Hipatia Lopez partipates at 2015 SBM Summit

Empanada Fork selected to the Small Business Leadership Summit in D.C.

Hipatia Lopez, inventor of Empanada Fork, participates at 2015 SBM Summit

Hipatia Lopez, inventor of Empanada Fork, participates at 2015 Small Business Majority Summit

Hipatia Lopez, founder and owner of HL Unico LLC and inventor of the ethnic kitchen tool Empanada Fork, was selected as one of 100+ small business leaders from across the country to meet with policymakers, issue experts and senior members of the Obama Administration. The focus of the summit involved identifying policies to help small businesses thrive at the Small Business Majority’s inaugural Small Business Leadership Summit.

“I traveled to Washington D.C. to talk with policymakers and senior members of the Obama Administration about the top barriers to success entrepreneurs and small business owners face, and identify practical solutions to our everyday problems. The experience was extraordinary,” Hipatia shared with LIBizus.

Panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive workshops and presentations featured top policymakers at the National Press Club and the White House. Small business leaders heard from Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and top economic advisors to the President.

Maria Contreras Sweet at the Small Business Majority Summitt 2015

Maria Contreras Sweet at the Small Business Majority Summitt 2015

“As an active member of the New Jersey small business community, I was honored to be selected to attend the three-day Small Business Leadership Summit, hosted by Small Business Majority,” Hipatia said. “Some of the issues we discussed were related to the gap between Internet-based companies and small “mortar and brick” business owners who feel they are getting the short end of the stick in tax issues,” she shared.

Other interactive areas of discussion focused on key issue such as problems accessing capital, tax and economic policies, crowdfunding, women’s entrepreneurship, minority entrepreneurship, the freelance/microenterprise economy, technology and workforce issues.

“We heard from the head of the Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet and several members of Congress, and spoke with top economic advisors to the President to help them understand how important small businesses are to boosting the economy and creating jobs,” Hipatia said.

Policies identified during the three-day event will be incorporated into Small Business Majority’s policy platform—the Small Business Economic Agenda for 2015-16—and shared with decision makers to elevate issues of importance to small business owners.

Businesswoman of the Year Hipatia Lopez, H.L. Unico LLC

2014 Businesswoman of the Year Hipatia Lopez, H.L. Unico LLC, SHCC of NJ

Hipatia Lopez, the inventor of the “Empanada Fork,” an ethnic kitchen utensil that works as a pastry press, started her business around the kitchen table during the holiday season when her family was making 100 empanadas. “I remember complaining about how long this last step was taking.  I literally could not get this ‘idea’ out of my mind, envisioning how it would look,” she shared.

As many startups and small businesses, Empanada Fork encountered difficulties in obtaining access to capital, especially from traditional sources such as banks. “I obtained an equity line of credit with my house as collateral,” she said. However, now she needs additional funding to grow her business.

“During the three-day summit, progress was made, but more needs to be done. To instate policies we need to succeed—like greater access to capital and changes to the country’s tax code—we need more small business owners to speak out and get involved,” Hipatia said.

To voice your small business concerns, Hipatia encourages you to take Small Business Majority’s survey at:,

If you’d like to share your business story with LIBizus, please fill out this form and tell us about your business and products. We will post a FREE feature! (Certain restrictions apply. Limited time offer).

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Silvia Tergas, Prudential and Susana G Baumann,

Small Business Majority interviews

This entry was posted by Dustin McManus on December 23, 2014 at 11:13 am.

As a tool, digital media’s ability to appeal to niche audiences is unparalleled. Susana Baumann is an entrepreneur who capitalized on its power to help an underserved group she herself is a part of: Latina businesswomen., or LIBizus, is an initiative of LCS Worldwide Language and Multicultural Marketing Communications, a small business Baumann started nearly 20 years ago. [Continue reading here]

Small Business Majority answers your questions on Obamacare

Small Business Majority webinars on Affordable Care Act

Small Business Majority webinars on Affordable Care Act

Small Business Majority (SBM) New Jersey Outreach Manager Aixa Acevedo will conduct a series of webinars on “What the Healthcare Law Means for your NJ Small Business.”

This webinar will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act –also known as Obamacare– means for New Jersey small businesses. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:

  • Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)- who’s eligible and how to claim them
  • New Jersey marketplace update
  • Shared responsibility
  • Cost containment
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law

Aixa will also answer questions to all participants during the session. This webinar will be repeated on the following dates. Please click the date you’d like to register.

Aixa Acevedo, NJ Outreach Manager SBM, at Rutgers/Newark event

Aixa Acevedo, NJ Outreach Manager SBM, at Rutgers/Newark event

Thursday, December 4, 2014 – 12pm

Thursday, December 11th – 12pm

Tuesday, December 16th – 12pm

You can go to the Small Business Majority website to use the small business tax credit calculator.

Calculator property of Small Business Majority and its subsidiary website California Health Coverage Guide

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions that promote small business growth and drive a strong economy. We are a team of 31 working from our offices in California, Washington, D.C., Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Oregon and Washington state. We deploy our network of 25,000+ small business owners and 6,500 business organizations, along with a strategic partnership program including more than 100 business organizations, to reach more than 400,000 small business owners. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research helps us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about issues including healthcare, energy, immigration, taxes, access to capital, financial reform and workforce development.



Latina shopping at a small business marketing to Latinos

Ready to shop big on Small Business Saturday?

Small Business MajorityBy Dustin McManus, Small Business Majority Blog

Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has been designated as a day encouraging people to shop at small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Essentially, it’s the small business version of Black Friday, and this year, the big day falls on November 29.

To commemorate the occasion and attempt to make the fifth year of Small Business Saturday the biggest one yet, Small Business Majority has launched a campaign, “Confessions of a Small Biz Shopaholic,” to encourage consumers across the country to shop small.

Leading up to Small Business Saturday, we will be posting photos from people shopping at and supporting their local small businesses as a way of spotlighting small businesses and promoting this important movement during a crucial time of year for many brick-and-mortar stores.

Whether it’s a selfie of a fun shopping adventure or a cool shot of all the goodies you snatched up at your favorite local business, we can’t wait to highlight all the small business shopaholics out there to build up momentum for this year’s Small Business Saturday.

The small business owner who sends in the most creative photo will be chosen as our grand prize winner and receive a complete revamp of their social media platforms, courtesy of Small Business Majority. And the runner up will win a free annual pass to any U.S. national small business

Speaking of social media, be sure to follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see our “Confessions of a Small Biz Shopaholic” campaign in action, and be sure to join in on our conversation around Small Business Saturday using the hashtag #SmallBizShopaholic.

As you get your shop on this year, make sure you go big by shopping small!

To enter a photo into our contest, contact Dustin McManus at


Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. We actively engage small business owners across America to drive smart public policy and get entrepreneurs the resources they need to thrive.

Working from our 14 offices in 10 states and Washington, DC, we engage our network of 30,000 small business owners to get involved in the public policy process and to get educated on resources and opportunities available to them. We can reach an additional 400,000 entrepreneurs through our formal strategic partnerships with 110 business organizations such as local and regional chambers.