The People's Bank is Now Open

You're smart and hard-working, but you don't qualify for the loan that could mean success

The 47-year-old Arroyo attempted to get a loan from a bank but didn't qualify. Then, about three months ago, he learned of ACCIóN: "I wanted a loan of $13,000 but they couldn't risk that. They said, 'Put your budget as low as you can and we'll see what we can do.' I thought that was reasonable." Instead he got a 30-month loan of $10,000, which he put toward leasing equipment and a baking facility that was going out of business in Kendall. "The fast service and friendly attention, the reception of our idea -- ACCIóN started to believe in us," he says. "That's very important. They said, 'This loan is going to build you a credit history.'"

Business is good enough that the Arroyos are expanding into spinach and ham-and-cheese empanadas. They're also hiring an employee. "It's just one job, but I think in the future I can create more jobs," he says. "We have a three-year plan. Our goal is to go to daily production of 3000 empanadas and to have three distribution points."

In Arroyo's opinion, Miami's entrepreneurs need all the support they can get because they are creating most of the new jobs. "In this country, big companies are closing plants and firing people," he notes. "In Miami we have small and microbusinesses that only create a few jobs, but it adds up. This organization is giving the seed to the business. I want to grow."

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