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Mutually Inclusive
A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

What it takes to make it in Grand Rapids as a Latinx owned business

Christine Siracusa

Evangelina Abundis and her husband Oswaldo Cordova have owned El Globo Restaurant for the last 14 years. They started the business in 2004 when they both lost their factory jobs. 

“It was easier to start a business that to get a different job. But we didn’t realize that once inside you learn everything it takes to successfully run a  business, its not just about opening it up.” 

At the time, neither of them had any experience running a business—so they started small – out of a store front at the 28thSt. Mega Mall in Grand Rapids. 

Two years ago, the family moved their restaurant to the corner of Burton Street and Division Avenue to have a more flexible schedule. 

Abundis explains that it felt like starting all over again. 

“One of the things we have noticed among Hispanic owned business is lack of access or a difficulty in accessing economic capital,” shares Guillermo Cisneros, executive director of the West Michigan Hispanic chamber of Commerce. 

This was the case for El Globo Restaurante, the family used their own money and took loans from other friends to start up the restaurant. 

Abundis explains she wants to grow the revenue of the restaurant by at least 20% in the next year and part of their strategy has been to sign up for Transformando West Michigan, a program of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

“What we are doing as the Hispanic Chamber is bringing all the resources, services and support to allow them to recognize and identify their needs and implement systems.”

I am Michelle Jokisch Polo, and this is Mutually inclusive for WGVU News. 

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