Mercado on Fifth and the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Western Illinois University – Quad Cities (WIU-QC) awarded $16,044.42 to 19 minority-owned small businesses and startups on Monday.

Awardees of the Minority Business Equipment Grant span a wide range of both mobile and brick and mortar establishments – food vendors, cleaning companies, health and wellness providers, retail businesses, a family farm, professional artist and more. Funds will be used for a variety of equipment-related purchases, such as a new iPad, vending machine repairs, an electric massage table, treadmills and a food truck wrap. 

This marks the fifth funding cycle of Mercado’s equipment grant program, spearheaded by the late Mercado founder and successful Latino businessman Bob Ontiveros (who died Feb. 8, 2022 at 83). Since its launch in 2018 (in partnership with the SBDC at WIU-QC), the program has invested more than $78,000 in minority-owned businesses, according to a Monday release.

Group O honored company founder Robert Ontiveros (1938-2022) upon his death on Feb. 8 at age 83.

Mercado President Maria Ontiveros credits her grandfather’s longstanding commitment to empowering minority entrepreneurs for the continued success of the program. 

“This is one of the many ways his (Bob’s) legacy will continue to have a positive impact on the Quad Cities,” Ontiveros said Monday. “Access to capital is challenging for these businesses, and we’re happy to provide a little support.”

To be eligible for funding through this program, business owners must sign up for a one-on-one consultation with the Illinois SBDC at WIU-QC, which offers free confidential services in English and Spanish. The ensures businesses are set up for success beyond the grant.

“Once a client, always a client,” said Ann Friederichs, SBDC Business Advisor. “This grant is not only for our local business owners, it is a celebration of their willingness to persevere. We are here to honor them and their hard work.”

The new awardees are:

Business NameItem Requested
CleanBee Residential, LLCVacuums and Cleaning Supplies
Just Beachy Home+Trailer
Polished QCCommercial Carpet Cleaner
Tamales for HopeCart and Dolly
Adolfo’s Hair Studio/ Adolfo’s ImportsTent, Tables, Hair Stations
Isa Balloon Design and MoreBalloon Stuffing Machine
Gomez Family Farm, LLCTrailer
Alienboi Boxing AcademyTreadmills
Bodywork With Dionna ReedElectric Massage Table
Matar TronosiPad
Empanadas CaliCommercial Fryer, Rolling Dough Mill, Mixer
Taqueria Roly’sBlender
Emmanuel Garcia – New Vegan Food TruckElectric Griddle
Lucky VendMachine Repair and Tools
Speeding Movers LLCTruck Wrap
2 Brothers’ BiscuitsStove and Refrigerator
Raulito’s TacosCommercial Food Warmer and Commercial Refrigerator
Los CharrosStove
Shades of Color Beauty Supplies INC.Register Repair and Laptop