Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >
This Month is Personal
I love September! It includes the equinox between summer and fall, represents the start of a new school year, celebrates Hispanic Heritage, and, last but not least, includes my birthday. As a first-generation Ecuadorian-American, I am proud of my Latin American roots, our community’s entrepreneurial energy, and the strong work ethic that runs this country. This month’s Credit Lines highlights a few Latinx small business owners who represent part of the approximately five million firms that generate $800 billion annually in the U.S. As a child, I relied on my mother’s home-based childcare business to support our family. At that time, CDFIs did not exist, nor were there programs like Ascendus’s childcare provider initiative, which invests in these women-owned, home-based childcare businesses. We know from the data and personal experience that these businesses are vital for communities and women’s employment. For these and other reasons, I’m proud to lead an organization whose work is purposeful, practical, and, above all, personal.
Yours in mission passion,
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Stories of Ascension
September 15th – October 15th marks Hispanic Heritage Month. This month, celebrate by viewing the inspirational stories of our Hispanic small business owners in our Stories of Ascension series. Pictured above is Catherine Van Den Bossche, co-owner of Madame Lecker Bakery in Miami, Florida. Catherine and her co-owner, Monica, started off baking as a hobby for their friends and neighbors. At 50 years old, they never expected that their passion for baking would turn into a blooming small business.
(P.S. Stay tuned! The Stories of Ascension series will be returning next month, featuring the stories of six new small business owners.)
Ascendus Highlights the Bronx in OFN Conference Tour
Ascendus will be co-hosting a tour with LIIF as part of the 2022 OFN Conference, Invest in Change. The tour will highlight impactful community projects and small businesses in the Bronx. Tour participants will see a glimpse of the small businesses and community facilities that make this borough exude the familiarity of a small town within a big city. Ascendus will show the impact our daycare owners have, and the immigrant owned small businesses that cater to the specific needs of their communities. Our CEO, Paul Quintero, will also be taking part in the conference as a keynote speaker.
Ascendus Delivers Impactful Funding to Washington State Small Businesses
Juan Carrillo is the owner of Steer Inn, which is in Washington State. After working at the restaurant for over two decades, Juan was given the opportunity to buy it when the owner decided to retire. During the pandemic, the restaurant was forced to close for a few months, and it took away 50% of Juan’s income. Juan reached out to Ascendus for support and was able to receive a loan through the Small Business Flex Fund. Through this loan, he was able to keep his employees on payroll and reopen his restaurant.
Celebrate Hispanic Small Business Owners with The Ascendus Marketplace
The Ascendus Marketplace features products, classes, and food and beverage items from multiple Hispanic small business owners across the United States. Featured above is Claudia Lopez of Pia Yoga. Claudia is originally from Colombia and discovered her love of yoga in 2013. She had been working marketing for over 6 years, but she decided that she wanted to try and refocus her life on something she felt more aligned with. Today, Claudia lives in Miami and offers online and virtual yoga classes for everyone, from beginners to seasoned yoga professionals.
A very special thank you to our recent supporters: