JFS and the Perlman Small Business Loan Fund Help Park City Small Businesses

Zia Boccaccio at Alpaca International on Main Street in Park City. Zia Boccaccio at Alpaca International on Main Street in Park City. Tanzi Propst/Park Record

In the first dark days of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, small business owners like Zia Boccaccio found themselves in tough circumstances. Tourists who came to Park City on ski trips were canceling vacations. Sales at her fine clothing store, Alpaca International, were drying up.

“Then, as if out of nowhere,” Zia says, “Angels arrived to help me.”

Those “angels” came in the form of an interest-free loan from the Perlman Small Business Relief Fund, administered by Jewish Family Service. Greg and Jodi Perlman established the Fund to help local businesses in Park City who were experiencing financial difficulties because of the pandemic.

“Jodi and I want to move our money in the most impactful way possible," Greg said. "When COVID-19 hit, we knew we wanted to help our local Park City businesses get through this difficult time. JFS has been a great partner [in] identifying the businesses and managing the loans. All of the repaid funds are staying in a fund to be redistributed back into the Park City community."

“To me, this loan was the most special form of assistance,” Zia said. “It represents the best of America – you find yourself down, and people step up to help their neighbor and their community.”

Alpaca International is more than just a business venture. A native of Peru, Zia employs artisans in the South American country to produce coats, other garments, and accessories made from the soft, elegant wool from animals she calls the “mystical creatures” of her homeland. This labor of love provides a living for 80 families in Peru, plus her six employees in Park City.

For Zia, the loan was about more than money.

“From my perspective, I felt immense gratitude to find an organization like JFS, who cares about small businesses in their time of need. I will be forever grateful.” 

Learn more about the Perlman Small Business Relief Fund interest-free loans here.

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