Roanoke Area Small Business Development Center Helps Bring Mexican Street Corn to Star City

ROANOK, Va. (WDBJ) – In March 2022, Julia Rigney lost her job. The next day, she was trying to find a new career in a room full of business owners.

“Being surrounded by all these amazing women and hearing their stories, everyone came out and said ‘what’s your business? What’s your business?'” Rigney said. “And I never really thought about it before. I was like I wanted to sell everything.”

But she didn’t know where to start.

“Neither of my parents graduated high school,” Rigney explained. “So, I was the first person in my family to graduate high school, the first person to graduate from college, and the first person to become a business owner.”

Although she has the full support of her family. Pairing with Kat Pascal as her advisor through Roanoke Area Small Business Development helped her launch Elote Alebrije.

“She was able to guide me through the paperwork,” Rigney added. “Make sure my tax documents are correct. Come up with ideas on how to sell.”

Pascal is one of four contract workers receiving federal funding through the CARES Act. She is responsible for helping Hispanic business owners.

“I envision my Roanoke presence and the environment that I have where we are all helping each other and reaching out,” Pascal said.

She said the consultation was free, confidential and secure.

“And it applies to any stage of your business. So if you really want to get to the next level, or you just need to be like I said, get in touch with us,” Pascal added.

With the help of consultants like Pascal, Rigney has been selling her elotes at festivals and events.

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