Celebrating Black Business Month

Black-owned businesses contribute more than $200 billion to our nation’s economy and employ about 1.2 million Americans. At SELF, Black-owned businesses are our partners to rebuild and empower underserved communities.

Derrick Alceus, the owner of @Martin County Roofing, joined SELF (Solar and Energy Loan Fund) ’s free contractor network in the middle of the pandemic when working people’s finances were getting a big hit. “Another contractor recommended SELF to find accessible financing solutions for my clients,” he said. 

As a roofer in Florida, he knows that a few things are more distressing for a homeowner than needing a roof and not being able to afford it. Alceus is grateful that SELF’s inclusive financing offered the “last hope for several of my clients.” 

The benefits rippled through his business, “It goes far beyond picking up those jobs. A community appreciates a contractor who brings solutions. We got multiple referrals from those jobs,” Alceus said. “Our customers were so thankful; they still refer us.” 

Partnering with SELF helps Alceus’ business in many ways. “SELF makes everything very convenient. We know we’re getting paid, so we can focus on delivering top-notch services.” 

In a hurricane-prone area, a trusted roofer is about the best friend you can have. Derrick serves the Treasure Coast area and can be reached at (772) 678 5015 or by email at info@martincountyroofing.com 

Heatwave Heroes: A family-owned business delivers relief

During this year’s dangerous heatwave, Jason and Sharon Strouse have been delivering relief to their community in #Florida. About 13 years ago, they took the bold step of launching family-owned and operated Cherokee Air & Heat Solutions to go after their entrepreneurial dream. What sets Cherokee Air apart is not just their expertise but their commitment to making a positive impact.

As a member of the Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)’s free contract network, they offer low-cost, unsecured financing for homeowners who need to replace and upgrade their air conditioning systems. SELF’s inclusive lending is not based on credit scores but on the client’s ability to pay.

“I have been part of the SELF’s contractor network since day one. Working with SELF always makes a big difference,” said Jason. “You can help people with an essential need, folks that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.”

Based in Florida’s Treasure Coast, the Strous’ service area covers Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin County. As a small business, they value the support they get from SELF’s staff.

“Working with SELF is pretty simple. They work directly with my customers and help them through the loan application process, and I get all my money within a couple of days. I don’t have to pay any fees,” said Jason.

So, if you’re in need of air conditioning expertise from a seasoned professional with a heart for the community, you can call (772) 461 5121 or bigchief026@aol.com. Stay cool and stay connected with businesses that are dedicated to making a positive impact!

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