July 20, 2018
Santa Barbara & Ventura County, CA— Many small businesses took a big financial hit during the holiday season last year. The effects of the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide caused devastating losses in sales. Those same businesses are now preparing for a better 2018 holiday season and Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) has the help they need.
Local businesses can use WEV loans in a variety of ways to boost sales for the holiday season. Businesses can purchase inventory, advertise or improve a website for more visibility and online sales. It is a loan program that local small business owners, Anna Lopez-Carr and Donatella Lopez of Le Sorelle Luxury Imports say saved the day.
Anna and Donetella are sisters who import products, including olive oil, from Puglia, Italy. In 2017, they only made about 5% of their typical holiday sales. The sisters quickly turned to WEV for financial support.
“It makes it a little intimidating or scary to want to take out a loan and I think the wonderful part about WEV was they were able to explain the whole process,” explains co-owner, Donatella Lopez. “You walk out of the experience knowing everything to expect and knowing you’ll have support throughout the loan process.”
Her sister and co-owner, Anna Lopez-Carr says, “What really helped us and even saved us at that moment was to be able to get a small loan from WEV in such a timely manner.”
Any small business in Santa Barbara and Ventura County can apply to WEV’s Loan Program for startup and expansion capital of up to $50,000.To find out more information about how to apply, visit www.wevonline.org/loans or call (805) 965-6073.
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 provides training, consulting and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business. WEV serves all of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria. While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well, and provides many services in English and Spanish.
Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to over 14,000 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and made more than $5 million in loans, assisting over 4,000 local businesses. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
A pioneer in the field, WEV was founded by Marsha Bailey, a nationally recognized advocate for women business owners. Marsha recently completed her tenures on the National Women’s Business Council and as board president of the national Association of Women’s Business Centers. For additional information, visit WEV’s website at www.wevonline.org.