Photo of Alana, owner of Maxwell Gift and Grocery

“It was always a dream of mine to own my own business. After years of working as an accountant and learning what I could about business management, I decided to take the leap.

I partnered with my friend and roommate, Brienna, who had experience working in the food and beverage industry to fulfill a niche need in our local community of Bed Stuy. Combined with my passion for gift shop retail and her knowledge of local food suppliers, we decided to launch our own business, Maxwell Gift & Grocery.”


interior of Maxwell gift and grocery“To raise the initial funds for the store, we successfully carried out a crowdfunding campaign, but we lacked the major capital to purchase the larger pieces of equipment we needed to operate and have a financial cushion. As a new business, we weren’t eligible for any substantial loans from banks. That’s when our rep from the Brooklyn Women’s Business Center informed us about the Hebrew Free Loan Society’s interest-free loans for entrepreneurs like us.

We applied for a 0% interest small business loan through HFLS’s Bank Leumi Small Business Support Initiative and within a month, and a fairly simple process, we had the financial safety net we needed to open our business and grow our inventory. Owning a business is stressful enough without worrying about finances. Thanks to HFLS, we are now able to focus on our business and the needs of our community. We pride ourselves on being an open and inclusive store, where anyone can find anything they want or need. HFLS helped us achieve that, and we are grateful for their support.”

Alana with co-founder Brienna at Maxwell

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“HFLS gave me the support I needed to launch my own business!”


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