Women entrepreneurs help Detroit small business struggling during COVID-19 pandemic

Michigan Women Forward finds donors to pay loan

DETROIT – The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit many small businesses hard as they struggle to remain open.

Adriana Hernandez and her father are just two people who have been impacted. They own Guadalajara Market in Southwest Detroit and have been continuing to work each day despite being diabetic and thus at high-risk of contracting COVID-19.

They said that despite staying open, business is down about 40 percent. In the midst of what is happening, they have been trying to pay back a $40,000 loan to Michigan Women Forward, an organization that helped Hernandez open the market.

But just a few days ago, Hernandez got some help and relief.

Carolyn Cassin, the president and CEO of Michigan Women Forward called to let her know that her loan was paid for the next six months, thanks to donors the organization sought.

“We went to foundations. We went to the community. We asked our donors. We asked banks. We asked anybody that we could think of," Cassin said.

Hernandez said now she can continue to do what she intended on when she opened the market -- “Make customers happy that they have somewhere local where they could come and, you know, get groceries.”

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