LOS SUNS SMALL BUSINESS MVP: ARTURO PEREZ
Phoenix Suns & FirstBank team up to award outstanding Hispanic small business owner in The Valley
As the Valley’s oldest and most historic professional sports team, the Phoenix Suns have remained dedicated to connecting with the surrounding Hispanic population that makes up the largest demographic in Phoenix at 43 percent. The organization has reflected that cultural makeup of the community with its Los Suns apparel on the court, and by continuously striving to promote and support Hispanic businesses off of the court throughout the years.
This week, the Suns selected the recipient of the Los Suns Small Business MVP program, an initiative designed to highlight outstanding Hispanic small business owners and entrepreneurs that fuel our local economy. The team proudly recognized True Fades Barbershop owner, Arturo Perez, for his inspiring work as a Mexican-born entrepreneur and constant efforts in giving back to the Valley community. The goal of the program is to elevate and provide marketing value for local Hispanic-owned businesses such as True Fades Barbershop.
In addition to being honored with this award, Perez received $5,000 from FirstBank to assist in supporting his business following a difficult financial year as well as help him continue his philanthropic efforts throughout the community. Perez will also experience an in-game recognition during an upcoming Suns game, a one-on-one interview with Arturo Ochoa from La Mejor 106.5 and receive a one-year complimentary membership with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
(This interview was lightly edited for length and clarity)
WHAT PUSHED YOU TO OPEN UP TRUE FADES BARBERSHOP?
Perez: “Honestly, I've always had an interest in barbering. I've loved everything about a barbershop since the first time I stepped into one. Just the culture of it, being able to talk sports, talk music, talk to your barber — I just love everything about it.”
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
“My mom. A single mom of four from Mexico, my mom just always had her own little businesses. None really panned out, but she just had that drive. She just never had that support. I think she just instilled that in me and my brothers and sister.”
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO CONNECT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY THROUGH YOUR BUSINESS?
“We've done a few different things. We've joined toy drives. We've donated basketball warmup shirts to the local girls high school team. We've also donated Gatorades and donuts to the local high school football team for their Saturday film sessions. We've given away gift cards to random customers. We even drove down the streets of Glendale and just picked up a kid and a mom who we saw at the bus stop that were in dire need of a haircut. Just tried to make their day.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR HISPANIC BUSINESS OWNERS TO BE HIGHLIGHTED THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITY?
“I think it's major, especially in a city like Phoenix, where the Hispanic culture is really big. And outside of Phoenix, especially with the things that are going on and that we're trying to get through as a country, I think it just helps motivate. All you see all day on social media is negative things. It's good to scroll and see something on your phone that is just positive and will inspire somebody to take a risk and get out there and do something on their own.”
HOW HONORED ARE YOU TO RECEIVE THIS AWARD FROM THE PHOENIX SUNS?
“I got the chills. I'm extremely honored. It's just crazy. Honestly, the best thing about it was my daughter telling me how proud she is of us. I feel like this coming from the Suns, it just means that much more because of how much they do for the Hispanic culture in Phoenix.”
HOW SPECIAL IS IT TO RECEIVE THE $5,000 FROM FIRSTBANK, ESPECIALLY AFTER SUCH A DIFFICULT FINANCIAL YEAR?
“It's extremely special. Everybody got behind, I'm sure, with bills and I know we got shut down for a little over a month with this whole lockdown. So, it's just going to help with bills and everything, and also just make the holidays a little bit more special. We can give a few more bikes. We team up with Power 98 and just give back. It's always a good thing.”
True Fades Barbershop
17221 N Litchfield Rd #59 Surprise, AZ 85374
Phone: (623) 440-7880
7448 W Glendale Ave #107, Glendale, AZ 85303
Phone: (623) 213-8865