When I signed on to intern with Accion East and Online, they told me that I would get a hands-on view of the inner workings of microlending. Sure enough, just one week after setting foot in Boston, I was in the backseat of a car zipping downtown with two members of the Accion team on the way to personally meet clients. “You know Spanish right?” they asked.
Our first stop was to visit Margarita —proud owner of Amador Home Improvement, a residential remodeling company based out of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Margarita has been working closely with Accion since 2006. She receives contracts from commercial companies and the government to refurbish residences throughout the Greater Boston area, working in all remodeling fields, including interior and exterior painting, masonry, house cleaning, carpentry and tiling. Now with 12 employees, over 60 projects, and only four days to prepare each residence to be move-in ready, Margarita is always on the run. Extremely dedicated to her work and her two children, Margarita hopes to continue to expand her business to provide for her family and her children’s education.
Already in the neighborhood, we popped in for a surprise visit to Moreno’s Barber Shop in Egleston Square Commercial District in Roxbury. Co-owners Simeon—who first opened the business 20 years ago under the name Moreno’s Unisex Salon—and his grandson Jonathan have recently renovated their space, and the old school barber shop now has quite the shine. Check out their Facebook page to see the before and after photos from the transformation! Now with a new look, Jonathan is looking to continue to expand the family business to bring in more revenue and clients. Moreno’s Barber Shop claims to offer “affordable, friendly and accommodating” service; and from my brief experience it is obvious that they offer nothing less, greeting every individual who walks through the door with a smile that fills the room.
Needless to say, the move to Boston is already proving to be exciting and it is clear that Accion is committed to maintaining lasting relationships with clients.