By Elizabeth Burgess

In 2015, Nelly Ortega started Ayala’s Income Tax Services L.L.C. as a way to help people in the Omaha community, while developing trust with each client. Her tax service company has rapidly increased from a few clients the first year of operation to more than 300 clients with plans to expand in the near future.

Before starting her own tax business and becoming an entrepreneur, Nelly developed her tax knowledge while working for another tax service company in Omaha. She became aware of the Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) when she began taking business classes provided by MLCDC.

Nelly Ortega helps a client file taxes.

While attending classes, Nelly met Marta Sonia Londoño, MLCDC’s executive director.  After meeting, Ortega asked if she could volunteer her own time to the organization.

Nelly says that Londoño is a very encouraging person and always told her that if she put her mind to it, she could accomplish anything.

“Marta doesn’t take a no for an answer,” says Ortega.

Through MLCDC, Nelly received technical assistance, support and financial resources to make her tax business dream a reality. Nelly also received access to three loans through Pioneers, a peer lending group, that helped her business with working capital.

Nelly and her daughter, Perla Kristi Caro, review client documents.

Building lasting relationships with her clients and managing her own time are Nelly’s favorite parts of being a business owner. Nelly is continuously learning more about taxes and gaining more certifications to help her clients. She is also taking English classes to expand her business beyond the Latino community.

“I love helping my clients in the community to have better benefits in an easier way,” Nelly says. “I try to educate myself to better serve them.”

Nelly believes people need to trust the person doing their taxes and takes pride in gaining her clients trust. She credits the growth of her business to her clients and referrals, saying she “feels the love.”

(From right to left) Nelly, Perla Kristi Ayala and Judith Carillo work together to help people in the community.

The next step for Ortega and Ayala’s Income Tax Services is to expand into more communities.