SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES

A small business needs a big partner.
And we’re here to help.

Starting and maintaining a small business isn’t easy. That’s why we provide legal, finance, and marketing assistance to thousands of small business owners every year. We offer resources, events, and connect you to our network of volunteer professionals who provide the best legal, finance, and marketing services money can buy — except it’s free.

No catch. Just a community of people who want to help you, your business — and your community — to thrive.

Apply for Services

AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FREE SERVICES?

Target Communities

We partner with small business owners in marginalized communities, including communities of color, women, LGBTQIA+ communities, immigrant communities, veterans, people with disabilities, people with low incomes (under 500% of Federal Poverty Guidelines), and formerly incarcerated individuals.

Business Stage

We serve small business owners who are currently operating and selling goods/services and can demonstrate recurring sales of at least $500 within the past three months. Businesses must also have less than $1M in revenue over the last 12 months. Applicants must have a household income under 750% Federal Poverty Guidelines, and the household must have less than $100,000 in assets.

Location

We accept applications from small businesses located across all 50 states. *Please note that our legal services are only offered (with varying wait times) in the following states: NY, CA, DC, NJ, PA, MD, VA, WA, OR. Our virtual marketing and financial services are available to all eligible businesses.

NEXT STEPS IF YOU MEET ALL OF THE ABOVE

Apply

Click on the link below to start your application process.

Service Assessment

Upon submitting your application, our team will review and process your application within approximately five business days. Once your application is approved, you will be invited to schedule an onboarding meeting with our team.

Service Prioritization

Based upon your business needs, Start Small Think Big will set up free legal, finance, and/or marketing assistance that will be fulfilled over the next 12 months. We currently offer workshops, consultations, and project-based support.

Small Business Spotlights

Cassandre Davilmar
Hector Castillo Carvajal
Nancy Rosales
Lamont Bransford-Young
Fredrick Daniels
Edouard Massih
Tammeca Rochester
Katlyn Algeria
LaParis Phillips

Cassandre Davilmar

Lakou Cafe

Cassandre Davilmar opened Lakou Cafe to host local art shows, open mic nights, cultural conversation groups, and concerts for the community. But in March 2020 sales decreased and they had to close the doors due to COVID-19. Later that year, we offered Cassandre a $5,000 grant to add to their PPP loan. Cassandre worked with Start Small Think Big’s finance program on projections, planning, and bookkeeping. Our legal and marketing programs assisted them with conducting business online, lease review and negotiation, entity selection, trademark, and digital marketing strategy. Ultimately, Cassandre saved their business and reopened Lakou, experiencing a 38% revenue increase.

Hector Castillo Carvajal

Don Carvajal Cafe

Hector Castillo Carvajal is serious about coffee, so they created Don Carvajal Cafe to share their enthusiasm for craft roasted coffee beans, carefully sourced from hardworking farmers in Latin America, with the world. But when the pandemic hit, farmer’s markets closed, and Hector’s sales dropped. Hector reached out to Start Small Think Big, received a $5,000 grant, and worked closely with our finance program on projections and planning to become a sustainable business. After attending our marketing workshops, Hector started selling cold brew and making home deliveries, all while planning for the future. Currently, Hector plans to complement their e-commerce business with a new brick-and-mortar location in the Bronx.

Nancy Rosales

Pepitos Paletas

Longing for their family and Mexican culture, Nancy Rosales, created Pepitos Paletas— and began selling fresh homemade popsicles. While a freezer is usually required to deliver paletas without compromising the product quality, Nancy invented a unique freeze box that can store the paletas at the desired temperature for up to 8 hours. Due to COVID-19, business sales decreased and Nancy sought assistance in pivoting their business model. Nancy attended Start Small Think Big’s marketing workshops and developed a membership subscription plan which enabled the business to keep going.

Lamont Bransford-Young

Fingersnaps Media Arts

Learning the art of DJ mixing is a passion Lamont Bransford-Young transformed into a business when they launched Fingersnaps Media Arts in San Francisco, California. Lamont’s DJ school offers classes on skill and technique to all ages. When Lamont was searching for a studio, they reached out to Start Small Think Big for assistance. Our team conducted a business audit and helped organize Lamont’s finances, which enabled them to secure a new school and studio space.

Fredrick Daniels

Barcuts

Frederick Daniels’ Barcuts expanded from hair care and styling to becoming a one-stop-shop for grooming and professional portrait services. When the pandemic started, Frederick self-taught themself photo and video editing, partnered with Start Small Think Big’s finance program on businesses projections and planning, and attended many of our marketing workshops. With the new skills they learned, Frederick was able to increase income and plan for the future. Now Frederick is looking to expand their business to Washington, D.C., and California.

Edouard Massih

Edy’s Grocer

Born in Lebanon, Edouard Mannish brought their modern Mediterranean palette to the concrete jungle of Brooklyn when they launched their private chef and catering business. But like many small business owners, COVID-19 impacted Edouard’s business model, forcing them to close their catering company and open a storefront, Edy’s Grocer. During the transition, Start Small Think Big helped Edouard with bookkeeping and digital marketing for their new business. Edouard also was awarded a $5,000 grant from us, which enabled them to hire more staff and increase business revenue by 66%.

Tammeca Rochester

Harlem Cycle Fitness Studio

Tammeca Rochester’s indoor cycling business Harlem Cycle saw revenue decreases of more than 50% after they were forced to close their studio’s doors in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Tammeca had to get creative and quickly pivot their business model online in order to stay afloat. Tammeca knew they needed financial and legal assistance to transition their business online. Start Small Think Big provided a $5,000 grant to create digital classes, and our legal program provided them with contract assistance to ensure protection of their unique business model. Harlem Cycle was able to reopen its physical location while Tammeca continues to expand their virtual business and develop new revenue streams.

Katlyn Algeria

Hitched Company

When the pandemic forced the nation to shut down, events and in-person gatherings were halted. Katlyn Algeria had just launched Hitched Company, a unique bartending experience business—by March 2020 sales declined by more than 50%. If they didn’t make some changes, Katlyn’s business would close entirely within just a few months. Katlyn was down to their last, so they reached out to Start Small Think Big. We provided them with a $5,000 grant and our marketing program assisted with the creation of a marketing plan focused on promoting their outdoor events business. Katlyn also developed a product line of dehydrated cocktails to sell online. Over the next year, Hitched Company increased revenues over 440% from 2019.

LaParis Phillips

Brooklyn Blooms

Before connecting with Start Small Think Big, LaParis Phillips opened their Brooklyn Blooms floral boutique with a mission to serve their neighborhood with uniquely curated blooms while maintaining sustainable practices. Soon after opening their first location, LaParis had goals to scale their business and provide their beautiful flower arrangements to other surrounding communities. However, they felt frustrated and defeated because while they had the vision and passion to grow their business, they didn’t have all the business resources required to do so. During the pandemic, we provided Brooklyn Blooms with a $13,000 emergency relief grant. With our support, Brooklyn Blooms’ business revenue increased 150% from 2019 to 2020 and continues to evolve. LaParis and their team were able to open a second location, and they have plans to expand and spread their love of flowers worldwide.

OUR SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE NEWS

Crème & Cocoa Creamery

Brooklyn Blooms

Lakou Cafe

IIIVVVYYY Ceramics

Milène Jardine Chocolatier

GDS Cloth Goods

Beija Flor Naturals

Harlem Cycle

Edy’s Grocer

Charros LLC

Wanda's Cooking

Mojo Desserts

Don Carvajal Cafe

Umoja Balloon Decor

The Pink Bakery