Why I Started Black Gallina

In the early stages of Black Gallina, I’ll never forget the day I received an urgent call from a small business owner who runs a restaurant in Seattle. He was distraught because he just learned that the person he hired externally to manage his restaurant’s bookkeeping made a massive mistake—and now he owed a significant amount of money to the IRS.

He was panicking that he would have to close his business because of the accident and associated penalty, even though he had worked incredibly hard to build his business from scratch and provide a valuable neighborhood space for his community. He had been in business for years, but he feared this mistake would destroy his life’s work. This was—and is—a huge burden to bear, especially with his family, workers, and community depending on him to succeed. 

His situation got me thinking about how small business owners shoulder an enormous amount of labor, and most of it—like navigating the United States’ complicated tax and licensing systems—is not valued, compensated, or supported. Additionally, most people aren’t taught or shown how to manage these intricate entrepreneurial tasks, leaving many business owners feeling like they’re navigating the Wild West—even though most just want to share their craft with the world.

Stories like his—ones in which small business owners are at the mercy of complicated processes, institutions, and red tape with little to no support—are why I started Black Gallina. I wanted to provide comprehensive accounting, operations, and strategic planning support to small business owners so they have the tools not just to survive, but to thrive.

This means managing the things that small businesses don’t have time to do, don’t want to do, or aren’t sure how to do.

It means finding ways to help them achieve their goals—including becoming more financially stable, working less so they can spend more time with their family, offering more services to customers, expanding their product line, marketing their business, paying their employee’s health insurance, opening a brick and mortar, and more. The list goes on.

And it means providing these services all under one roof, led by one team, so that small businesses don’t go out of business trying to hire, manage, and pay for these services a la carte.

Put simply, I’m passionate about supporting small businesses in this way because I believe they are central to the health and well being of our communities. They are where we go to gather with people we love or people we’re meeting for the first time; they are where we go when we want to experience something new or different or awe-inspiring; they are where we go when we want to seek out joy and equally, when we need to process hardship. We visit them to find a thoughtful gift, to boost our self-confidence, or enliven our home. They are part of every single chapter of our lives, and they are what make towns and cities across the United States interesting, unique, and enjoyable.

Yet they are so rarely supported in all of the administrative and logistical ways it takes to keep a business afloat. That’s why, too often, we see small businesses go under for preventable reasons, and equally often, we see them shutter because they can’t compete with corporations who have endless resources, full-time lobbyists, and little liability to pay taxes.

And this doesn’t even include the small businesses that don’t yet exist, because people don’t have the support and resources to get their business off the ground.

I started Black Gallina so that every small business owner, current or prospective, has the tools, resources, and support team they need to succeed. It’s why the small business owner’s restaurant ultimately stayed open: because Black Gallina helped his team navigate the situation with ease, efficiency, and confidence so they could focus on what they do best: bringing the neighborhood together through amazing food.

Interested in working with us? Send me an email at caleb@blackgallina.com.