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Nothing warms you up on a chilly day better than a hot cup of coffee. While some major national brands can be found on just about any street corner, it’s the local brewers and coffee shops that truly share the culture and vibe of the communities they serve. Local shops like Casa de Cafe in Brownsville, Texas go beyond just the coffee shop experience, they look to make you feel at home…literally.

Angelita, owner of Casa de Cafe, is always ready to spill the beans – metaphorically and literally at her cafe in Brownsville, Texas. A shop tradition is greeting each customer with a warm, “Welcome home!,” further establishing the shop as a second home instead of your average coffee stop. What better place to pick up a hot drink and put up your feet before you start your busy day, or maybe as a respite from the office life?

Angelita’s Casa de Café serves classic coffee concoctions and pastries, but that’s not all they offer. Depending on which day you walk in, you might be treated to some live entertainment. Angelita’s Casa de Café regularly hosts local musicians, poets, theater acts and more.

The shop was a labor of love for Angelita and her husband, Martin Leal, both are soon to be retired teachers. As they plan to settle into their retirement years, the Leals wanted to open a space for the community. LiftFund secured funding for the Leals to begin their journey as baristas and business owners. Now, their only concern is perfecting their latte skills.

LiftFund activates businesses like Angelita’s every day. The goal here at LiftFund is to set you up for success and be a resource for you as you make your journey. Whether you need business capitaltools and resources to manage your business, or workshops to help you become a better entrepreneur, we encourage all business owners to take advantage of what we have to offer.

The post Business Perks Up Community with Coffee Offerings appeared first on LiftFund.

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If you live in Texas, you don’t have to travel far to experience a slice of New York-style pizza. That was the goal of Authentic New York Pizza owner, Maria Krueger. The restaurant’s specialities include pizza, wings, pasta, and overall cheesy goodness. Customer’s online rave about their service and food quality.

In December 2011, when Maria decided to open the restaurant, LiftFund was there to give her a loan to launch her business. Most recently, LiftFund helped Maria rebuild the restaurant after flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Now she’s able to continue rolling in the dough literally and figuratively. LiftFund helps entrepreneurs in all industries get their foot in the door and on the right path to success. Interested in starting a new business or growing an existing one? Work with us!

The post Restaurant Owner Brings A Slice of New York to Texas appeared first on LiftFund.

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Education shouldn’t have boundaries, that was the mindset behind Sophie Macey’s business, Bayou City Interpreting. Bayou City Interpreting is rooted in Humble, Texas and specializes in American Sign Language interpretations in children’s classrooms.

Sophie learned ASL as a child to communicate with her deaf cousin, Yasmin. She decided to expand her passion for American Sign Language education when she worked at an elementary school and noticed the lack of interpreters.

Bayou City Interpreting was a profiting business in its first quarter and Sophie was able to hire six interpreters. However, her business suffered a setback when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast.

Unsure of how she would make ends meet, Sophie turned to banks and credit union, but was rejected. Luckily, she found LiftFund through her local Chamber of Commerce and was able to make payroll the day before it was due.

Bayou City Interpreting was in a tough spot, but now it’s back to business as usual. Sophie hopes that Bayou City Interpreting will continue to grow and help children in the community.

Entrepreneurs like Sophie walk through our doors each day. LiftFund is happy to be a resource for business owners. Need help? Let’s work together!

For more information on Bayou City Interpreting, visit this link.

The post Business Owner Is Breaking Education Barriers appeared first on LiftFund.

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Gabriela is the business advisor for our Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center, a hub for resources and business support in the DFW area. A Dallas native and bilingual in English and Spanish, Gabriela has personally experienced the challenges and opportunities of  starting and launching a small business. We interviewed Gabriela to get to know her better and learn more about her role.

Hi Gabriela, welcome to the team!

Thank you. I am excited to be a part of the LiftFund Women’s Business Center, and ready to provide support to the entrepreneurial community, especially women, in DFW.

