The city of Guadalupe is launching what they're calling a Microenterprise Program, designed to help small business owners.
The program was implemented after the city was awarded a $250,000 grant designed to help low-income residents launch or expand their small businesses.
"We say we are going to give you some basic education about business from marketing to business plans, to bookkeeping," said Tom Brandeberry, Los Amigos de Guadalupe CEO.
According to Brandeberry, Los Amigos de Guadalupe will be assisting in the implementation and operation of the program.
He says the program consists of two parts - one being Microenterprise Technical Assistance which trains, coaches and counsels businesses.
"Sometimes when you start a business, you just have that passion for what you do and you believe that that is a product that people want to buy or service they want but that doesn't necessarily mean that you will have customers right from the first day,” said Business Adviser, Juliana Ramirez.
The second part would be the financial assistance, which will include loans and grants.
Brandeberry says those who complete the training don't automatically get the grant or loan. They would need to apply for that as well.
"This is the cream of the crop. These are the dreamers, so imagine if we just throw a few pennies towards those dreamers and watch what they can do, but they need help,” said Masseo Gonzales, Priest at ‘El Padresito Ministries” in Guadalupe.
In order to be eligible for the training, those applying must meet three requirements including:
1. Being low-income
2. Must have a business or live in Guadalupe
3. Business needs to be no larger than 5 employees including the owner
This program is free and will have advisers and staff who speak both English and Spanish.
"I think understanding the need of our community, and being able to put someone in that place and have someone coming from the same kind of background is going to be so important,” said Ramirez.
According to Brandeberry, there is no deadline to apply and as of right now, they currently have 8 residents who've been approved.
To learn more about this program and to apply click here.