We received an overwhelming response to Unfinished Business. We are humbled to be able to offer support to over a thousand small businesses nationwide. Below we highlight a few of their stories of strength, courage, and resilience.
Viburt 'Cookie' Bernard
Owned by Viburt 'Cookie' Bernard, Sybil's Bakery was one of the first Guyanese Caribbean restaurants in its community, and a fixture of its neighborhood for decades. But today, COVID-19 threatens its future.Visit Sybil's Bakery's website
Librería Barco de Papel is one the few Spanish-speaking bookstores in its community, and the home of multiple education programs for local children. And today, this bookshop and its community are fighting harder than ever to come back from a pandemic that's impacted them to a disproportionate extent.Visit Librería Barco de Papel's website
Elegant Fabrics is one of the few surviving stores in its neighborhood. And in the wake of a pandemic, current owner Charles Yoo is fighting harder than ever to make sure it remains there.Visit Elegant Fabrics' website
Barbershop - Charles Steele, Jr.
Due to COVID19, Korporate Kutz was shut down for three full months, and I still had to pay bills to keep it running. During the protest against police brutality, my window was shattered. The insurance deductible was more than the cost of the window so it was better off coming out of pocket. It was just a lot going on at once. But this support will keep Korporate Kutz ahead of the game, to keep it a stable home for my barber and future barbers to come, and keep it from going into a deeper hole before business can pick back up to where it was before all of this started. This support will also help Korporate Kutz give back to the community as we always do and will continue to do, like our "Books & Barbers" program for children, where they can get a book as they wait for a cut, and if they finish it while there, they receive $2. We are also involved with Maslow's Army, who go out and take care of the homeless, try to help them recover, feed, clean up, and look for jobs. We provide free haircuts, great conversation, feed them, and send them off with a gift bag full of toiletries and clothes. We also work with Cincinnati Works and the Anna Louis Center. We very much stay active in the community because we love spreading positive vibes and uplifting others that's going through troubled times. We all need a helping hand at some point of time even when we ARE doing good.
Family owned restaurant - Laura Valle
Unfinished Business is a sign of hope for our business and family. We are a family-owned Mexican cuisine restaurant established in 2018 in the heart of Chicago IL. Within our community, we donate food to local institutions, police stations, firefighters, local clinics, and the most important for us, the kids in our community, the future of our neighborhood. We had lost more than 50% of our revenue since the pandemic started. After applying and being denied for more than 20 grants and loans, the Hispanic Federation offered us our first help and became a beacon of hope to our family. This support will help us to get back on our feet, and regain some of the stability we've lost since the pandemic started. It will help us to pay our bills and continue to offer positive, friendly, and clean service in our restaurant; a place where we can make everyone that walks in feel like they are home.
New York, NY
Educational Materials - Julia Azuma
We provide educational materials to students diagnosed with Autism. During the pandemic, in addition to business worries over salaries and rent, we saw a potential gap in education to our students in need. To meet these demands we are publishing and streaming six new digital products to teach children language and behavior skills. We also offer an online store of educational products. We're able to meet these challenges with confidence and supply tools to our students, thanks to this support.
Business Development Consulting and Training - Shanté R Roddy
We provide business development consulting and training for start up and emerging small businesses. Covid-19 impacted our business in a major way; all our clients were impacted and we had to cancel our in-person trainings and events. Despite the challenges, we've stayed on the front lines, advocating for the support of small businesses through pivoting our business model with the support of opportunities like Unfinished Business. This support is a lifeline for us, empowering us to continue to build and serve our community, and pay it forward to help other businesses in need.
Certified Translation and Interpretation Services - Matria Camila Pulido
We are a certified translation and interpretation service, providing services across 17 languages. We provide professional state-of-the-art language access solutions to bridge the communication gap between organizations and individuals, so they can enjoy equal access to the judicial, educational, and healthcare systems in our community. COVID-19 impacted our ability to provide services when a vast majority of legal proceedings, medical appointments, and other in-person encounters were postponed or cancelled. This fund has allowed us access to technological solutions for this new way of life.
San Francisco, CA
Outdoor gear - James
My childhood experiences in the backcountry inspired all of my life's passions, one of which is ensuring that everyone else has that same opportunity to enjoy the great American wild-- We've helped thousands of people go on their first camping or skiing or climbing trips! We've been trapped in this awkward middle-ground where all of our mission-focused, free programs means that we don't qualify for either non-profit grants or a lot of traditional business funding. We're so grateful to Hennessy & the Asian American Business Development Center for supporting our mission to reduce waste & increase access to the outdoors.
Food and Hospitality - Sabrina Evans
We pride ourselves in delicious food and quality hospitality. Our business slowed in February when our corporate clients began cancelling daily due to tornado damage. COVID-19 brought our business to a halt as wedding receptions and events were cancelled or postponed. But the biggest worry was for my workers, who depended on work just to make ends meet. This financial support will help to provide the supplies needed to adjust to the changes this pandemic demands, to cover rising food cost, and show my team that we are still in this race to win.