What inspires you the most about your role?

The thing that inspires me the most about working for the DFW Women’s Business Center is that I am able to help entrepreneurs with their businesses in the same way that I was able to help my family start our business. From my own experience, I know how hard and overwhelming it can be to start a business from the ground up. The fact that we can help entrepreneurs through the process and make entrepreneurship more attainable, makes me excited to come to work every morning.

What do you wish other people knew about the DFW Women’s Business Center?

I wish more people knew that we are here to help them succeed, whether it is a startup business or an existing business. Our center offers a vast range of trainings, tools and resources to make the process of entrepreneurship more manageable and less overwhelming.

What advice would you give women who are thinking about starting a business?

I would say that along with bringing their passion for entrepreneurship into their business, they should also research, plan, and budget. Doing those things at the beginning will save them some headaches down the road.

What are you passionate about?

Learning. It’s something my parents instilled in me from a very young age. I believe we are all a work-in- progress as there is always something to be learned or improved upon.  Learning something new and then being able to share it with others is one of the greatest feelings in the world, in my opinion.

What is your secret talent that no one knows about?

A recent talent that I’ve developed is knitting. I taught myself how to knit through watching YouTube tutorials and reading knitting books. Although I am not quite an expert yet, I can make decent scarves and beanies.

What do you do when you are not supporting other women business owners?

I spend time working on my family’s business as the member in charge of finance and operations. I also like to challenge myself with new hobbies, and spend time with family, friends and my two dogs Rascal and Rocky.

Gabriela is ready to assist you as you navigate your own entrepreneurial journey. Visit www.LiftFund.com/wbcdfw to schedule a free business consultation and learn more about how the LiftFund Women’s Business Center can help you.

The post Meet Gabriela Diaz, an entrepreneur turned business advisor appeared first on LiftFund.

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Gabriela is the business advisor for our Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center, a hub for resources and business support in the DFW area. A Dallas native and bilingual in English and Spanish, Gabriela has personally experienced the challenges and opportunities of  starting and launching a small business. We interviewed Gabriela to get to know her better and learn more about her role.

Hi Gabriela, welcome to the team!

Thank you. I am excited to be a part of the LiftFund Women’s Business Center, and ready to provide support to the entrepreneurial community, especially women, in DFW.

What inspires you the most about your role?

The thing that inspires me the most about working for the DFW Women’s Business Center is that I am able to help entrepreneurs with their businesses in the same way that I was able to help my family start our business. From my own experience, I know how hard and overwhelming it can be to start a business from the ground up. The fact that we can help entrepreneurs through the process and make entrepreneurship more attainable, makes me excited to come to work every morning.

What do you wish other people knew about the DFW Women’s Business Center?

I wish more people knew that we are here to help them succeed, whether it is a startup business or an existing business. Our center offers a vast range of trainings, tools and resources to make the process of entrepreneurship more manageable and less overwhelming.

What advice would you give women who are thinking about starting a business?

I would say that along with bringing their passion for entrepreneurship into their business, they should also research, plan, and budget. Doing those things at the beginning will save them some headaches down the road.

What are you passionate about?

Learning. It’s something my parents instilled in me from a very young age. I believe we are all a work-in- progress as there is always something to be learned or improved upon.  Learning something new and then being able to share it with others is one of the greatest feelings in the world, in my opinion.

What is your secret talent that no one knows about?

A recent talent that I’ve developed is knitting. I taught myself how to knit through watching YouTube tutorials and reading knitting books. Although I am not quite an expert yet, I can make decent scarves and beanies.

What do you do when you are not supporting other women business owners?

I spend time working on my family’s business as the member in charge of finance and operations. I also like to challenge myself with new hobbies, and spend time with family, friends and my two dogs Rascal and Rocky.

Gabriela is ready to assist you as you navigate your own entrepreneurial journey. Visit www.LiftFund.com/wbcdfw to schedule a free business consultation and learn more about how the LiftFund Women’s Business Center can help you.

