A loan of $3,000 helped hotdog stand equipment improvements and inventory.

Athanasios's story

For the past 20 years Athanasios (Tony) has operated his mobile restaurant in the busy lower Manhattan area.

Tony came to ACCION USA for a loan after September 11, 2001. During the tough economic times which followed this catastrophe, Tony worked with
ACCION USA to keep his business afloat. Once he was able to stabilize his business, he began to prosper, though times have not been as prosperous lately. Due to changes in people's diets, he says many of his regular customers have stopped eating hot-dogs per their doctors' orders. However, Tony still tends to a busy area of town with tourists and court officials who often choose to enjoy the classic New York treat.

Since fewer people venture outside for their lunch during the winter months, Tony's business slows down each winter. For the past several years he has worked with ACCION USA to obtain the working capital he needs during the slow season. Additionally, this year he will use part of his loan from ACCION USA to make needed repairs to his cart.

Long-term, Tony hopes to retire, with his son taking over the business. Learn more about Tony in this video: http://vimeo.com/8998275

About U.S. Microfinance and ACCION USA

Have you ever thought about how the new café on your corner and the delivery service that brings the fresh baked goods acquired the financial resources to start their business? Chances are, they drummed up support from their friends and family, dipped into their personal savings, used a high-interest credit card, or all of the above. An estimated 10 million small businesses in the U.S. have faced difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks, even prior to the current “credit crisis.” Microfinance institutions like ACCION USA support these “unbanked” small businesses by giving them access to fairly-priced capital and business education, as well.

Small businesses also help stabilize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and rebuild our economy through income growth and job creation. Self-employment provides workers with a way to increase their incomes, support their families, and strengthen their communities. As unemployment rises in the U.S., more and more people are turning to self-employment and start-up enterprises as a way to take control of their economic futures and provide employment opportunities in their communities. The need for support of small businesses in the U.S. is great, and it is one that ACCION USA has been striving to meet since 1991.

Loan details

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Loan details