In 2018, James Konidis, an LBGTQ creative launched his first business, James Kreate, a lifestyle and home decor company. James was happy to earn a living and make money from following his artistic passions, but things began to shift when the pandemic hit early last year. Desperate to receive a PPP loan, James connected with Operation HOPE to get expert advice on if he met the qualifications, what documents and information he needed to gather, and how to apply. When he met his financial wellbeing coach Blake, everything began to change.

Blake gave him all the knowledge and tools he needed to get his business funded with the government-backed PPP loan which was instrumental in helping James not only keep his business afloat, but growing and expanding, even in the middle of a global crisis. James discovered that Blake offered more than just PPP guidance, he could also help him build and establish his personal credit to help fund his personal dreams and goals. Blake gave him an easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand plan to help build his credit profile which he happily began executing.

To make good matters great, Blake followed up with James and encouraged him to take advantage of yet another opportunity that could help him take his business to the next level. Blake explained the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to James and guided him through the process. Three weeks later, James received a call that his application was processed and approved for a $15,000 grant to help support his small business.

Today, James is more confident as a business owner and in great financial position to take his business dreams to the next level.