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Starting A Business

S’Mac: How A Local Eatery Is Cooking Up Change

We first interviewed Sarita and Caesar Ekya in 2016, when they celebrated the 10th anniversary of S’Mac. Sarita is the owner of S’Mac (Sarita’s Mac & Cheese) located in East Village, NYC. As the name suggests, it serves a wide variety of mac and cheese that rotates with specials from Sarita’s own creativity.
Joyal Gonsalves and Sarvinder Singh
“Biz2Credit has been our main lender over the years we have been in business. We have such a history now, through ups and downs, I feel like (Biz2Credit) has always been there for us” 
Sarita and Caesar Ekya
Owner of S’Mac (Sarita’s Mac & Cheese)

She first heard about Biz2Credit through Paychex, her payroll partner, when she needed revenue-based financing to purchase equipment for her restaurant, make necessary renovations, and recover from lulls in revenue. When working with Biz2Credit, Sarita recalled, "it was like talking to someone I know. I felt very connected. They get to know your business." Since then, she has been a returning Biz2Credit client for seven years. To learn about the inception of her business, read her original testimonial here.

S'Mac saw early success from having two ambitious entrepreneurs who were passionate about their craft. They used to have three locations and were seeing record profits that made life as easy as one can expect from owning a restaurant. The business was sitting comfortably as they had packed dining rooms and plenty of orders for deliveries. Business could not be better! However, in 2020 when Covid-19 struck, the pandemic threw a wrench in the gears of progress for businesses across the world, including S’Mac. All restaurants had to close their doors and only delivery was made possible. "We were in survival mode," Sarita says as she humbly recalls those uncertain times.

Fortunately, the local community found a way to support these small business owners and another group in dire need of support: the frontline workers. S'Mac pivoted by selling gift cards to their neighbors who wanted to provide meals to frontline hospital workers. They were touched by the overwhelming support from thousands of people who stepped up by either purchasing from S’Mac or other small businesses. While this good deed helped offset some of the financial struggle, it was nowhere near the level of profits they were generating pre-pandemic.

Eventually, regulations started loosening up to allow outdoor dining again. S'Mac teamed up with neighbors once again to provide food for people in need by storing extra food not used by the restaurants in an outdoor refrigerator. However, with these acts of selflessness, Sarita still had to face the reality of bills and financial obligations that could close her doors permanently.

“The rise in goods has impacted us. How can we still sell our goods at a moderate price point when the cost of goods is just becoming exceedingly high right now"?

Sarita reflects that the restaurant industry has small margins, so savings to get them through the entire pandemic was not possible, and missing rent payments could cost them their business. Therefore, having financial options immediately available is vital for a business. Sarita now has a direct contact at Biz2Credit whom she could call up at any time that would help her or would find someone who could.

“Biz2Credit has been our main [funding provider] over the years we have been in business. We have such a history now, through ups and downs, I feel like (Biz2Credit) has always been there for us,” Sarita remembers. Biz2Credit provided her with funding for new equipment to help her adjust to the changing times, make necessary renovations, and cover bills that the revenue reduction could not cover. Solving these issues keeps the business running and keeps Sarita doing what she loves to do most.

“The restaurant business is super dynamic; things are changing all the time. The pandemic happens, and now you must worry about how to set your restaurant up to be more accessible. You need to be able to have that turnaround time quickly, and Biz2Credit does that for you.”

Sarita is overcoming these challenges just like every other challenge she has faced in her 17 years in business. S’Mac is doing better now after receiving financing from Biz2Credit. Sarita now covers daily operational expenses without worry and can now grow her award-winning restaurant business again with confidence. The restaurant is seeing a steady increase in revenue close to pre-pandemic rates. This increase in revenue introduces new opportunities. Even after 17 years, she still had a thorough list of new projects for expansion and innovation to incorporate into the business. Along with the support of her community and the Biz2Credit team, S'Mac continues to serve up delicious dishes to the people and spread happiness throughout New York City. Check out the S’Mac menu!

“Anyone who starts a small business has a fire in them. Once you start, you cannot be stopped.”

Are you a restaurant owner wondering if applying for a funding might be the right financial move for your business? This in-depth article will explain the top options for restaurant business financing and how they can give you and your business the financial freedom to achieve your goals. If you are a small business owner interested in learning about all the several types of financing available to your business, check out this in-depth article from Biz2Credit that explains the top small business financing options. If you are ready to take the next step in growing your business and looking to apply for small business financing, contact a Biz2Credit Finance Expert today!

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