Small Business Saturday: Support minority-owned businesses in Las Vegas and Henderson

Latinas are one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the US. For Jasmine Vides the Small Business Saturday is even sweeter as It marks her first full week in business as owner of VIP Kids Indoor Play and More.(Photo courtesy, via Aleza Freeman)

By Aleza Freeman

November 17, 2023

Small Business Saturday on November 25 means big business for minority-owned businesses in Nevada.

For Jasmine Vides, 31, the day is even sweeter as It marks her first full week in business as owner of VIP Kids Indoor Play and More. She and her husband, Patrick, 32, who come from Central American backgrounds, took out loans to open the family fun center in Las Vegas on Nov. 17.

“Interest rates are ridiculous and inflation; everything is more expensive than years prior,” noted the surgical assistant, who is running the business part-time. “We didn’t let that stop us.”

Many Americans. businesses are still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the US Small Business Administration, making it more important than ever to show them your support on Small Business Saturday. Among those 32 million independent businesses, about 1.15 million (or 19.9%) are minority-owned, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Nevada, meanwhile, racial minorities own 22.7 percent of businesses. Of these, 18.7 percent are Hispanic-owned.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our neighborhoods, powering local economies and strengthening communities,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “The SBA encourages everyone to be a part of the nationwide movement that spotlights our small business owners, drives holiday shopping locally, and celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship. Together, we can make a difference for the vital small businesses that make our neighborhoods thrive.”

COVID-19 didn’t stop some minority business owners, like Las Vegas resident Diana Valdez, 34, from opening a new business. She opened the store, BM Vintage with her mom, María Valdez, at the height of the pandemic. Their previous business was shuttered due to the state-legislated closures of non-essential businesses.

“We were stuck with a new lease,” recalled Valdez, who originally opened the shop online. “Two families depended on acting fast—my mother’s, and my household.”

Amanda Quintanilla, 40, meanwhile moved on from a devastating COVID-19-era job loss by opening Fresa’s Roller Skate Shop in Downtown Las Vegas in August 2022.

“I found that roller skating made me happy and got me out of the depression I was in,” said Quintanilla. “So [I] decided to open a safe space where I can share the love and knowledge of roller skating.”

Dam Dog House owner Allison Ruiz-Shafer, 38, also started her business in Boulder City during the pandemic. The busy mom of two school-age kids was walking dogs for a living in the early mornings of March 2020.

Soon the first-generation Mexican-American had a need for a physical space, opening the 2,000-square-foot doggy daycare and boarding facility on Boulder City Parkway in 2022.

“My dad didn’t live long enough to see what I built, but I know he would be proud that I am working hard to build my American dream,” said Ruiz-Shafer.

Latinas are one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the US.

As for VIP Kids Play owners Jasmine and Patrick Vides, they are thrilled to be pursuing their vision for a safe space for kids and families to play and have a good time despite the risks.

“I thought of this unique idea and saw there isn’t anything in Las Vegas with my vision, so we decided to bring it and go for it,” said Jasmine. “You can’t just sit around hoping things get better year after year. No one knows the future.”

She added that supporting a small business “helps us grow and be able to give back to the community we grew up in.”

Last year, Small Business Saturday brought in an estimated $17.9 billion for the country’s small businesses, according to the 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 500 employees.

In recognition of this traditional shopping day, the City of Las Vegas will offer free on-street metered parking in downtown Las Vegas areas including in the 18b Arts District. This is reserved for customers who are supporting local stores and restaurants, whether dining in, shopping in-store or picking up orders.

At Downtown Container Park, there will be exclusive specials and live entertainment beginning at 11 a.m.

Downtown Henderson will host a Small Business Saturday event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. supporting the more than 100 local vendors and businesses in the Water Street District. There will be live music, photos with Santa, freebies and kid’s activities. Select businesses, including Juan’s Flaming Fajitas and Chinitas Tapas & Sushi, will offer special deals.

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

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