July 15
ERIKA EWER, OWNER OF COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE PRACTICE IN CHICAGO, IL premium

Erika Ewer

“Clients pay what they can and are encouraged to stay as long as they need.”
– Erika Ewer

After six years of providing acupuncture as a private practice, Erika Ewer, owner of Life in Balance Community Acupuncture, decided she wanted to create greater access to the healing powers of acupuncture to her community, regardless of income levels. Based on the successful community acupuncture model started in Portland, Oregon, Erika saw the opportunity to help her community with alternative solutions to ailments ranging from chronic pain to seasonal allergies.

The community acupuncture model provides a sliding scale of price options. Patients decide what they are able to pay based on their own budget. Whereas most private practices in Chicago charge roughly $70.00 per session, patients of Life in Balance Community Acupuncture pay as low as $15.00. The business is located in the neighborhood of Uptown/Buena Park, a very diverse neighborhood …

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July 15
PONCE CONAWAY, OWNER OF PL LOGISTICS IN NEW BRITAIN, CT premium

“My motivation is to serve people and be available to serve the needs of people to the best of my ability.” – Ponce Conaway

Ponce Conaway has long dreamed of becoming a successful entrepreneur. He began his career with a house cleaning business, having come from a family who cleaned homes for generations. When he started his own family a few years later, he decided to shift into a more stable work environment and began driving trucks with the goal of putting his two children through school. Throughout his career, Ponce never lost sight of his dream to become a successful entrepreneur. In 2006, his dream became reality when he established a new courier service business, PL Logistics, in New Britain, CT.

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Ponce was inspired to start PL Logistics after noticing a lack of courier services in his area. He felt his background working in the service and …

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July 15
JPMORGAN CHASE FORCE FOR GOOD TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM premium

Over the past 6 months we’ve had the opportunity to work with the amazing staff over at JPMorgan Chase as part of their Force for Good Technology Program.

Force for Good, a social innovation program, leverages the expertise of JPMorgan Chase’s Technology talent to develop technology solutions for socially focused organizations.

As our project is coming to a close we can’t wait to share with you the exciting tool our JPMorgan Chase team helped us to develop—a tool that will help bring a greater degree of transparency to the alternative lending industry.

Interested in learning more? Visit theForce for Good Technology webpage.…

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July 15
BREWING THE AMERICAN DREAM CLIENTS SAMPLE THEIR FOOD AT THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION SHOW IN CHICAGO! premium

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Lillia Key, owner of Lenore’s Kitchenand Trudy Alston, owner of Harvest Time sampled their food over the weekend at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. Both business owners are shown above with Risa Sherman from the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Program.…

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July 15
MISSION MAIN STREET premium

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Calling all entrepreneurs – Mission Main Street, an initiative of Chase, is offering your small business the chance to win one of twenty grants to start or grow. We would love to see as many Accion entrepreneurs in the running as possible – so get your entries in today. Please get in touch with us if you decide to enter so we can help promote your business, too!…

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July 15
MARK LAZARUS, URHERE premium

Mark Lazarus

Mark Lazarus, founder of URHere in Bridgeport, CT is revitalizing the local community by bringing together people and businesses.

“We can build a Silicon Valley anywhere, why not Connecticut? We have young, bright people who have great ideas, but just need the guidance to get there.”

~ Mark Lazarus

Mark Lazarus of Bridgeport, CT identified a new business opportunity a couple years ago when he was searching for a restaurant online and could find photos of the restaurant but not the location. He realized that there were many locations that were not easily accessible by map, especially locations within locations, such as offices or businesses in government buildings or universities. He decided to develop a mobile application, called URHere, which would allow people to find a location they were looking for, not only within a city but also within a particular building. He sees URHere as the start to growing …

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July 15
BREWING THE AMERICAN DREAM premium

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Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition and Speed Coaching Event are coming to San Diego! Click here to sign up now!…

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July 15
ELEONORA TATASHADZEE, OWNER OF ELEONORA’S HOMEMAKER COMPANION LLC IN NEW BRITAIN, CT premium

Eleonora

Eleonora Tatashadzee realized the great need that existed for homecare services in her community while she was working at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. She saw a lot of patients who could live independently but needed some help around the home as they were recovering. Many patients, for example, had to take taxis home after surgery because their relatives were working or did not live close by. To respond to this need, Eleonora created Eleonora’s Homemaker Companion LLC, which provides non-medical care to elderly or home-bound adults to encourage an independent lifestyle and promote health and happiness in the greater Hartford area. Her business provides a range of services such as grocery shopping, trips to the doctor, meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, companionship, errands, and more.

Eleonora is a self-made woman, having arrived to the United States 10 years ago as a refugee from Russia with her husband …

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July 15
VERNITA JOHNSON, DLV PRINTING premium

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Vernita Johnson began her business DLV Printing out of her home more than 20 years ago, designing personalized items as favors for family, friends, and community members. Today, Vernita’s business prints for over 30 Chicago Public Schools and has been selected for Fast Track! Fast Track is a training, coaching and mentoring program that helps set businesses on a path to growth, made possible by Accion’s partnership with Capital One and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Vernita is also a participant of The Hartford’s Communities with HART program with Accion.  Funding through The Hartford’s Communities with HART program made Vernita’s loan possible.

