For nearly the last two years, our women-owned businesses have been put to the ultimate test of resilience during an unprecedented time in history. We want to acknowledge their perseverance as well as that of the corporations who support our members and have given back to the local community. We have highlighted below a few WBEs and corporations as representations of the type of resilience and exceptionalism that we have seen throughout our membership.
[WBE] Jenica Oliver, Founder and CMO at Blueprint Marketing Group,
During the pandemic, Jenica used the extra free time to get her business certified. She then jumped in to get involved and meet the WBCS staff and members virtually. She is now a familiar face at our virtual events and serves on the Women of Color, Marketing, and Certification Committees. She has also taken advantage of national opportunities through WBENC such as WEThrive and Women Owned in Retail.
“WBE Certification is hands-down the best investment I could have made in my business in the past 18+ months! It has opened doors and provided access to a community of people and resources that were truly needed to prepare for business post-pandemic.”
- Jenica Oliver, Founder and CMO
[Corporate] Capital One
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Capital One worked with a network of trusted nonprofit partners to help small businesses navigate the challenges of this new reality. Many of these organizations are working directly with small businesses across the country, providing information and financial support to get business owners on the path to recovery.
“We admire the resilience small business owners have shown, and it was an honor to serve these businesses through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program over the past year. Today, Capital One Business continues to provide a variety of competitive products, services and advice from our expert business bankers to help small businesses navigate the path forward.”
-Jenn Flynn, Head of Small Business Bank
[WBE] Rachel Sanchez, CEO of Prestige Maintenance USA
Rachel Sanchez, CEO of Prestige Maintenance USA, is a board member and long-time member of WBCS. In order to keep her business running after the lockdown started, she approached several of her corporate contracts and asked for shorter payment terms. This allowed her to continue to pay her employees and not only stay afloat but thrive during an uncertain time.
“One of the toughest business challenges is managing cash, so when corporations are able to work with small to midsize businesses for more favorable terms it is a win/win and allows for more economic growth and scalability. We were pleased that many corporations did support us through action and responded at an urgent pace.”
-Rachel Sanchez, CEO
[Corporate] DFW International Airport
DFW International Airport proudly took a stand to support its advocacy partners on their path to recovery and help reduce some of the financial burden caused by the pandemic by awarding WBCS and other partners additional funding.
“Understanding that everyone plays a role in recovery, we held firm in our commitment to support business and community partners. In some cases, we even increased our commitment. We engaged chambers of commerce, conventions and visitors’ bureaus, minority advocacy groups and industry associations to develop or enhance programs to preserve small business capacity, equip businesses to comply with new health protocols, and build confidence in traveling through DFW.”
- Suzanne Cruz-Sewell, AVP, Business Diversity & Development
[WBE] Sharon Evans, CEO of CFJ Manufacturing
In March of 2020, CFJ realized their clients needed to procure more than jewelry, branded products, uniforms, or employee recognition items. They needed Personal Protective Equipment. As COVID hit, CFJ pivoted and utilized their manufacturing experience to manufacture PPE as the demand with their customers grew.
“We had to either downsize our team or figure out a different revenue model. We were driven by a common desire, do whatever it would take to supply the necessary PPE to protect frontline workers and at the same time, keep our employees throughout the pandemic. We did both.”
- Sharon Evans, CEO
One of our founding Corporate Members, PepsiCo took a stand for racial equality and committed more than $400 million to a set of initiatives over five years to lift up Black communities and increase Black representation at PepsiCo. These initiatives comprise a holistic effort for PepsiCo to walk the talk of a leading corporation and help address the need for systemic change.
“Increasing our spend with diverse suppliers is a key component of PepsiCo’s drive to racial equality. We believe our efforts should not reside in a silo: we must work with our partners and across industries to effect meaningful change.”
- Christina Tyson, Director of Supplier Diversity