Non-profit helps Central Valley businesses find relief funding during COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A lot of love and care goes into every bouquet crafted at #InLove Flower Shop & Home Decor.

The shop's owner, Jorge Flores, has been making a lot more bouquets lately as business has finally picked up again. He couldn't be any happier.

"In our situation, business is better right now," he said.

Things didn't look that way a few months ago. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, his business came to a screeching halt.

Instead of making money, Flores was throwing it away.

"We threw away all the flowers because the business was nothing," he said.

He lost an estimated $6,000.

Flores needed help and he needed it fast.

Grants and loans became available for small business owners like himself, but he didn't know how to access them, let alone apply.

That's where non-profit, Fresno Hispanic Area Foundation, stepped in.

"We have been trying to help as many businesses as possible accessing different relief funds so they can somehow stay afloat and continue operations," said chief operations officer, Yery Olivares.

The non-profit helps all business owners across the Central Valley access various resources.

Olivares said, just like Flores, many business owners don't know how to take advantage of federal funding.

"We assist everyone, no matter what the background is. We welcome and assist anyone who comes through our doors," she said.

The non-profit continues to help owners apply for the PPP program, local grants and loans. They provide protective equipment to small businesses, but also education.

The organization is warning business owners to keep a lookout for scammers and others who might be trying to take advantage of them during this tough time.

"We have found that there was different people charging small businesses to help them apply for the PPP Program," she said.

It's that level of care from the foundation that has helped Flores bounce back and work towards recovery.

"And it is a lot of help for us, a lot of help for us," said Flores.

Those looking to access the non-profits resources can call (559) 222-8705 or visit their website by clicking here.

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