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Skyview Concessions

“I used to think of [the SBDC] as a place for folks who don’t have much experience, but now I’ve seen that you truly have deep subject matter expertise that is incredibly helpful, i.e. fundraising, hiring, HR, marketing, helping my venture at its most crucial moments.”

An entrepreneur’s pursuit is bolstered by experts who can fill in the gaps of fundraising, HR, and marketing, helping to push the concept forward into a reality.

BACKGROUND

Apryl Stewart operates Skyview Concessions, a duty-free, specialty retail and dining concessions business at three large California airports: LAX, SFO, and SMF. The business is certified as an Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE).

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

The sudden and sharp decline in revenue due to the forced closures caused by the pandemic presented a significant challenge for Skyview Concessions. The pandemic not only affected the business’ financial stability but also the livelihood of the employees. Apryl realized that she needed to find ways to support her staff and keep the business afloat.

SBDC SUPPORT

To support her staff, Stewart accessed free PPE from the SBDC. She also sought the help of her SBDC advisor to access funding through the PPP and a California Covid Relief Grant from Lendistry. In August 2021, she received an increase through the EIDL. With the help of her advisor, Stewart was able to navigate the process of securing funding, which helped her keep her business running during the pandemic. Additionally, her advisor assisted her with the business licensing process, which allowed her to open her first 100% owned and operated store at LAX and hire seven employees.

RESULTS AND FUTURE PLANS

As a result of her efforts with the SBDC, Apryl was able to keep her business running during the pandemic and even expand it. She is now paying it forward to other women and minority-owned businesses by serving on the Airport Minority Advisory Council and helping them win contracts in the aviation and aerospace industries. Her ultimate goal is to continue to grow her business and create more job opportunities for her community.

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