The post Meet Gabriela Diaz, an entrepreneur turned business advisor appeared first on LiftFund.

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The holiday season is here and giving as at the top of everyone’s mind. Entrepreneurs that LiftFund supports give back to their communities in more ways than one. We’ve spoken about the economic impact that small businesses have in communities across the nation, but it takes even more for an entrepreneur to step out of their own busy schedule and do something bigger for the people around them. It’s a story like this that we wanted to highlight.

Iisha Bailey is on a mission to empower women and unleash their inner “warrior” as they battle breast cancer. Her business, The Mastectomy Boutique, focuses on recovery and wellness and provides a welcoming environment for all.

The Mastectomy Boutique was inspired by Iisha’s personal connection to the illness. She worked as a licensed pharmacist for 11 years and lost three family members to cancer.

Initially, she attempted to secure a loan through a bank, but she was denied as her business was considered a startup. Iisha was slightly discouraged, but she didn’t give up. Eventually, she was referred to LiftFund by an SBA representative and was helped with purchasing office equipment and product inventory.

Now Iisha is extending her reach in the community to help other survivors and continuing patients. She’s created a fund to help those affected by cancer receive the necessary items and support.

We’re proud of the business model Iisha has created and the work she’s done for her community. Not only is she managing her business, but Iisha is ensuring that as many people are helped by her growing fund as possible. 

For more than 20 years, LiftFund has helped small business owners achieve the American Dream. LiftFund provides small business loans to those unable to access traditional sources of capital. Our loans help small business owners purchase supplies, equipment, and develop the credit scores they needed to become “bankable” as they grow.  Visit us today or call 888- 215- 2373 to learn how LiftFund can help you start or grow your business.

The post Entrepreneur Takes Philanthropic Approach to Her Business appeared first on LiftFund.

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Jose Antonio realized that Dallas was ready for local dulce— a traditional Mexican candy— when he opened Azteca Mexican Candy with his family in 2007.   

His son, Edinson, was working another job when Azteca opened, but they collaborated to make the company a popular place with Dallas locals. Customer demands soon surpassed the local distribution supply, so they decided to expand the company by making the dulce in-house. 

The father-and-son team took multiple trips to Mexico to learn how to make and perfect the sweets but they needed professional equipment to meet customer demand.

They approached traditional banks for help, but they were unable to secure the working capital. In 2010, Edinson found LiftFund, where he was approved for the $45,000 loan they needed. Four years later, he returned for additional funds to purchase equipment and expand the business.

“LiftFund helped us when nobody else would, [they] gave us the opportunity to succeed, and allowed us to get equipment that we still use today,” he said. 

Thanks to his successful lending history with LiftFund, Edinson was recently approved for a business loan with a local bank, which he hopes will allow for bigger growth for the company.   In 2017, Azteca sold over 1 million candy units, and the company is projected to pass that milestone in 2018. Today, Jose serves as Azteca’s president and has expanded the staff to include six other employees— all members of the Arenas family. 

 “Thanks to those [LiftFund] loans” our company is able to bring “people together and take care of them [as employees],” he said. “We are always [moving] toward a better future. At the end of the day, there will always [be difficulties as a small business owner], but we are still here.” 

Ready to make your dream small business a reality? LiftFund can connect you with the free online business toolsfinancial templates, and loans you need to get started.

The post Family Expands Mexican Candy Business through LiftFund appeared first on LiftFund.

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Nothing warms you up on a chilly day better than a hot cup of coffee. While some major national brands can be found on just about any street corner, it’s the local brewers and coffee shops that truly share the culture and vibe of the communities they serve. Local shops like Casa de Cafe in Brownsville, Texas go beyond just the coffee shop experience, they look to make you feel at home…literally.

