Business provides products to Latino community and beyond
Yolanda and Eduardo Ibarra recently received loan assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program for the expansion of their business, La Casita Feliz, located at 209 4th St. SW in downtown Willmar. The business offers unique, ethnic products to the Willmar Latino community and beyond, providing an in-demand service to the area.
La Casita Feliz provides party favors – including homemade piñatas and decorations – as well as specialty clothing, including children’s party dresses and accessories. Products are intended for weddings, Quinceañeras, First Communions, baby showers, baptisms and other celebrations. Additional products can be ordered upon request. Phone cards and wire transfer services are also available. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. La Casita Feliz can be reached at 320-262-3900.
“We are very happy to assist Yolanda with this business, which has been a dream come true for her,” said SWIF Microenterprise Program Officer Berny Berger. “She will provide a good service to the Hispanic community.”
In addition to loan funding, Ibarra will receive technical assistance for the duration of the loan through SWIF’s Diverse Business Program. This program provides a variety of business training workshops and consulting services in Spanish to communities in southwest Minnesota. Technical assistance including management and accounting is available through group classes and one-on-one sessions. Resources are also available to assist African and Southeast Asian entrepreneurs.
Proceeds from the loan will be used for inventory, marketing expenses, and working capital. SWIF’s Microenterprise Loan Program offers loans of up to $35,000 for starting or expanding for-profit small businesses located within the 18 counties of southwest Minnesota that have a need for additional sources of funds. In addition, technical assistance is available from SWIF as needed for the length of the loan. The program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a regional community foundation dedicated to advancing southwest Minnesota through leadership, relationship-building, program development and philanthropy. The Foundation has contributed more than $46 million through its grant and loan programs in southwest Minnesota. It has also helped more than 450 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which has created or retained more than 7,400 jobs. To learn more, visit www.swifoundation.org.