News

CAN BE sponsors Greater Hazleton Chamber’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 9th year

2022 Young Entrepreneur of the YearLongtime CAN DO partner, the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, held its 21st Annual Business and Community Award Ceremony at The Pines Eatery & Spirits in Downtown Hazleton on Thursday, October 27th.

At the luncheon, CAN DO Business Financing Specialist, Nico Makuta, proudly presented the 2022 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Omar Alcantara of Hazleton. This marks the 9th year that the organization’s entrepreneurial arm, the CAN BE Innovation Center, has sponsored the award.

“CAN BE is proud to support this award each year and recognize the hardworking and innovative entrepreneurs that we have right here in Greater Hazleton. It is exciting to witness the immediate success that Tabla Supply has had in the market. Omar was a perfect selection for this award, and I commend him for how quickly he has grown Tabla Supply and his dedication to expanding his operations in the future,” Makuta said.

Omar Alcantara is the owner of Tabla Supply, a family-owned home decor store and remodeling business in Hazleton. Originally from New York, Alcantara started his entrepreneurial path with a small carpentry shop in Corona, NY. While still in New York, he realized that his customer base had additional needs that he could not fulfill at the time, such as flooring and granite countertops. Upon moving to the Hazleton Area, Alcantara found an opportunity to make his dreams of a home improvement store a reality.

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VizVibe business grew with the help of CAN BE Innovation Center, graduates from the incubator

vizvibe color logo copy VizVibe, an award-winning digital content creation company specializing in augmented reality (AR), recently graduated from the CAN BE Innovation Center after being in the space for roughly one year. They are now located on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.

The CAN BE Innovation Center, located in West Hazleton’s Valmont Industrial Park, focuses on promoting entrepreneurship and technological growth for small and growing businesses in the local community. This initially impressed VizVibe's co-founder and CEO, Kevin Jones, and what prompted them to move into CAN BE in June 2021.

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Food-based entrepreneurs can apply for microgrants for use at the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator

The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative (THInC) announced that it is currently accepting applications for microgrants of up to $2,500 for any new and expanding food-based businesses who operate out of the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator in the Hayden Family Center for the Arts in downtown Hazleton.

The microgrants are being offered through the Truist Foundation, which announced last December that it awarded a $15,000 grant to the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, on behalf of the Collaborative, to provide financial support to culinary entrepreneurs participating in the partnership’s Kitchen Incubator Program.

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