Mercado on Fifth and the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Western Illinois University - Quad Cities (WIU-QC) awarded $16,044.42 to 19 minority-owned small businesses and startups on Monday during a ceremony at Moline Public Library. Photo Antonio Varela / Hola America
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Mercado on Fifth and the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Western Illinois University – Quad Cities (WIU-QC) awarded $16,044.42 to 19 minority-owned small businesses and startups on Monday during a ceremony at Moline Public Library.  

Awardees of the Minority Business Equipment Grant span a wide range of both mobile and brick and mortar establishments – food vendors, cleaning companies, health and wellness providers, retail businesses, a family farm, professional artist and more. Funds will be used for a variety of equipment-related purchases, such as a new iPad, vending machine repairs, an electric massage table, treadmills and a food truck wrap. 

This marks the fifth funding cycle of Mercado’s equipment grant program, spearheaded by the late Mercado founder and successful Latino businessman Bob Ontiveros. Since its launch in 2018 in partnership with the SBDC at WIU-QC, the program has invested more than $78,000 in minority-owned businesses.

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Mercado President Maria Ontiveros credits her grandfather’s longstanding commitment to empowering minority entrepreneurs for the continued success of the program. 

“This is one of the many ways his (Bob’s) legacy will continue to have a positive impact on the Quad Cities,” Ontiveros said. “Access to capital is challenging for these businesses, and we’re happy to provide a little support.”

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To be eligible for funding through this program, business owners must sign up for a one-on-one consultation with the Illinois SBDC at WIU-QC, which offers free confidential services in English and Spanish. This ensures businesses are set up for success beyond the grant. 

“Once a client, always a client,” said Ann Friederichs, SBDC Business Advisor. “This grant is not only for our local business owners, it is a celebration of their willingness to persevere. We are here to honor them and their hard work.”

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Awardees

Business Name Item Requested
CleanBee Residential, LLC  Vacuums and Cleaning Supplies
Just Beachy Home+ Trailer
Polished QC Commercial Carpet Cleaner
Tamales for Hope Cart and Dolly
Adolfo’s Hair Studio/ Adolfo’s Imports Tent, Tables, Hair Stations
Isa Balloon Design and More  Balloon Stuffing Machine
Gomez Family Farm, LLC Trailer
Alienboi Boxing Academy Treadmills
Bodywork With Dionna Reed Electric Massage Table
Matar Tronos iPad
Empanadas Cali Commercial Fryer, Rolling Dough Mill, Mixer
Taqueria Roly’s Blender
Emmanuel Garcia – New Vegan Food Truck Electric Griddle
Lucky Vend  Machine Repair and Tools
Speeding Movers LLC  Truck Wrap
2 Brothers’ Biscuits Stove and Refrigerator
Raulito’s Tacos Commercial Food Warmer and Commercial Refrigerator
Los Charros Stove
Shades of Color Beauty Supplies INC. Register Repair and Laptop

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