How Affinity Helped DomAlena’s Hair & Nail Lounge Navigate the PPP Process

Affinity in Action: Business Spotlight Series: How Affinity Helped DomAlena’s Hair & Nail Lounge Navigate the PPP Process

By: Katie Sapio, Member Development Officer, Affinity Federal Credit Union

In April 2020, most people were still snuggled in their beds at 5:30 in the morning. But Angelo Grazini, owner of DomAlena’s Hair & Nail Lounge, and Katie Sapio, a Member Development Officer at Affinity Federal Credit Union, were wide awake and working on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application process over Zoom.

The personalized attention and support helped Angelo secure the funding his business needed to whether the pandemic storm and placed a spotlight on the member experience he most appreciates about Affinity.  

DomAlena’s Hair & Nail Lounge is a full-service barber lounge and salon service based out of Flemington, N.J. Since its founding in 2008, the business has faced several difficult economic cycles, including the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Fast forward to 2020, and the fear of what was going to happen to his business was a 24/7 emotional rollercoaster ride, at the mercy of the ever-changing pandemic restrictions. However, DomAlena’s proudly made it through these extremely challenging times with the financial assistance of Affinity.

A Relationship Built on Trust and Respect

This relationship started when Angelo and his wife and co-owner Sandi opened their business accounts at Affinity. From his research of credit unions, Angelo was familiar with the benefits and resources offered by other financial institutions and felt Affinity gave those competitors a run for their money.  He already knew that a credit union community would be genuine and welcoming, but when Angelo met the representatives from Affinity, he knew he found the right fit. In his eyes, the team’s genuine interest and care for his business laid the foundation to build a long relationship. 

The most recent interaction that stood out for DomAlena’s was Affinity’s endurance and flexibility when communicating with Angelo during the PPP process. 

“What other employee would help me at five in the morning, to work through a PPP loan? I’m thankful that Katie is an early bird like me!” Graziani said. 

Angelo reflects on the PPP application process, noting that the team’s coordination and teamwork facilitated a smoother process. “John Benedik, the Branch Manager in Flemington, had already researched what I needed to submit and alleviated my anxieties prior to my interaction with Katie. The transition from John to Katie was seamless. I truly love everyone at the Flemington branch and everyone that I have ever interacted with at Affinity. I know many of the employees and they know me. It’s a great feeling to know that I have financial guidance from the credit union!” Graziani added.

As a fixture in their community, DomAlena’s also makes it a priority to assist others in their town and give back. Angelo and his team support Tools for School, hosted by United Way, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  He actively attends and supports the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce, as well as other community events.

A View for the Future

Looking to the New Year and beyond, Angelo and Sandi hope to expand their business and establish another location in New Jersey, noting the plan is still in the works.  The decision to expand a business and purchase another property is significant, but Angelo trusts Affinity to help him through it. He’s worked with Affinity’s Commercial Lending Department on a number of occasions and made it a point to state that he would do it again, to assist in DomAlena’s expansion in the future.

Affinity offers a range of accounts, loans and a dedicated credit card option for business partners. To learn more about the benefits of teaming up with Affinity, visit our website1

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments. 

1 Retrieved From: Business Members Benefits: Affinity Federal Credit Union