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Rising Tide Community Loan Fund Helps Three Small Businesses in the Lehigh Valley

By Nicole Radzievich Mertz on January 23, 2023

A flower shop in Bethlehem, African restaurant in Allentown and fashion boutique in Allentown are among the small businesses that recently got help from Rising Tide Community Loan Fund.

Established in 2001, Rising Tide, a subsidiary of Community Action Lehigh Valley (CALV), provides small business loans and assists local businesses with technical assistance and marketing support. Rising Tide is a member of the Entrepreneurship Council of the Lehigh Valley, an initiative of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

“Rising Tide’s mission is to work with local small businesses who may not be able to work with traditional banks but who are the cornerstone of a healthy local economy, said Chris Hudock, Rising Tide Associate Executive Director. “We are proud to be working with these businesses and others in the Greater Lehigh Valley to build a stronger community.”

J Gardens

Jeraldin Abreu De Paulino, doing business as J Gardens, received $30,000 to open a storefront at 1025 W. Broad St. in Bethlehem. The business will offer custom floral arrangements and gifts. She is taking orders and plans to have a grand opening this spring.

A native of the Dominican Republic, she came to the United States with a dream to open her own business but was challenged by making her way in an unfamiliar country. She said she opened the business under the motto “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

“I always try to make the best of every situation and keep a vision of what I really want,” she said. “Rising Tide has helped me achieve my goal of opening my own flower and detail shop.”

Nkasso

Habiba Diaby, who emigrated from the west African nation Ivory Coast and recently opened the African restaurant Nkasso, received assistance, including help with signage, menus and social media, from Rising Tide.

Nkasso, which means “my home” in Bambara, held its grand opening Jan. 13.

Nkasso serves a wide variety of traditional African dishes, including fufu, dibi and bissap. Nkasso is located at 44 N. 8th Street in Allentown and is open every Mon – Thurs from 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Silveri & Co.

Silveri & Co. owner Kathy Cruz received technical assistance from Rising Tide to relocate her specialty boutique Jan. 14 to 902 Hamilton St., Suite 150, in Allentown.  The assistance included branding and media accounts to promote the growing business.

Silveri & Co. offers accessories and clothing including vintage, retro, modern and classic. Cruz said she is looking forward to offering accessories and clothing with unique style and beautiful, original details.

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