New York, NY
Graphic Design - Rafael Esquer
Alfalfa Studio is one of the very few graphic design studios located in Harlem. As a certified minority-owned business, I help my community by providing opportunities to local designers, hire local talent, and use the services of local vendors, and also plan to offer discounts to local businesses. The design profession is not diverse or inclusive, and I've been fighting to make sure designers of color are represented in the creative community. Covid-19 has been the biggest challenge since I opened my business in 2004. Without financial support like this, most small businesses won't survive. Unfinished Business gives us a chance. I look forward to continuing working in my community and set an example of tenacity, hard work, and purpose.
Santa Ana, CA
Beauty Solutions - Jennifer Chung
At Forever Beaumore, our employees are like family. When the pandemic hit, we were concerned about having layoffs, or worse, them becoming ill. We added face shields, fabric masks, and hand sanitizers to Forever Beaumore's product offerings. As a result of this business pivot, we were able to continue employing all of our workers and to donate more than 10,000 face shields and face masks to frontline workers at hospitals, police and fire departments, correctional facilities, and community centers. This financial support will significantly help Forever Beaumore's operations to continue running for our employees and our community.
Health and Safety Training and Certifications - Wardell Seals, Jr.
HeartBeat CPR has provided safety training for over twenty-five years throughout Memphis, Shelby County and West Tennessee. We provide training and certification to essential and frontline workers. We have seen a decrease in clients due to job losses and organizations closing down. This funding will be used to continue to provide required health and safety training and certifications to essential workers and the community. We are so grateful to Unfinished Business for believing in our company's mission.
South Orange, NJ
Dental Office - Cynthia Sutton
Progressive Dental Care, PC has been a staple in the community for over 20 years, and we have served our community for generations. The COVID-19 pandemic crippled our business. We had to close our office for many months. We couldn't provide the much needed dental care to our patients. Thankfully, the financial support provided by Unfinished Business was a lifeline. We were able to reopen our practice, continue our great relationship with our patients, and serve a community that we love! We are thankful and feel so blessed for your assistance in preserving our footprint in our community. THANK YOU SO MUCH UNFINISHED BUSINESS!
Upper Marlboro, MD
Financial Services - Jeff Wilson II
The WII Group supports our community deeply, everything from helping the local residents to figure out how to retire, to helping our local associations protect its members. Covid has affected our business tremendously. Our business revenue dropped more than 30%. This financial support allows us to avoid laying off our employees. Our goal is to create opportunities for people of color and other minorities that would not otherwise have an opportunity to work in the financial industry. Unfinished Business is a great program and opportunity.
Realestate - Brenda Dixon
Dixon Realty is helping and empowering the traditionally overlooked, under-resourced, misunderstood, under-served families in our communities through homeownership. When the world came to a halt, uncertainty caused many of our families to pause in their process. In addition, several families that had worked so hard to get a loan approved, almost instantly lost it as lenders suddenly changed criteria for mortgage loans. Our project was brought to a halt, and like so many others, we had to figure out how to get things moving again. This financial support will be used to increase our web and social media presence to bring more awareness of our initiative to reach more families to help them to take the leap and gain homeownership. Unfinished Business and One Hundred Black Men of NY are making a difference where it counts and I'm very honored you chose our project.
Home care services - Agnes Saint Preux
Omega Health Services provides compassionate care at an affordable price to ensure client satisfaction and productive living. COVID19 has caused a loss of income due to stay at home orders. We’ve made a quick transition to provide additional services to our home care clients engaged and active while at home. These funds will allow us to pay our employees for their hard work, allow our organization to purchase PPE wear for our employee, and provide educational and fun home activities for our clients. This support not only lets us care for families for months to come, but it ensures a paycheck for our dedicated employees. I want to thank you for this support - It really means a lot to my organization as many small black owned business start ups are overlooked, especially the ones like mine that choose to serve the community. I am honored and will continue to make an impact with the work I was called to do! Thank you soooo much!
Health and Wellness - Gwendolyn S. Woody
The Wellness Loft provides health and wellness education and strategies to Black Men and Black Women, who otherwise don't get appropriate treatment from their clinicians. My business also provides specific resources to help people afford medications. Due to COVID-19, we had to stop our in person classes. This financial support will allow us to build a proper membership site that our clients can access at any time, to meet the needs of more individuals virtually, and to assist them with their diabetes. I am very grateful for Hennessy Unfinished Business in conjunction with One Hundred Black Men. Thank you.
New Castle, DE
Advocacy - Keonna Freeman
FreeLee Life Services seeks to strengthen family and community systems, and prevent crises for individuals and families, through support and advocacy for under-resourced and underrepresented populations of women, people of color and LGBTQIA+ people. COVID-19 affected the business' ability to perform essential community outreach initiatives, and to meet the needs of the individuals and families we serve. The financial support from Unfinished Business allows me to plan and implement our community outreach initiatives, purchase needed tools and PPE, upgrade our communication technology, provide educational programming on our website, and pay my team. I am grateful to Hennessy and One Hundred Black Men, Inc. (NYC) for this opportunity. Peace and thank you all.