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National Business Women’s Week highlights need for credit equity

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By Trimmel Gomes, Florida News Connection

After discovering the healing powers of eating natural, healthy foods, one Jacksonville woman sought to show her community what was possible. However, she lived in a food desert.

That was just one of the challenges for Tyrica Moore, owner of TeaPosh Naturals. It used to be a vegan cafe but transitioned during the pandemic into a retail store for natural herbs and teas. Moore's other challenge was securing financial support to keep her business afloat. She found that at Self-Help Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution that serves economically marginalized communities.

"Self-Help then came around and was able to help me to advance myself financially, and get over a huge hump and be able to pivot the business, versus 100% closing the business," she said. "So now, my passion is to help the community do the same thing."

Stories such as Moore's will be spotlighted for National Business Women's Week, which begins Oct. 17. One goal is to close a financing gap of $300 billion for woman-owned small businesses globally. According to the International Finance Corp., many have limited or no access to financial services.

Ebony Perkins, Self-Help Credit Union's national resource manager, said empowering women to secure credit and be financially independent sets examples within families, as they pass financial values on to their children.

"Our mission is to provide economic opportunity for all people," she said, "and historically in America, women have been underserved and kept out of the financial conversation."

Perkins added that Community Banks and Credit Development Credit Unions offer low account minimums, so more people can use their services -- people who are capable, but often overlooked by large financial institutions.

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