women’s Economic Ventures helped Aureliano Lopez formalize his business, and put him on a solid footing so he can expand it new locations.
- Jatinder Mann, Tranquility Market
A loan from Fresno CDFI in 2014 helped Jatinder Mann purchase the store that he had been leasing for the previous nine years.
- Daniel Yoshimi and Jennifer Yannella, Brasil Arts Café
Daniel Yoshimi and Jennifer Yannella had the passion and funding to open their own business, but needed help from WEV putting their business plan together and keeping focused.
- Paul LaRocco, LaRocco’s Pizzeria
Despite having run two successful restaurants, banks considered Paul LaRocco’s pizzeria “too new” because he was self-employed. Thankfully, Pacific Coast Regional was there to get him the loan he needed to grow.
- David Aragon, Araparts
David Aragon loved cars from an early age, and had made enough money from reselling hard-to-find car parts — including one discontinued part that he’d had to re-produce himself — to open his own business. He was ready and eager to grow, but banks weren’t willing to lend to him due to his youth. He ...
- Abraham Lopez, YucaTech Technology Solutions
Abraham Lopez immigrated from Mexico in 1998, and worked hard to master English and earn an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, all to further his dream of opening his own electronics repair store. Thanks to help from Renaissance Marin and their Small Business Development Center, he is now the proud owner of YucaTech Technology ...
- Javad Yaghoubi, City Shade
When a sunglasses cart in the mall went up for sale, Javad jumped at the opportunity. He purchased the business in November of 2014, but needed more capital for inventory. Opening Doors helped Javad create a strong business plan and cash flow projections, and in December approved him for an $8,000 loan.
- Al and Tamanna Rahman, Garden of Roses
Al and Tamanna Rahman got married and opened a florist shop. They needed $12,500 to buy a cooler, but were turned down by the bank. Luckily, CDC Small Business Finance was there with a microloan to help them grow.
- Michael Barriere, BarrierEnergy Associates
Inspired by the economic downturn to diversify his development agency, Michael Barriere turned to Women’s Economic Ventures for the training and microloans he needed to launch BarrierEnergy Associates.
- Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats
In 2012, Working Solutions client Ryan Farr, founder of 4505 Meats, sought advice from a Working Solutions mentor for his rapidly expanding business. Two years later, Ryan has graduated from his Working Solutions microloan, obtained conventional financing, and opened a new barbecue restaurant in San Francisco! Ryan had created a whopping 70 jobs in San ...
- Max Aram & Chris Blevins, PickMySolar.com
PCR SBDC Business Advisors Martha G. Castro and Harold C. Hart-Nibbrig helped Max Aram figure out how to monetize his idea, conduct market research, develop a business plan with financial projections, incorporate the business and develop a partnership agreement once Chris Blevins came on board.
- Jeremy LeBlanc and Chad Berkey, Tin Play
After four years of development, Jeremy and Chad were ready to launch their line of speciality bartending tools, but needed a small loan to get started. Thankfully, Accion San Diego was there to fill the gap with a $25,000 microloan.
- Pedro Zerpa, Fusion Peruvian Grill
An immigrant from Peru, Pedro Zerpa worked his way up from dishwasher to head chef of a San Francisco restaurant with no formal culinary education. After 15 years as a chef, Pedro was ready to strike out on his own, and opened Fusion Peruvian Grill in San Mateo. He needed a microloan to expand his ...
- Alfredo Garcia, Watsonville Diesel
Alfredo Garcia had twenty years of experience in diesel trucking, but needed some business development training to grow Watsonville Diesel. Thanks to the firm foundation of strategy and financial management training that CAMEO member El Pajaro CDC provided, he was able to open a second location and make progress toward becoming an international dealer.
- Harvey Ledesma, Ledesma Optometry
Thanks to a $25,000 microloan from CDC Small Business Finance and business training from Inland Empire SBDC, Dr. Ledesma was able to retain five jobs, increase inventory and generate an additional $200,000 in revenue at his small optometry business.
- Bernardo Ayala, Napa Valley Bistro
Already a successful chef, Bernardo Ayala got the technical assistance and one-on-one support he needed to open his own restaurant from Napa-Sonoma SBDC.
- Davin Vculek and Joe Blanton, Krush Burger
Krush Burger has expanded to two brick and mortar locations plus a fleet of food trucks thanks to high-quality food, a robust social media presence, and a small business loan from CAMEO member SAFE-BIDCO.
- Christy & Al Kroell, ChristyAl Plaques
Thanks to training from an SBA SCORE chapter and a timely loan from Fresno CDFI, veterans Christy and Al Kroell were able to purchase the laser engraver they needed to launch their small business.
- Gregory King, Postcards
Gregory King had an MBA and years of experience in the corporate world, but the help he received from Pacific Coast Regional helped take Postcards, his soul food truck micro-business, from idea to reality.
- Beny Benjamini, License2Bling
Thanks to help from Pacific Coast Regional, Beny Benjamini was able to obtain a $200,000 business loan for his small business creating crystal studded license plate holders.
- John & Maria Harrison, Tea Gallerie
John and Maria Harrison’s San Diego-based small business was able to double its revenues and hire two new employees thanks to a loan from Accion San Diego.
