PWA Supports Small Businesses
October 12, 2011 – Yachi Onodera gathered his staff for a meeting on April 1st at the site of his first coffee shop in Kesennuma. The entire staff survived the earthquake and tsunami three weeks prior, but Onodera’s two Kesennuma coffee shops were not spared. The details uncertain, Onodera promised his employees that the coffee shops would open once again.
Onodera is moving towards that promise through support from Peace Winds America. In collaboration with the Kesennuma Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peace Winds America approved Anchor Fullsail Coffee’s grant proposal for a new coffee roaster. Onodera expects the roaster to reemploy up to five of his former staff. Still unsure of when his coffee shops will reopen, Onodera is happy to restart his business by roasting and distributing beans.
This grant is the first of its kind through Peace Winds America’s small business grant program. The program is designed to create jobs and promote economic recovery in the Tohoku region. Grant proposals are collected and reviewed by the Kesennuma Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Peace Winds America.
Yachi Onodera opened two coffee shops in Kesennuma in 2005. Three years later he began roasting coffee beans at one of the shops.