Participants Announced, WEV’s Forgivable Business Loan and Consulting Program

Local minority and women-owned small businesses to receive no-cost training and forgivable funding to assist them in rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ventura, CA — With grant funding awarded by Kaiser Permanente and the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) has announced the Forgivable Business Loan & Consulting Program recipients. Five Ventura County small business owners will each receive no-cost technical assistance and training, as well as $10,000 in forgivable funding, to support their recovery and growth. Program information on the WEV website.

Recipients of WEV’s Forgivable Business Loan & Consulting Program are:

Luisa Arzate, Marfer Ink (Printing & Marketing, Oxnard)
Blanca Hoffmeier, SWPPP CAL (Stormwater Management, Thousand Oaks)
Rochida McClure, McClure Counseling & Consulting (Behavioral Health Therapist, Ventura)
Arturo and Julio Palencia, Mexa Brands, LLC (Importer & Distributor, Ventura)
Lillie Parker, WaterLillie Salon (Hair Salon, Ventura)

“What a great feeling it is to know that there are organizations in our very own community like WEV! WEV is the resource for small business owners like me. It is hard for those of us who grew up not speaking English at home and not having a head start. Yet, with WEV behind us, we know that there are people who understand us, willing to coach us and encourage us to believe in ourselves to make our goals happen.”

Participant Blanca Hoffmeier, SWPPP CAL

Research performed in California earlier this year by Small Business Majority found that 32% of minority business owners were denied a loan, compared to 17% of white business owners. Without access to capital, many underserved small business owners are at a higher risk of not recovering from the pandemic, impacting the future and vitality of our local communities.

“This program is the ideal combination of providing essential business capital and coaching for local women and minority entrepreneurs,” said WEV’s Director of Funding Marni Brook. “Add in the support of the WEV community, and now we have a recipe that empowers local business owners to grow, thrive and build for the future.”

WEV plans to launch an expanded version of the Forgivable Business Loan & Consulting Program to include both Santa Barbara and Ventura County small business owners.

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)
Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV is a business resource network for anyone looking to start a business, grow a local business, or improve their business skills. WEV provides small business support – including classes, consulting, and funding – as well as financial literacy programs in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV’s focus is on women, it welcomes people of all gender identities into the WEV community. Business courses, programs and loans are provided in both English and Spanish.

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and small business advisory services to more than 28,000 people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made more than $6.9 million in small business loans and helped nearly 5,300 local businesses start or expand, generating an estimated $873 million in annual sales and creating over 12,400 local jobs. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center and Microlender, as well as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).