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AVANZA Empowerment Center Announces Grand Opening Event with Mayor Regina Romero

AVANZA is a pioneering relationship-based lending program for underserved Tucson small businesses.

Tucson, AZ- Groundswell Capital, in collaboration with the City of Tucson Small Business Navigator program, is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the AVANZA Empowerment Center on December 11, 2023. Situated on Stone Avenue and facilitated by Groundswell Capital’s AVANZA program and the City of Tucson’s Small Business Navigator program, the Center is dedicated to empowering small businesses, enabling them to scale and thrive efficiently.

Since the launch of Groundswell Capital’s AVANZA Empowerment Fund in June of this year, the fund has garnered over $4.3 million through community partnerships with the City of Tucson, Tucson IDA, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, and Wells Fargo, along with the unwavering support from Mayor Romero and Governor Hobbs.

The community-focused grand opening event will include a monumental announcement for Tucson small businesses by Mayor Regina Romero, a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce, recognition of AVANZA small business participants, and a celebration of small business success stories such as that of Eduardo and Gloria Barnett from Mexico Lindo Food Market.

Established in the City of South Tucson over two decades ago, Mexico Lindo Food Market has been serving the community as a one-stop shop for premium cuts of meat, artisanal cheeses, handmade tortillas, tamales, and salsas as well as imported Mexican snacks and products.

Following years of dedication growing and optimizing their business, The Barnetts participated in the Small Business Navigator program with the City of Tucson Economic Initiative Office, attended a series of business workshops, and were next introduced to Groundswell Capital’s AVANZA program.

“We never imagined a fund such like this one would be created for people like us,” Mr. and Mrs. Barnett went on to say during a visit from Governor Hobbs and Mayor Romero.

Through AVANZA, Mexico Lindo received $80,000 in flexible loan funding to purchase refrigeration equipment to expand the reach of their business to new areas of Tucson.

The AVANZA Empowerment Fund is a grassroots microlending program created specifically for under-represented small business owners in Tucson, Arizona. AVANZA arrives at a crucial time for the small business community as Tucson’s number of Latino-owned businesses falls below national average – despite a population of 48% Latino-identified residents.

AVANZA’s relationship-based, holistic approach to lending addresses longstanding barriers to capital access and includes executive coaching, marketing optimizations, technical support, and financial education, transforming the way minority, women, and veteran-owned small businesses in Tucson operate, grow, and create generational wealth.

AVANZA’s unique supportive approach to lending has garnered significant attention across the nation and statewide as a new model of access to capital. The AVANZA Empowerment Center Grand Opening is scheduled for December 11th at the Tucson Industrial Development Office, situated at 376 S Stone Avenue in Downtown Tucson. The event will take place from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Attendees can anticipate live music by Freddy Jay, food from ViriViriBombBomb, AVANZA vendors, a mural reveal, and engaging story-sharing sessions by both AVANZA participants and supporters.

For more information, visit the event link here:

Press space is available and the media is highly encouraged to attend. For a detailed agenda, parking information, or if you would like to connect with one of our AVANZA participants for an editorial story, please email

Learn more about the AVANZA Empowerment Fund at or email


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