According to the Washington Post, over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed due to COVID-19. Tina Medina’s 14-year-old business, Wise Writers and Speakers, could have been one of them.
Luckily, Wise Writers and Speakers was one of 23 businesses in the Kansas City area that received a portion of the Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant. The grant, funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and administered partly by the UMKC Innovation Center, divided $100,000 among small minority-owned businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
“Kansas City has such a good heart for small businesses,” Medina said. “Small businesses are the engine of America and to help us in such a manner is very special to me.”
Wise Writers and Speakers is Medina’s freelance writing practice, where she writes grants, business proposals and business plans. Her work is backed up by 35 years of experience in journalism, business and sales.
“This business is dear to me because it allows me to help other small businesses and nonprofit organizations get the writing help that they need to move forward,” Medina said. “I have had other businesses in the past, but this one has allowed me to excel and hire other writers, editors, and producers when needed for various projects.”
When COVID-19 came into full swing in the Kansas City area, the economic standstill affected the small businesses that Medina aims to help through her work.
“When my clientbase is stopped, then I am stopped as well,” Medina said.
As quarantines and shutdowns brought business to a halt, Medina used the time to finish an eight-part faith-based books series on overcoming sexual assault.
Medina plans on using the microgrant to help market her services and books on new platforms, such as websites and social media. Currently, her books are available on Kindle, but she is looking for other ways to promote them.
“There is no shame in getting help as Kansas City’s heart in the philanthropic community is so huge and caring,” she said. “I know, as a grant writer of 30 years, that when you show goodness, it will come back to you.”
Although the shutdown was a shaky time for Medina, she says that it is all part of the industry.
“Sometimes it is feast or famine in the small business arena,” Medina said. “Believe it or not, that is part of the excitement of being a small business owner.”
“Being resourceful is key now. Right now, being resilient is not an option, but a necessity,” said Medina.