- Luis Abundis, Nieves Cinco de Mayo
Luis Abundis’ Oakland-based small business grew to include multiple stores thanks to help from Centro Community Partners.
- Fredy Gamez, Mission Street Oyster Bar
Small business owner Fredy Gamez opened the Mission Street Oyster Bar thanks to technical assistance from MEDA and a microloan from Working Solutions.
- Larry Knowles, Rising Tide Sea Vegetables
Larry Knowles, owner of Rising Tide Sea Vegetables, identified problems and opportunities for his small business thanks to help from West Company.
- Tom Ball, Orland Meat Processors
After being laid off, Tom Ball opened Orland Meat Processors. Thanks to a loan from 3CORE, his micro-business was able to replace its roof and refinance at a much lower interest rate.
- Kamal Mansoor, K.A.S. Auto Sales
Kamal Mansoor opened his own micro-business thanks to a microloan from CAMEO member Opening Doors.
- Lucas & Marcia, Universal Art Gallery
Lucas and Marcia Da Silva, owners of the Universal Art Gallery in Los Angeles, have been in the custom art framing business for 16 years, and were facing an all too familiar problem: the need to expand versus the fear of an uncertain economy. With the help of VEDC and a Citywide Small Business ...
- Masaki’s Mongolian Grill
Eric and Jeni Masaki had a business problem—albeit a good one—their Kyoto Japanese Restaurant was so popular, the owners had a hard time meeting customer demand. After a few years of running this successful business, the Masakis decided to expand, thanks to a loan from CAMEO member Arcata Economic Development Corporation.
- Don Polvoron Bakery
Tired of driving, in 2005 Jorge Flores sold his house and approached his brother Oscar about opening their own place. They bought a donut shop and Don Polvoron Bakery was born. Jorge would run the sales side and Oscar would run the baking. The shop was in a mostly Latino area, so instead of donuts, ...
- John Falcon, Falcon Builders
Falcon Builders has 10 employees. John is known as the “go-to” person on government contracting issues and is a leader in his local Disabled Veteran’s organization. He received vital training from CAMEO member Central Valley Business Incubator.
- Bruce Erickson & Maggie Watson, Mendocino Solar
Bruce Erickson and Maggie Watson were employed by Mendocino Solar and then bought out the owner in 2005. To transition from employees to the boss, they met with West Company consultants who assisted them with financial planning, employee management, social media, and funding that included a $12,00 stimulus grant and a $95,000 business loan.
- Kevin Ho & Juan Miron, MIHO Gastrotruck
MIHO Gastrotruck provides locally sourced, natural, healthy, good food. One of the biggest hurdles they crossed was financing. They weren’t successful in securing financing through traditional means and were referred to Accion San Diego who lent them $15,000 to buy and fix up an old lunch truck.
- William Ortiz, Gentle Parking
William Ortiz was able to found and grow Gentle Parking thanks to training and support he received from CAMEO member Mission Economic Development Agency.
- Jason T., Semper Fi Security
Marine Jason T. launched Semper Fi Security with the help of Goodwill of Orange County.
- Chai Lee, Chai’s Cleaning Service
Escaping the harsh realities of life in a refugee camp was a victory for Chai and his family, but he had to re-build his life. Chai liked the idea of owning a business. He had no credit history and very little collateral, but wanted to buy a janitorial franchise. Because of an $8,000 loan ...
- Jen & Oscar Carpinteyro, Rewind Audio
SIPA helped Jen and Oscar Carpinteyro clarify their plans and goals for Rewind Audio, their vintage audio store.
- Cortland Avenue Corridor
San Francisco – An unprecedented number of small businesses in the Cortland Avenue Corridor are utilizing an important asset in the San Francisco small business community. Working Solutions, a local nonprofit microlender is providing much-needed capital to businesses that need small loans that traditional banks won’t touch. And creating jobs in the process – ...
- Galen Garretson, Town Cutler
San Francisco – Galen saw beautiful sushi-grade fish lose their clean line, vegetables chopped in non-uniform sizes, and butchers turn red because of rough cuts. Finally fed up with this problem, he put down his chef’s hat and replaced it with a whetstone.
- Chris & Jennifer Saint, Sweet Treats
San Diego – One day at a friend’s party, Chris, Jennifer and some others were reminiscing about the ice cream truck when they were kids – the excitement they had when they heard the music, the breathlessness from running in the house, scrounging for change and hoping you didn’t miss the truck, eating the peanuts ...
- Ted Sheets, Advanced Signs
Ted Sheets has been making signs in Eureka since 1984. In 2006, he began to look at the possibility of moving out of his garage, which was full to the rafters. Ted wanted to expand his sign business and started looking at sign franchise opportunities. But he didn’t know how to tell if it was ...
- JJ Lee & Chris Lord, Overtone Productions
JJ Lee and Chris Lord enrolled in the Individual Development Account program with CAMEO member Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC) in Los Angeles with the goal of launching a music production company. Upon completion of their required savings and education trainings, they were able to secure capital for equipping their home-based production studio.
Overtone Productions ...
- Johneric Concordia, The Park’s Finest
The Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program helped Johneric Concordia find the $12,000 he needed to open The Park’s Finest.