USA Occupational Services
USA Occupational Services, a WEDI client since 2016, is one of the leading minority and woman-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) certified north east drug and alcohol testing providers, which supplies drug testing expertise to public and private sector owners. By offering around the clock on-site mobile emergency testing, they deliver fast, secure, and accurate drug testing while keeping both employees and employers safe. Unfortunately, the economic shut down caused by COVID-19 created obstacles in how it conducted business, causing it to limit office hours and staff capacity. With the funding
it received from The Neighborly Fund, the company was able to increase hours, and eventually bring back staff, helping to support the business in stabilizing its sales back to pre-pandemic levels. Pictured is owner, Laythanette Shine, as she gave her winning pitch in a competition WEDI co-hosted with Pursuit Lending and the KeyBank Business Boost and Build program in 2018.
Website link: https://www.usaoccupationalservices.com
Fetch! Gourmet Dog Treats
WEDI client Fetch! Gourmet Dog Treats offers high quality and healthy dog treats at affordable prices. The product is a safe alternative to most mass-produced dog treats. Owner, Jackie Lovern, experienced many of the same difficulties other small businesses experienced in reaching customers due to the pandemic. With the funding her business received from The Neighborly Fund, she has worked hard on marketing efforts to increase sales. By working closely with WEDI’s partner, Launch NY, she was connected with a business mentor that specialized in
managing business growth effectively. With this help and additional help WEDI has provided, Ms. Lovern has been able to pay the business’ rent, utilities, and order more production supplies. Her biggest achievement is going nationwide with Fetch! Gourmet Dog Treats. You can find the product in 200 stores across the country, including online with Chewy and Amazon, and to her amazement, it all started from her kitchen!
Website link: https://fetchmeatreat.com
Divitta Alexander PLLC
Divitta Alexander PLLC was established in 2016 in Buffalo, and its focus is on affordable housing and small business matters. Its managing member, Divitta Alexander, has over 15 years experience practicing law in NYS, representing a wide range of clients. She started her own practice and became a small business owner to have more freedom and control over her time. Her biggest achievement is realizing that her purpose is to assist people with the provision of affordable housing and basic economic opportunities. She believes that entrepreneurship is naturally full of uncertainty, but COVID-19 skyrocketed that uncertainty. WEDI, which Ms. Alexander calls a community asset,
provided financial assistance to her practice during the economic downturn. It was awarded a grant through the Neighborly Fund, which has helped ease some of the uncertainty, and while it is a solo practice, Ms. Alexander hopes to be able to expand its work force, and hire and train more affordable housing legal professionals.
Website link: https://divittalaw.com