COLORADO SPRINGS — Business owners in southeast Colorado Springs face many barriers.
With the pandemic and many minority-owned businesses, sometimes figuring out where to start when opening a business up is among one of the biggest challenges.
Aikta Marcoulier, Executive Director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center says the southeast is a big focus for the group.
"We started our program about 7 years ago," Marcoulier said, the program offers workshops and consulting for southeast business owners. The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center focuses on helping people from all sorts of backgrounds, whether black or latinx owned or even people recently incarcerated.
"They may have had a rough past but moving forward they're being successful they're being happy, they're putting food on the table providing for their family," Marcoulier said.
Juaquin Mobley owns several businesses in southeast springs including a tattoo shop, barbershop, restaurant, and within the last year- a community tree service. The tree cutting business focuses on a give-back model, where they cut a tree down and then plant another tree in southeast Colorado Springs.
"There's a lot of misconceptions about the people here, that we're standoffish that we may not do good business," Mobley said about the southeast, "the underlying culture here is resiliency, right?"
For Mobley, a big part of his business is giving people a second chance. He hires people who have recently been incarcerated.
"I love the fact that I can give opportunities to people who feel like they don't have any," Mobley said.
Mobley also took advantage of classes through the small business development center and says it was a big part of his success.