Small Business Owner Shares Stories of Pandemic Struggles With President-Elect Biden

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A small business owner from South Florida got the chance to share her story of success and overcoming struggles in the pandemic with a very big name.

President-Elect Joe Biden posted a message Friday on Twitter of a conversation he had with Pilar Guzman Zavata, the owner of Half Moon Empanadas with her husband Juan.

Zavata spoke with Biden about her life, immigrating from Mexico to the United States for school and eventually opening up the restaurant with five locations across Miami-Dade County.

“We just kept growing and the dreams continues to be a national chain,” Zavata said. “I’ve lived what they call the American dream.”

Zavata later detailed the struggles of her business in the months since the pandemic started, when hers was among the many across South Florida forced to close their doors for a period of time.

“It took two months for us to hear and get approved for our PPP loan,” Zavata told Biden, saying they survived by focusing on both online orders and making meals for seniors.

Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan Thursday called the “American Rescue Plan.” The legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, and advance his objective of reopening most schools by the spring.

On a parallel track, it delivers another round of aid to stabilize the economy while the public health effort seeks the upper hand on the pandemic.

“I’m glad you’re looking at how you can support small businesses,” Zavata said. “The businesses that are ten people, the businesses that are small and not getting the PPP.”

Zavata said she dreams for a  “better Miami” and a better opportunity for both women and Latino entrepreneurs.

“This is a president who is going to make that happen,” Zavata said at the end of the video.


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