Art comes in all forms and mediums. Some art takes months and years to create, while others take hours or minutes. In the case of Mode Salon in North Las Vegas, the stylists are creating live art. Their art leaves clients feeling beautiful, confident and full of life. It can change attitudes and lives instantly. That is why when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jennifer Warner, co-owner of Mode Salon was devastated that she and her staff could no longer create their art. Having to stop their operations for two months after being in operation since 2015 was a difficult blow both emotionally and financially.
Jennifer’s goal when she opened Mode Salon was to create a space and business that cultivates and fosters creativity, peace and inspires trust. She prides herself in being a mentor and leader that sets the example by working side by side with the 24 stylists that work out of Mode Salon. That is why the closure in April 2020 didn’t just impact Jennifer and Joseph Flores, her business partner, it had devastating effects on the other stylists and their clients. The space she had created was now closed and she had no idea of when it would open back up.
As a leader who truly cares about the success of those around her, Jennifer actively sought out ways to help not only her business but those impacted by the pandemic. In researching for resources for assistance for businesses, she came across the North Las Vegas Small Business Stabilization Forgivable Loan Program, a program formed through a partnership between Prestamos CDFI and the City of North Las Vegas. The program was established to provide much-needed Covid relief to local businesses in the form of financial grants and consulting services.
“It was such an easy process given the stressful situation we were living through. The help they gave us really provided the peace of mind we needed.”, recalled Jennifer of her experience. With the grant money, Jennifer and Joseph were able to cover their rent, which was their biggest worry. They also collectively made the decision to not charge their stylists the rent for the two months of operations that they were closed, which was not the norm for many other salons.
Leading up to this, the road was bumpy for Mode Salon. After reopening, they suffered a loss of stylists who didn’t return. This left the salon without services to offer clients even after they had opened and caused a 30% loss of revenue in the second quarter of 2020. Jennifer had to be quick on her feet and think creatively. In order to attract new stylists or former ones, they instituted several safety measures and covered the costs of PPE for people working in the salon. However, Mode Salon has recovered and is once again thriving.
In the last year, Jennifer has noticed significant growth in the area of Aliante in North Las Vegas where her salon is located. She attributes this to the investment in programs by Prestamos CDFI and the City of North Las Vegas for providing resources and assistance to local businesses like hers. Jennifer is excited for the future growth of Mode Salon and for the other businesses in the area.
Through the North Las Vegas Small Business Stabilization Forgivable Loan Program, Prestamos CDFI was able to deploy $1,397,714 in grants to 78 small businesses impacting 330 jobs. Beyond the financial impact of the program, Prestamos CDFI produced English and Spanish language webinars on a variety of topics to help businesses creatively rethink their strategies. We also provided one-on-one consulting sessions to help entrepreneurs further develop their skills which resulted in over 182 hours of technical assistance.
While businesses have begun to stabilize from the effects of the pandemic, Prestamos CDFI recognizes that the road to full recovery is long and will require additional assistance. In the coming weeks, this program will be reopening. At Prestamos CDFI, our purpose is to help nurture and grow entrepreneurs through their journeys. We are a mission-driven entity that operates under the non-profit Chicanos Por La Causa, which provides communities with resources ranging from health, education, financial services, housing, and advocacy. Prestamos continues its efforts to advance our work to provide high-quality financial products and services for small businesses that lead to impactful economic development projects. We invite you to visit our website, prestamosloans.org to learn more about our efforts and apply for a business loan.