One of our favorite borrowers, Helen Russell, co-owner of Equator Coffees and Teas, was named one of NBC’s Pride30 entrepreneurs for mixing business with social responsibility. Helen and her partner, Brooke McDonnell, were named the SBA’s Small Business of the Year in 2016.
Capital Access provided the SBA 504 financing in 2003 for Equator to purchase its own, 5,500-square-foot roasting plant, which Helen calls “one of the best decisions that we’ve ever made,” and since that time, they’ve grown the company from a small roaster and wholesaler to a nationally recognized brand.
Helen encourages LGBTQ entrepreneurs to “stand in our knowledge and believe in our personal power to effect positive change, not only in our lives but in the lives we touch. Positive influence on others will follow suit.”