Wells Fargo and the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) hosted a listening session with 10 Austin-based small business owners to highlight their testimonials of resilience and perseverance during this year’s National Small Business Week.  During the celebratory event, Wells Fargo awarded EGBI with a $30,000 grant that will enable the nonprofit to continue empowering businesses, while expanding economic development in Austin’s underserved communities. In addition, each of the 10 small businesses were surprised with $1,000 grants to help aid in the success of their respective businesses. The businesses included:

  • Armonia – Armonia is the cultivation of Latin heritage,  celebrating the connection of home and body through nurturing goods that evoke the memories and home essentials that carry stories.
  • Better Foundation Fitness  – BFF identifies major issues that hinder fitness milestones and teaches effective workouts that build the best version of their clients including individuals overcoming injuries.
  • Collected Abundance  Julianna Chung is a professional organizer and owner of Collected Abundance. She serves seniors, families and individuals to declutter together at home for a stress-free, more organized life. Julianna is here for you during life transitions and disaster relief, building a caring community together!
  • Dulce’s Cleaning Services – This company takes pride in offering exceptional cleaning services for your home and community. From residential and commercial cleanings to construction cleanup, office maintenance, Airbnb turnovers, and events, this company provides exceptional quality service every step of the way.
  • Gaines Royal Transport  – Gaines Royal Transport (GRT) is a non-emergency medical transportation service that provides rides to mostly seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Kitty Bird Photo – Photographer is a connection artist that captured warm and expressive images of business events and branding portraits for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Austin. As a collaborative and creative, she offers genuine images that elevate brands and foster community at business events. 
  • LCR Food Services, LLC – Make every occasion a culinary masterpiece with Canapé by Marianne Renauld. LCR Food Services specializes in crafting visually stunning grazing tables and providing personalized catering experiences.
  • Reycast Media  – Reycast Media LLC creates high quality video for broadcast distribution and engaging social media content (video & audio) for brands and businesses. With two decades of experience in the broadcast industry, Reycast Media brings your vision to life in English & Spanish.
  • Smiley’s Recycling & Resale –  Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling believes that a difference can be made in the impact on landfills only by recycling, reusing, and up-cycling the items picked up from residents and businesses of Austin, TX and the surrounding area.
  • Kiki Roman hair designer – Full service hair services with specialty in hair color.

“EGBI has been a strong advocate and resource for the small business community in Austin,” said Christopher Rios, Wells Fargo Vice President of Community Impact and Philanthropy. “We understand that access to capital remains a key barrier for minority-owned and-led businesses. We hope that these grants will serve as an extended lifeline to help EGBI and these inspiring business owners continue to flourish and serve their mission.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses play a significant role in the economic landscape of Texas, comprising 99.8% of all businesses in the state. These businesses employ 4.9 million individuals, representing 44.5% of the workforce in Texas.

The listening session allowed Wells Fargo to hear from the struggles, milestones, and successes that 10 small business owners and clients of EGBI have experienced in the last year. The small business owners who participated have demonstrated exceptional dedication and resilience in their entrepreneurial pursuits with the support of the Economic Growth Business Incubator in 2023. These entrepreneurs shared their experiences of overcoming challenges and driving growth in their businesses and communities. The business owners are a mix of the different industries that represent the true face of small business owners in our community, including a hairdresser, a cleaning company, a media production company, a photographer, a residential organizer, a transportation company, a personal trainer, a product retailer, and junk removal company. In 2023, nearly 500 individuals in the Austin area have benefited from the comprehensive coaching, training, and support provided by EGBI to aspiring and existing business owners facing barriers to success. EGBI was presented with a proclamation honoring their commitment to helping small business flourish in Austin.

“In May 2023, EGBI was named the number one business incubator in the city of Austin by the Austin Business Journal due to number of local businesses assisted,” said Larissa Davila, Executive Director of EGBI. “Our vision is to empower every small business to become profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community, we try to reduce as many barriers as possible we can for the small business owners to be successful.”

Find the Spanish version here.