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Here’s How A Goth Makeup Company Is Helping Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Economy After Hurricane Maria

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, businesses all over the island were devastated by the destruction. Some were able to reopen months, to a year later, while others had to close for good. While more established businesses such as resorts and restaurants had backing to get back on their feet, it was the independent companies that struggled to reopen. Necromancy Cosmetica, however, is thriving after resuming business as usual.

Puerto Rico-based Necromancy Cosmetica a gothic makeup company was closed for four months after Hurricane Maria.

Instagram/@necromancycosmetica

In an interview with Remezcla, Necromancy Cosmetica owners Desiree Rodríguez and Salvador Pérez talked about their joint venture which has a large social media following. The couple launched the brand four years ago but they said they almost had to shut down their store after the hurricane.

“The store was full of mold. It was total chaos,” Rodríguez told the publication. She adds that they had “like two free days. We got to work before we even knew how our families were doing. My family is from the west side of the island, and I didn’t hear from them for almost three weeks.”

The couple said that they had help locally, and abroad during the rebuilding process. They were able to sell their product online while they continued to work on reopening.

Instagram/@hex_des

Like many local businesses after the hurricane, Necromancy Cosmetica has survived because of loyal and proud Puerto Rican customers. While many people might think of colorful and tropical scenes when they think of Puerto Rico but the goth community needs representation. Just because you live on an island doesn’t mean you will look like you live on an island.

Puerto Rico’s economy is struggling as the island continues to recover from a storm that devastated everything and everyone. As the Puerto Rican economy tries to build up, it is the local stores like Necromancy Cosmetica that are giving the island the support it needs. The company might not be donating money to the recovery effort but pumping their money into the local economy creating a stream of tax revenue that the government relies on.

The owners take pride that their makeup line is vegan and cruelty-free.

Instagram/@necromancycosmetica

If you need more reason to check out the company, how about their stance for animals?

“These and all other Necromancy Cosmetica brand lipsticks are made with 100% vegan materials that have never been tested on animals, that means you can rest easy knowing that your wicked lips will always be on the up-and-up if you decide to join the Necromancy cult,” reads the Necromancy Cosmetica website. “Des and Zal work hard from their crypt in Puerto Rico to fulfill all the orders themselves and have high hopes for their independently owned, produced, and distributed non-liquid lipsticks. So take a look at their witchy works and get inspired.”

Necromancy Cosmetica is located at 59 Calle Arzuaga Local #3 Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Click here for more information on the products.

READ: Here Are 13 Latino Innovators That Prove Latinos Can Do Anything They Put Their Minds To

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Latinos Are Running More Businesses Than Ever, But They’re Still More Likely to Be Denied Funding By Big Banks

Things That Matter

Latinos Are Running More Businesses Than Ever, But They’re Still More Likely to Be Denied Funding By Big Banks

Photo via Getty Images

The United States Latino population is steadily growing and with that, the demographics are shifting. More and more Latinos are becoming the first ones in their family to go to college, enter the white collar workforce, and increasingly, open up their own businesses.

And while all this change feels like progress, it also comes with its own set of hurdles.

A new study showed that Latino-owned business are significantly less likely to be approved for loans, despite surpassing the national revenue growth average.

Latino-owned businesses are skyrocketing, but banks still don’t want to finance them. “Latino [business] revenue growth should be a key metric in helping them gain capital, but they continue to fall short,” said Stanford research analyst Marlene Orozco to NBC.

The study, conducted by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, found that 50% of white business-owners who applied for a loan of $100,000 over the last five years were approved. In contrast, only 20% of Latino business-owners were approved.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon extended to federal COVID-19 relief, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP was meant to help small businesses who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The thing is, the federal government ultimately relied on traditional, large banks to approve or deny applicants.

Latinos and Black people were denied COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans at significantly higher rates than their white peers.

Even when successful entrepreneurs like Los Angeles-based restaurateur David Favela applied for a PPP loan, he was denied on the basis of not being “bankable”. Favela is the owner of three successful restaurants and breweries in California as well as being a 2020 James Beard Award finalist.

He was denied a PPP loan because he hadn’t funded his businesses with “traditional” capital (i.e. a loan from a big bank). When he started his business in 2013, he relied on his own savings as well as funds from family members.

But this type of financing is common among people of color. POC often rely on family members and/or crowdsourcing to kickstart their businesses. Unfortunately, big banks look down on that sort of non-traditional funding.

Traditional banks are more likely to approve applicants they have preexisting relationships with.

And people of color are less likely to have established relationships with large banks because, well, they don’t trust them. And arguably, for good reason. So, the plight of small business-owners of color becomes a vicious and endless cycle.

“Latinos are making strides in starting businesses and growing,” said Orozco. “Despite these trends, securing financing remains a challenge.”

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Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Entertainment

Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Prediction: You will want to check out Walter Mercado’s house in Puerto Rico, and maybe even buy it up and call it home. And what perfect timing, because the stars have aligned to bring you his Puerto Rico pad at an unbeatable price.

That’s right! Walter Mercado’s home in San Juan is up for sale!

Located in an “exclusive area” of San Juan, according to the property listing, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom estate is on sale for just $395,000.

Since you likely won’t fly to San Juan right now (thanks, COVID), you can check out the flamboyant cape aficionados sweet, two story tropical oasis on Realtor.com.

The listing photos show the home’s vibrant interior, which appears in the documentary, with yellow, red and green walls. The first floor boasts a large living room, kitchen and dining room. Tile-work leads up the stairs to the second level, where there’s yet another living room, dining room and a smaller kitchen — plus two balconies.

Outside, there’s a pool area with a gazebo and a patio, as well as a covered carport for at least four cars.

The home seems to be having trouble finding a buyer.

The estate originally hit the market for $495,000 in September 2020 but with no buyer in the cards, it then had its price slashed to $430,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. It’s now asking just $395,000.

Mercado already sold his Miami property in 2017 to cover financial difficulties.

While in Miami, Mercado maintained an apartment at The Grand in downtown for many years until 2017 when he decamped part time to New York.

Many in his family had hoped to turn his Puerto Rico home into a museum to the late icon, but due to zoning issues the family decided the best step forward was to list the home for sale. Regarding Mercado’s belongings that were contained within the home (so many of which we came to see in the Netflix documentary), one of his nieces told Pledge Times, that though family members have each kept some items, many were given to the Miami History Museum, and some items will go to Mexico. However, his cape with the Puerto Rican flag is being sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

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