Five small businesses took home grants Tuesday morning that will help them grow and serve the community.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Cheniere Energy partnered last year in the “Doing Business with Giants” program, with the university’s Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center providing free workshops and Cheniere providing grant funding.
Out of 34 applicants, five were chosen for grants.
Beauty & the Bistro
Beauty & the Bistro was closed for 2.5 years due to the pandemic, the latest low point in the rollercoaster ride of over two decades in the catering business.
Owner Michelle Roddel started the business after years in the food service and hospitality industries.
“There have been different obstacles along the way,” Roddel said. “There’s the 2008 real estate tank. We’d built up to having over 25 employees, and when that affected the market, we had to downsize to the point that we almost closed.”
But the business bounced back, as it has again post-pandemic. In addition to catering services, Beauty & the Bistro partners with home bakers interested in transitioning to commercial baking, renting out kitchen space.
The $20,000 the company earned through the grant will help expand kitchen space.
G&G Pest Control
G&G Pest Control, owned by Henry and Olga Garrett, is based in Beeville. It was awarded $20,000.
“When we started to participate, we never in a million years thought we’d get a grant for $20,000,” Olga Garrett said.
Henry Garrett had begun a business in Austin before he returned to Beeville to take over the family pest control business 25 years ago. Today, the company’s pest control system is outdated and in need of an upgrade.
The grant funding will help the company upgrade its computer system.
Tri-County Emergency Medical Services
Tri-County Medical Services is a nonprofit that has been serving Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Ingleside on the Bay for 45 years.
It was awarded $20,000.
Executive Director Carrie De Leon said the funds will support a community paramedic program. As the community has grown, so have emergency medical needs.
Community paramedicine is focused on public health, primary care and preventative services with the goal of reducing hospitalizations and demand for ambulances.
Clean and Bright Cleaning Services
Clean and Bright Cleaning Services is owned by Alisha and Cedric Sanders, who bought the company from another local business owner. The company was awarded $20,000.
They have grown the company from six clients to 26 contracts across the region, from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande Valley.
Cedric Sanders said that the program workshops included important information about public speaking.
“We definitely found it very valuable to learn new, innovative ways to improve our business,” Alisha Sanders said.
Alpha & Omega Cleaning
Alpha & Omega Cleaning, which was awarded $7,500, has been in business for over a decade, starting in Edinburg before expanding to the Coastal Bend area this year, operations manager Mike Puente said.
The funds will help with equipment needs, Puente said.
“The money we are receiving here is for us to buy some equipment for us to be able to do our jobs easier,” Puente said.
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