Small Business Week begins in the commercial corridor of Castor Avenue Local news
For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has celebrated National Small Business Week, which recognizes the important contributions of small business owners such as Lambros Carazurnias, owner of the New Olympia House restaurant on Castor Avenue.
This year the National Small Business Week is held from 1 to 7 May. On Monday, New Olympia House was a gathering place for small business owners, advocates and elected officials such as State Representative Jared Solomon, D-202nd County, and City Council member Sherel Parker, D-9th County, who hosted the press conference. conference, along with the Pennsylvania CDFI Network, a coalition of financial community development institutions.
Other participants were City Commercial Director Ann K. Nadol; Varsovia Fernadez, CEO of Pennsylvania CDFI Network, Shante Antrom, CEO of Oxford Circle CCDA; and Pamela Henschal, president of the Grand Northeast Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s launch was dedicated to small businesses and entrepreneurs on Castor Avenue, including Anitria Odum, owner of 4 cakes and cupcakes just in case; Loal Ouo, owner of Rightchoice Services, LLC; and Louise Urtada, owner of Magaly Spa, LLC.
Many of them, including the New Olympia House restaurant, were recipients of grants to help with COVID-19 from the city or state.
“Together, members of the PA CDFI network have worked with the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia legislatures to ensure that funds go to your bank accounts, to pay bills, to pay staff, to keep food on our family table,” Dan said. . Betancourt, President and CEO of Community First Funds. “We succeeded; however, we have a lot of work to do to recover. We, the CDFI, will continue to do our part to help small businesses in Philadelphia prepare for growth as we continue to recover, and I ask small business owners who need help to contact us. ”
The 40-year-old Karazurnyas, owner of New Olympia House, said business was very difficult during the pandemic.
“The world was against us,” Karazurnyas said. “Because of the limitations of COVID, mask responsibilities, vaccines and customers who are afraid to go out.”
In addition, restaurants were only allowed to do takeaway or delivery and all other places, he said.
“It was very difficult to be here for 35 years and to serve different generations, but I could not serve them,” Karazurnas said.
Despite all the trouble, Karazurnas said he felt “weird to succeed”.
“With the help of the city and our regular customers, we have succeeded,” he said. “This is not my business. It’s about my employees. My employees have families. If we close people in the area at the local level, they will lose their jobs. “
Karazurnas said he is proud to host the event on Monday at his restaurant.
“It was very rewarding. This shows that the city cares about small businesses, minority-owned companies and immigrant-owned shops, and everyone who is an entrepreneur there, ”Karazurnas said.
His parents emigrated from Greece and settled in the North Jersey area of New York City before moving to Philadelphia and purchasing the restaurant in 1987.
In many parts of Philadelphia, small shops and restaurants for moms and moms together have served as economic drivers for communities, providing jobs and sometimes loans to people who would not otherwise get it, say small business proponents.
“Small business supports our communities, supports the work of people, provides income for families, improves the local economy and nourishes the American economy,” said Betancourt. “Small business helps us live the American dream.”
During National Small Business Week, May 1-7, Isabel Guzman, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, visits several cities across the country to join local elected officials in celebrating 32.5 million U.S. small businesses