FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Small business owners who turn to nonprofits, business development centers and crowdfunding are lucky to get the financial assistance they need, but those who ask for credit from their banks are lucky.
Small businesses are still grappling with the impact of the pandemic as prices for supplies soar.
Laura Carrasco moved to Springdale from Mexico at the age of 19 with her family and dreams of owning a business just like back home. In 2018, she and her sister opened their restaurant, Bites & Bowls, with just a small loan from their parents and the fridge in their garage. They soon realized they needed a slightly larger loan to get things started, but after asking a few banks, they had no luck.
Carrasco said she sometimes felt hopeless when her company faced financial difficulties, but finding the right resources made her feel like there was still a chance.
Mary Beth Brooks im Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center said this is a general trend among small businesses in the area. She said companies often don’t have enough collateral or their credit ratings have fallen during the pandemic.
Brooks said the pandemic hasn’t stopped hurting businesses, especially restaurants, and even if her earnings are back where they were, she said the cost of everything else has gone up.
“Their cost of goods has increased dramatically,” Brooks said. “The combination of shipping issues and all the other issues and then the labor costs have gone up dramatically.”
After reaching out to a business development organization that helped her get a smaller loan, Carrasco sees her business continue to grow, which is so important to her and her family.
“So that’s my main income, and it’s important because we built it ourselves,” Carrasco said.
Brooks said resources like the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center can help small business owners who are still struggling. resources such as startup junkie and Kiva Northwest Arkansas Hub.