PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — As more local businesses continue to struggle during the pandemic, new business owners said they aren’t afraid of taking risks during uncertain times.
Opening up her own business is a dream Leora Buford said she’s waited years to come true.
“I had an idea that I wanted a store and I just started saving for it,” Buford said. “I had a vision and I just became a packrat and this is what it brought me.”
She said she’s been saving and packing clothing for years and to open her fashion thrift store on Peoria’s southside.
“I’m excited about it because it’s the first business for me,” Buford said.
It’s a business that she said she’s anxious to grow and share with the community.
However, it just so happens the timing of her opening aligned with a global pandemic that’s created financial hardships, restrictions, and closures for businesses nationwide.
But Buford said that’s not going to stop her from living her dream.
“I’m a go-getter,” Buford said. “Through all of this, I have no fear because I trust God and this is why I stepped up.”
Christell Frausto said that same go-getter attitude is what allowed her and her team to open their first start-up business called TequilaRia. She said they were finally able to open up Friday after a year’s worth of setbacks.
“Our budget definitely went over. There were times we were asking ourselves should we back out but luckily we kept going and we’re here today and we’re ready to serve,” she said. “The strongest point that really got us here is our entire team and trusting each other.
Frausto said during the entire process, Peoria’s city hall’s been a huge help in assisting them with their building permits and completing construction. But she said opening a new business is always a game of risks that owners have to be willing to play.
“At some point, you have to be willing to take those risks and that includes debt that includes taking on loans that include looking for resources,” Frausto said.
Frausto said she believes her liquor store will weather the current storm as it offers more options for those who can’t go to bars. She also said they will eventually expand into a restaurant with a drive-thru option.
She also said her team has comfort knowing there are others businesses out there in the same boat.
“That keeps us going,” She said. There have been businesses that’s closed but it’s definitely a risk, it’s definitely nerve-wracking because our families depend on us this is our livelihood.”
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