BG Housing Authority creates board to help minority entrepreneurs, awards first loans

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:33 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Board of the People’s Opportunity Program for Underserved Populations, POP-UP for short, officially awarded its first set of loans to two minority entrepreneurs on Wednesday. Each loan was for $10,000.

Tieraney McFadden of Chopped By T and Kira Bolling with A Taste of Sunshine received the loan. According to those on the board, both presented business plans and financial statements for review and worked several weeks with POP-UP small business consultant Dawn Bolton.

“I’m just so super proud of the two women that received these checks. They were always so passionate about their business, but now they can tell you about their gross margins and their profit margins, etc. It’s so exciting to see them still passionate, but now passionate businesswomen,” Bolton said.

Both Chopped by T and A Taste of Sunshine can be found on Facebook where you can place an order. Chopped By T specialized in salads and other cold food, while Bolling’s A Taste of Sunshine specialized in making cupcakes. They are working to move into a physical locating, which will be 305 Graham Avenue, by the start of the new year.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least, but it has been very rewarding,” McFadden said.

“I can’t emphasize enough how much work and effort both Tieraney and Kira put in before going in front of the POP-UP Board,” Bolton said.

POP-UP, a program under the Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s Live the Dream Development non-profit, was born out of Don Vitale’s desire to “do something” after the death of George Floyd. Vitale is the owner of Manchester Capital in Bowling Green.

“I researched our area and determined that there were no black commercial lenders in all of Warren County,” Vitale said. He also serves on the POP-UP board now. “I reached out to Abraham Williams of the Housing Authority with an idea to help minority business people.”

Williams secured funding from several local banks and community partners, formed the Board, hired a small business consultant, and POP-UP began.

“The positive impact of POP-UP for people of underrepresented populations in Bowling Green is a need that is timely right now; it provides not only an opportunity but access to funds, which both can often be barriers of entry for minority entrepreneurship. I am proud to be a part of this type of meaningful work in our community ”POP-UP Board member, Aquesha Daniels, a lawyer, and professor in the WKU Management Department, said.

Dawn Bolton said the program has a bright future as they continue to provide mentoring, opportunity, and financial resources to minority and lower-income entrepreneurs.

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