“What I am most proud of is the dedication it took to say in business for over  20 years. Being in business at the same location gave us a customer base that we have continued to this day. We have met many people over the 20 years from being …

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July 15
LE’DALE COLES, OWNER OF DESIGNER GLITZ & GLAMOUR HAIR SALON premium

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Thanks to a partnership between Accion and The Hartford through its Communities with HART program, Le’Dale Coles, owner of Designer Glitz & Glamour hair salon received a loan to finance a lease on a nearby commercial location, as well as pay for renovation improvements on signage and plumbing for the building. The expanded salon – from 1100 square feet to 3200 square feet – has a full time staff of 15 and is transitioning some part-time workers to full-time staff to help align their capacity with the expected increase demand for her services.

To give back to her community, Le’Dale is focused on offering free salon services to at-risk populations in 2015. To kick off the year of service, Designer Glitz & Glamour will offer services in partnership with Locks of Love in Universal City to children suffering with long-term medical illnesses. Le’Dale is also planning to hold a charity …

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July 15
KATIE MCCARTHY, STOP SHOP AND ROLL IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA premium

Katie McCarthy is a trendsetter. Over a year ago, she launched Stop Shop and Roll, the first mobile business of its kind in San Diego, selling fashionable and affordable women’s clothing in pop-up locations throughout the city. Thanks to Accion’s partnership with The Hartford through its Communities with HART program, Katie expanded her business footprint and created jobs in her local community. To help meet increasing demand, Katie qualified for a business loan to open her first storefront location and purchase new merchandise for the mobile and storefront business. The loan also helped her hire two part-time workers to help run the shop, purchase a point-of-sale system to track inventory, and secure a new awning for her truck and store.

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After working at Nordstrom’s for 11 years, Katie wanted to do more with her passions and expertise. While she couldn’t make clothes, she knew she could sell them. …

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July 15
MICHAEL PRESTON, CRUISIN’ WAVES AURORA, ILLINOIS premium

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Michael Preston is an outstanding example of how dreams can start at an early age, and how business owners can service community interests by breaking down the walls of exclusivity. Thanks to a partnership between Accion and The Hartford through its Communities with HART program, Michael qualified for a loan that allowed him to manage his finances and start his business, Cruisin’ Waves .…

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July 15
MAKE IT A BLAST! SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA premium

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Laura English is a part-time resource teacher, part-time business owner, and full-time mother. She owns Make it a Blast, a growing event planning business in San Diego. Inspired by her oldest daughter’s first birthday, the business was created to organize festive birthday parties for kids but has recently expanded to organize large scale events as well as supply rental equipment for events across the city. Thanks to a partnership between Accion and The Hartford through its Communities with HART program, Laura qualified for a business loan that helped her buy new party rental equipment and a van to easily transport her supplies from event to event. In addition to new tables, chairs, and tents, Laura now has a popcorn machine, an upgraded photo booth, and a cotton candy machine to rent to clients. “Because I had such a small business, it was hard to get a loan from …

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July 15
JESSICA LOBUE, OWNER OF UNRAVELED YARN SHOP WAUCONDA, ILLINOIS premium

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Jessica LoBue and her mother always wanted to start their own business. As avid crocheters, Jessica and her mother, a 911 dispatcher, realized they had two options: buy fibers online or drive an hour away to find some. Through what Jessica describes as a “serendipitous opportunity,” retail space opened up on one of the most popular streets in her local community for specialty businesses. Jessica saw an opportunity to locally source these fibers from nearby farms and sell them right in her neighborhood. Thanks to the partnership between Accion and The Hartford through the Communities with HART program, their dream came true. Their business, Unraveled Yarn Shop, supplies locally sourced yarn from sheep wool and alpaca farms in the adjacent counties of Lake and McHenry. Local farmers appreciate her locally-driven business partnership, which has helped many stabilize profits.…

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July 15
KEN SMITH HOSTS BREWING THE AMERICAN DREAM SALES WEBINAR premium

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Ken Smith, Beer Education expert from Samuel Adams shared his 30+ years of sales and negotiating experience as part of the Brewing the American Dream webinar series on Tuesday, May 12th.  Ken presented and answered questions on sales planning, execution and forecasting, working with wholesalers, setting and managing distribution and volume, inventory and budget management and much more!…

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July 15
CHICAGO PITCH ROOM WINNERS! premium

Congrats to Felix’s Famous Cookies for qualifying to move on to the final Pitch Room Competition in NYC!! Below is Laura Castillo, company’s Founder and CEO. Felix’s Famous Cookies is a family run business started by Laura and her son Felix when he was just 6 years old!

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July 15
TWO ACCION CLIENTS RECOGNIZED BY SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE premium

 

 

Congratulations to our two Accion clients featured in San Diego Magazine!

San Diego based clients ChuckAlek Independent Brewers and Council Brewing Company, were recognized this month in San Diego Magazine‘s list of The Best New Breweries in San Diego.

Check them out! Interested in starting your own brewery? Apply today.

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July 15
HELP US #SHARETHEPROFIT premium

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Economies grow by standing on the shoulders of small businesses – but you probably know that already. What you might not know is that T.V. network CNBC thinks so, too.

We’re honored to announce that CNBC’s reality show, The Profit, which offers struggling small businesses around the United States capital and expertise, has selected Accion to be the recipient of their very first#ShareTheProfit
campaign. This means that every time anyone shares campaign posts from@accion_US or @theprofitCNBC, Accion will earn $1, up to $100,000.

Will you help us reach that goal?

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Every Tweet or post counts, so please join us in supporting small businesses and economies everywhere!…

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