Tina Santos – Luz de Luna Reception Hall

Tina’s journey began when she first arrived in the United States as an immigrant from Mexico. With no knowledge of English, no formal immigration status, and no friends or family to rely on, she was faced with the daunting challenge of adapting to a new culture and way of life. Years rolled by, and Tina’s journey took her from the hotel’s cleaning staff to the event department, where she honed her skills in the art of hospitality.

Her story took a significant turn during the early months of the 2020 pandemic when she lost her job. With newfound free time, Tina decided to seize the opportunity to work on her long-cherished dream of starting her own business. Tina connected with organizations like Prestamos WBC, where she met the Program Director, Laura Suarez. There, she spoke with Gabriel Gasca about the Maricopa County 1% loan program and how it could be a game-changer for her.

Through Prestamos WBC, Tina embarked on the DreamBuilder Academy course, guided by the experienced instructor Manny Lucero. This was the pivotal moment in her entrepreneurial journey when she created a solid business plan, a crucial step towards her dream. With the DreamBuilder Academy course and Manny Lucero’s invaluable support, Tina was well-equipped to successfully apply and obtain the Maricopa County 1% loan.

Reflecting on her journey, Tina said, “The Maricopa County loan was the best thing that could have happened to me. It allowed me to sign a three-year commercial contract and buy equipment. My process to receive the Maricopa County 1% loan was relatively easy, and behind this was an entire team dedicated to completing each step. I am entirely grateful for Prestamos.”

As a BIPOC person and immigrant, she had to work doubly hard to learn English and secure her legal residency status. Once she achieved these milestones, her character and determination became her driving force.

Throughout the challenges she faced during the pandemic, Prestamos not only supported her professionally but also personally. She is now determined to create job opportunities in her community, offer people the resources they need to start their own businesses, and give back in a way that embodies her gratitude. “I want to give back the help I received with my business,” she said, highlighting her commitment to uplifting others.”