The Mejia siblings dreamed of owning their own cafe. With the help of BOC Network, they purchase Liebre Cafe in 2019.
Patricia and Hermann Mejia
Patricia Mejia and her brother Hermann Mejia, owners of “Liebre Café,” purchased their business in the fall of 2019 with the help of BOC Network.
Patricia and Hermann found BOC through the SBA website and called to schedule an appointment to seek business counseling on April 1st of 2019. During the intake session with BOC, they expressed their interest in starting a coffee shop. BOC Counselor Gerardo worked with them to understand business structures and their advantages, the challenges of the retail sector in New York City, financing options, the necessity to create a partnership agreement, the possibility of buying a business, and the urgency of looking for viable commercial spaces in their area of interest.
A couple of weeks after the intake session, Patricia and Hermann found an opportunity to buy an existing coffee shop! Gerardo helped the Mejia siblings evaluate their partnership opportunities and determine what financing options they had available. One of the main problems when buying a small business is obtaining the existing business’ information. Without that information, the ability to determine the viability of the acquisition was slim. Gerardo guided Patricia and Hermann in conversations with the seller and ultimately found the records needed to move forward.
After various processes with the lease, financing, and drafting the legal documents for the closing. Patricia and Hermann opened “Liebre Café” on November 1st, 2019.
Patricia and Hermann received more than 61 hours of technical assistance on topics like regulations, business plans, partnership agreements, business registration, market research, and loan packaging. Since we met Patricia and Hermann, they had demonstrated their commitment and their focus to succeed in their business.
“It’s incredible how I came to BOC with a business idea, and now I have an operating business. Every entrepreneur should seek advice to expand their horizons and learn how to identify a viable business. I’m truly thankful for the advice, guidance, and all the help along the process,” said Patricia.
Once COVID-19 halted the operations of small businesses, Gerardo reached Patricia on March 18th, 2020 where she expressed her nervousness about the unknown. She said, “I’m just starting and I do not feel confident enough to run my business in these conditions.” At that point, Liebre Café remained open. They reduced the work schedule, laid off the 2 part-time employees, removed the chairs and tables to avoid clients staying at the coffee shop, and they talked with the landlord who was willing to do a short-term rent payment arrangement. Gerardo informed Patricia about the SBA and SBS loan assistance programs and government loan products available.
Gerardo guided the Mejias on how to define the fund amount needed to maintain administrative expenses through COVID-19 and guided them on how to apply for the SBA EIDL. Once BOC Capital had available the PPP, BOC counselors assisted her in packaging two rounds of PPP for a total of $15,968.57!’