The owner of El Patron Express in Rock Island is one of many business owners who are finding ways to continue staying open all while helping their community.
“We don’t know what will happen next we don’t know how long we will continue to be open we don’t know if business will still be available and if we will still be able to stay open,” said Monica Lara, El Patron Express owner.
Lara has also brought back many of their customers’ favorite items back on the menu.
“Brought back our baked potato which you can get it covered with whatever meat toppings you want cilantro and onions and sour cream and it’s so good,” said Lara.
Mercado on Fifth knew they had to act quickly to help small businesses.
“This really came about the federal home loan of Chicago they granted IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union some funds minority owned businesses and that recently became available so we put this together in a matter of weeks,” said Maria Ontiveros, Mercado on Fifth President.
Although Lara is worried about her restaurant, it isn’t stopping her from finding ways to continue giving back to her community, especially her alma mater Moline High School Share Joys Campaign.
“We found out that they are not doing so well this year they’re not rising even half of what they use to raise so anything helps and so we decided that we were going to go head and also spread the word but also be able to help now that we’re business owners.”
Their heart shaped taco trays have become a popular item for fundraising.
“This week and next week if customers buy a heart shape taco tray $5 from the small and $10 for the large will be donate to Share Joys,” said Lara.
Equipment grant applications are available online (English and Spanish) and at IHMVCU in Rock Island, Moline, East Moline and Silvis. Spanish-only accounting services grant applications are also available online and at participating IHMVCU branches. The deadline to apply for the Mercado on Fifth grant is December 15.