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The community of Schuyler, Nebraska, has embraced and supported business owners Luis Salinas, his brother Jose, and their father, Cristobal, since they opened their restaurant, Burrito House. They’ve offered their customers Mexican favorites like burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and more for nearly two decades.
Even during challenging times, these business owners have persevered. They opened their doors in August 2001, right before the attacks of Sept. 11. In that time of national tragedy, as well as now, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant has remained open and the owners are grateful to serve their customers.
The years of dedication and hard work put in by these business owners has led to Burrito House receiving the 2020 Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur Award from the Center for Rural Affairs.
The award is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have utilized Center for Rural Affairs’ services and are successfully operating and growing their business. The award exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit so crucial to small businesses and the rural Nebraska communities they call home.
“It has been a great pleasure to work with the staff from the Center,” said Luis. “They are always helpful, nice, attentive, and very respectful. Center staff members are very professional people, and are there for you when you need them.”
Raul Arcos-Hawkins, business development specialist with the Center, has provided the business owners with guidance and technical assistance throughout the past year.
“Burrito House has been an awesome business to coach during the pandemic,” said Raul. “They have shown exceptional leadership as business owners and as a business by being an example to follow during health directives when the pandemic started. They went above and beyond to follow the advice provided and also helped other businesses during the pandemic.”
The entrepreneurs have also strengthened their business knowledge by taking part in the Center’s training programs. They attended the first class of the Center’s Restaurant Academy, an industry-specific training series. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, classes were moved online, and Jose and Luis completed the virtual course.
Luis says he and his employees will continue working with the Center by attending training events, especially those focused on running a restaurant and marketing for businesses. He is very grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow through that partnership, and feels honored to receive the Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur Award.
“The Center for Rural Affairs has the best people qualified to help businesses and our community—they would do anything to help you succeed,” he said. “We are very blessed. It feels like all the effort we have put in the last 20 years has been worth it. Thank you to our community, our clients, and the people who helped us along the way, and thank you to the Center for this award.”