Credit: Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Israel Veliz launched City Tamale when he was 24 years old. "When I moved to New York, I couldn't find a reliable place to buy a tamale. There are so many tamale vendors on the streets, but I felt for many factors, that they weren't able to present the tamale in a way that it should be presented." Within one year of opening, City Tamale became a New York Times food critic's pick.

"A lot of people connect with us because of who we are. I learned to love food, to respect food. And I'm able to represent who I am, where I come from - and bring good, healthy food to the neighborhood." 

"A lot of people connect with us because of who we are." 

City Tamale is located in Hunts Points, an industrial neighborhood in the Bronx, "where most of our customers are people coming to work," says Veliz. "In this area, there are mostly big factories, and the auto industry - mechanics, factory workers. It is mostly a Hispanic community here. It's important that we communicate in two languages, creating a space where everyone is equal." 

When Veliz talks about success, he talks about his team: "I opened City Tamale for one fact: I wanted to provide better opportunities for Latino workers. Success has to do with building a network and team that you can count on when you need help." For Veliz, success also means growing with his team. "I believe in profit sharing - and while we are hardly breaking even now, I want to share whatever success we have in the future. That means growing together, all of us learning things to do things best."

"I opened City Tamale for one fact: I wanted to provide better opportunities for Latino workers."

Veliz admits that success comes with many challenges. For that, he is grateful to be a current participant in the SBA's Emerging Leaders program, powered by Interise's StreetWise 'MBA'. "I was doing a lot of things right, but I didn't have a lot of guidance and support. The program is pulling it all together. Now, I'm with people that are in my same situation. It's great to be around people who have a similar growth mindset. We're working to get over challenges, and become more successful businesses."


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harrison ackermanBy Harrison Ackerman 
Program Manager of Partnerships and Initiatives

Beginning this month, Accelerate Latinx powered by Interise launched in five cities across the country. As Program Manager for Partnerships & Initiatives at Interise, I am so excited to deepen our collaboration with the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Indy Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council, Local First Arizona – Fuerza Local Arizona, Livelihood NW in Portland, and the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity. Participating Latinx businesses achieving scale bolsters economic vitality and long-term wealth building. Together, we will work to most effectively serve the broad Latinx small business community.

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Five Ways to Avoid Burnout – and Keep Thriving in Your Career and Life

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In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) included burnout in its International Classification of Diseases. 

 Burnout, the WHO noted, was characterized by:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  • reduced professional efficacy.

While burnout can affect anyone, purpose-driven work is a high-risk contributor. “Purpose-driven work” – or work that people feel strongly passionate about – isn’t a term reserved for a specific field or area, such as medicine or not-for-profits. “Purpose-driven work” can be any type of work that elicits passion and focus. (Entrepreneurs and CEOS - we’re looking at you!)

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Getting a small business loan: Being informed beats a great story any day!

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darrell byersBy Johnny Charles
Director of Economic Development
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation

How do I get funded? is often the leading question from small business owners after learning what I do for a living. As Director of Economic Development at Dorchester Bay, I manage a loan fund that deploys loans to small businesses.

Before I get the chance explain how to get funded, a business owner immediately follows their question with a story that details their company’s competitive advantages: industry knowledge, applicable specializations, a recent opportunity, their drive to work harder than most, etc.. These are strong attributes, but don’t answer the business owner’s initial question.

To get funded, relevant, measurable data around your business performance is essential, like profitability plans, liquidity measures, and operational efficiency. Combined, these details tell a realistic story about your business — and most importantly, the growth trends (or the lack thereof).

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Lack of Access to Capital is Crippling the US Small Business Sector in Communities of Color

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darrell byersBy Kimber Lanning
Executive Director
Local First Arizona 

Local First Arizona is a local partner in Accelerate Latinx powered by Interise

As a small business owner myself, and now as the Executive Director of an organization focused on powering my state’s entrepreneurs, it’s become evident that capital - which is like oxygen for successful small business development - is still not flowing evenly in communities across the US.

Capital allows a business to invest in the best tools to run their operations so as to remain competitive. Entrepreneurs who start a business already having access to capital through their personal assets (i.e. home, property, stocks), good credit, and/or loans with reasonable interest rates have higher business success rates than those who do not. According to the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises, entrepreneurs who seek to start a business without pre-existing capital face higher probabilities that their businesses will not succeed. 

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Looking for Money? Let’s Talk about a Microloan

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darrell byersBy Jeannie Hurley
Operations Coordinator
The Indy Chamber 
The Indy Chamber is a local partner in Accelerate Latinx powered by Interise


Me: “So what areas of your business do you need help with?”

Business Owner: “I’m looking for a microloan to help grow my business.” 

This where the real conversation begins.

I serve as the Operations Coordinator for Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), a nonprofit within the Indy Chamber.  We provide free business coaching, low-cost workshops, and small business loans to aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners in Central Indiana.  I serve as the first point of contact for our clients by connecting them to our business coaches and local resources. Every day, I speak with clients who are seeking funds for their businesses.

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