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Maria, Tires by Papi

New York City Auto Repair Shop Making Ends Meet with CDFI Support

Financial and Social Impact

  • Affordable capital provided to low-income woman entrepreneur to sustain her business through the COVID-19 crisis

July 24, 2020

Client: Maria, owner of Who’s Papi? Tires by Papi
Client location: Jackson Heights, Queens, NY
CDFI: Grameen America
CDFI service area: National
CDFI services provided: Financing and technical assistance
Total financing: 16 loans, totaling $80,000

Since 2007, Maria has owned and operated Who’s Papi? Tires by Papi, an auto repair shop in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens, NY. In 2011, Maria received her first Grameen America microloan for $1,500 to purchase a new range of tires after hearing about the CDFI from a fellow member. Today Grameen America, with support from Google and, continues to provide assistance to Maria in this unprecedented time of economic hardship. The force of COVID-19 has taken a weighty toll on Maria’s business and her community, located in the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak.

Business at the store has slowed down substantially and revenue has decreased by 80 percent, forcing Maria to let go of three employees from her close-knit team. Also, Maria, her husband, and two children all fell ill with coronavirus at the pandemic’s peak in New York City, though fortunately they have all fully recovered. In April, Grameen America helped Maria apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to sustain her business, ultimately securing $6,000 through the program. Since 2011, Maria has received more than $80,000 in microloans from Grameen America and is currently on her sixteenth loan.

“Grameen America is a proud recipient of OFN, Google, and’s collective investment in our program. Their support will empower the minority, low-income women entrepreneurs we serve to rebuild their communities in the wake of COVID-19,” said Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen America. “As our members endure the hardest financial consequences, we know that with support from our program, coupled with their own ingenuity and resiliency, the women entrepreneurs in our program will become economic engines crucial to revitalizing small businesses across the country.”

Photo by Grameen America

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