entrepreneurs

Arthur Moye and Chantel Wapner

Restrictions on businesses designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been devastating for some entrepreneurs. But some Black-owned businesses say the power of community has helped them to adapt, and even thrive, in these uncertain times. To learn more, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke to Nick Hill, president and CEO of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, Dee Slade, President of the African American Network of Kern County, Arthur Moye, CEO of Full Circle Brewery in Fresno, and Chanel Wapner, owner of Just My Essentials in Old Town Clovis.

ABC Television and Sony Pictures

Even before the coronavirus, Tiffani Quinto had some experience with pandemics.

“You know I lived through H1N1,” she said. “I was a buyer at the time at Valley Children’s. And it’s similar to that.”  

Now she’s the supply chain management contract coordinator for Community Medical Centers in Fresno. She says medical supply distributors operate on an allocation system based on a hospital’s previous purchase history.

Alice Daniel / Valley Public Radio

Last week, at the Lanna Coffee Company in Downtown Fresno, entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to judges. It was all part of the Spark Tank Pitch Fest put on by Fresno Pacific’s Center for Community Transformation. Each business presented its idea to create social good, from an app to teach financial education, to a program that teaches marketing skills to youths. By the end of the competition, the judges awarded all five contestants from $1,500 to $4,000 to start or grow their social impact businesses.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89 reporter Ezra David Romero reports on Valley entrepreneurs while host Joe Moore leads conversations on the film Fight For Water, unauthorized prison sterilizations in Chowchilla and three Fresno bands set to perform at the tech and music festival South By Southwest in Austin, TX.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

In an ag industry that is dominated by older men, 25 year-old Megan Murphy is hard at work. Not just demonstrating her company’s top product, something called the Dead Blow Hammer, but also in challenging stereotypes: in agriculture, manufacturing and entrepreneurship. She’s the president of Hammer Works Manufacturing in Visalia.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not a woman is normally in that business you can learn it and take over it,” Murphy says.