Angelita, owner of Casa de Cafe, is always ready to spill the beans – metaphorically and literally at her cafe in Brownsville, Texas. A shop tradition is greeting each customer with a warm, “Welcome home!,” further establishing the shop as a second home instead of your average coffee stop. What better place to pick up a hot drink and put up your feet before you start your busy day, or maybe as a respite from the office life?

Angelita’s Casa de Café serves classic coffee concoctions and pastries, but that’s not all they offer. Depending on which day you walk in, you might be treated to some live entertainment. Angelita’s Casa de Café regularly hosts local musicians, poets, theater acts and more.

The shop was a labor of love for Angelita and her husband, Martin Leal, both are soon to be retired teachers. As they plan to settle into their retirement years, the Leals wanted to open a space for the community. LiftFund secured funding for the Leals to begin their journey as baristas and business owners. Now, their only concern is perfecting their latte skills.

LiftFund activates businesses like Angelita’s every day. The goal here at LiftFund is to set you up for success and be a resource for you as you make your journey. Whether you need business capitaltools and resources to manage your business, or workshops to help you become a better entrepreneur, we encourage all business owners to take advantage of what we have to offer.

The post Business Perks Up Community with Coffee Offerings appeared first on LiftFund.

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Education shouldn’t have boundaries, that was the mindset behind Sophie Macey’s business, Bayou City Interpreting. Bayou City Interpreting is rooted in Humble, Texas and specializes in American Sign Language interpretations in children’s classrooms.

Sophie learned ASL as a child to communicate with her deaf cousin, Yasmin. She decided to expand her passion for American Sign Language education when she worked at an elementary school and noticed the lack of interpreters.

Bayou City Interpreting was a profiting business in its first quarter and Sophie was able to hire six interpreters. However, her business suffered a setback when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast.

Unsure of how she would make ends meet, Sophie turned to banks and credit union, but was rejected. Luckily, she found LiftFund through her local Chamber of Commerce and was able to make payroll the day before it was due.

Bayou City Interpreting was in a tough spot, but now it’s back to business as usual. Sophie hopes that Bayou City Interpreting will continue to grow and help children in the community.

Entrepreneurs like Sophie walk through our doors each day. LiftFund is happy to be a resource for business owners. Need help? Let’s work together!

For more information on Bayou City Interpreting, visit this link.

The post Business Owner Is Breaking Education Barriers appeared first on LiftFund.

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The holiday season is here and giving as at the top of everyone’s mind. Entrepreneurs that LiftFund supports give back to their communities in more ways than one. We’ve spoken about the economic impact that small businesses have in communities across the nation, but it takes even more for an entrepreneur to step out of their own busy schedule and do something bigger for the people around them. It’s a story like this that we wanted to highlight.

Iisha Bailey is on a mission to empower women and unleash their inner “warrior” as they battle breast cancer. Her business, The Mastectomy Boutique, focuses on recovery and wellness and provides a welcoming environment for all.

The Mastectomy Boutique was inspired by Iisha’s personal connection to the illness. She worked as a licensed pharmacist for 11 years and lost three family members to cancer.

Initially, she attempted to secure a loan through a bank, but she was denied as her business was considered a startup. Iisha was slightly discouraged, but she didn’t give up. Eventually, she was referred to LiftFund by an SBA representative and was helped with purchasing office equipment and product inventory.

Now Iisha is extending her reach in the community to help other survivors and continuing patients. She’s created a fund to help those affected by cancer receive the necessary items and support.

We’re proud of the business model Iisha has created and the work she’s done for her community. Not only is she managing her business, but Iisha is ensuring that as many people are helped by her growing fund as possible. 

For more than 20 years, LiftFund has helped small business owners achieve the American Dream. LiftFund provides small business loans to those unable to access traditional sources of capital. Our loans help small business owners purchase supplies, equipment, and develop the credit scores they needed to become “bankable” as they grow.  Visit us today or call 888- 215- 2373 to learn how LiftFund can help you start or grow your business.

The post Entrepreneur Takes Philanthropic Approach to Her Business appeared first on LiftFund.

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