Hispanic-owned businesses have a major, positive impact on the U.S.. These businesses contribute to local economies by adding jobs and bringing growth to their communities, innovating with new products, services, and delivery channels, and driving economic growth.
According to the Joint Economic Committee Hispanic Entrepreneurship and Business Brief, there are nearly five million Hispanic-owned businesses located across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These businesses contribute over $800 billion to the American economy annually. Hispanic Americans are also starting employer businesses, which employ at least one person other than the owner, at a faster rate than the national average, driving job creation and growth.
Yet despite these contributions, it is typically still more difficult for Hispanic entrepreneurs and small business owners to secure the capital they need.
Disparities in funding
Hispanic business owners are the fastest-growing demographic among entrepreneurs. However, Hispanic-owned businesses are less likely than white-owned businesses to be approved for large loans by national banks. This may leave them more vulnerable to economic volatility.
Hispanic businesses were disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than four out of five businesses reported a large negative impact, and many were unable to access emergency relief funds.
In response to this disparity in funding access, multiple organizations and government agencies have been set up to help Hispanic-owned businesses with loans, grants and other financing options.
10 funding options for Hispanic-owned businesses
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a list of funding options for Hispanic-owned businesses, including:
- Accion Opportunity Fund
- Business Consortium Fund
- Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (U.S. Treasury)
- Latino Economic Development Center
- National Association for the Self-Employed
- USDA Rural Business Development Grants (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
Joining a local chamber of commerce may also help Hispanic business owners discover resources for financing and growing their businesses.
SBA financing and resources
The SBA (Small Business Administration) recognizes the impact of Hispanic-owned entrepreneurship on the U.S. economy. With its partners, including SmartBiz®, the SBA helps entrepreneurs with access to capital, mentorship, and business development.
In fiscal year 2021, the SBA delivered more than $2.7 billion to Hispanic-owned small businesses through its core lending programs. SBA offers multiple financial resources to help small businesses get the capital they need to start, grow, and expand. SBA-guaranteed loans come with competitive terms, lower down payments, and flexible overhead requirements.
Beyond financing, the SBA resource partners - including SCORE Hispanic Business Owners Hub, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and Community Navigators - help new and established entrepreneurs navigate the ins and outs of business ownership with free or low-cost programs.
The SBA Learning Platform also offers programs designed to empower and educate small business owners every step of the way. Online learning opportunities include:
- SBA’s Learning Center: Free classes to plan, launch, manage, market, and grow your business.
- Ascent for Women: Free learning platform for women entrepreneurs.
Development programs include:
- Boots to Business: Education and training for transitioning service members and their spouses.
- T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders: Train. Hope. Rise. Innovate. Venture. Elevate. - An executive leadership training series to accelerate the growth of certain high-potential small businesses.
Federal contracting programs
Federal contracting programs may also be a great resource. The federal government uses special programs to help small businesses win at least 23% of federal contracting dollars each year. Programs include:
- 8(a) Business Development program for businesses owned and operated at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
- HUBZone Program for small business growth in historically underutilized business zones.
- Women-owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting program to provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs).
SmartBiz partners with Hispanic-owned businesses
SmartBiz is proud to partner with numerous Hispanic-owned businesses to help them get the capital they need to grow and positively impact the U.S. economy. More than 60% of the loans funded by banks in the SmartBiz network are to support minority, women or veteran-owned businesses.
The SmartBiz Grant program offers five $5,000 grants for a total of $25,000 to these eligible businesses in the U.S. who have previously applied for funding through SmartBiz.
One 2022 SmartBiz Grant program winner is Rodrigo Olvera, a Hispanic business owner who founded Experience Cleaning Corporation® in River Grove, Illinois. The family business provides commercial cleaning services, supply management, and janitorial consulting to a range of clients.
Olvera received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in 2021 from a bank in the SmartBiz network. He describes his SmartBiz experience: “The people I worked with, you could just sense the friendliness. The SmartBiz rep was calm and friendly. They let me talk instead of just talking my ear off. They were more understanding about my business and how it works.”
The grant provided capital for payroll and taxes and will fund benefits to attract and retain quality employees. Moving forward, Olvera would like to offer more services and will need additional equipment to meet that goal.
Supporting Hispanic-owned businesses this and every month
National Hispanic Heritage Month, held annually between September 15 and October 15, celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.
Hispanic-owned businesses are a vibrant and important part of the U.S. economy. Supporting these businesses will result in continued small business growth, job creation, and community development. During this month and throughout the year, Hispanic-owned businesses and entrepreneurs deserve our support and patronage. Consult the Hispanic Business Directory for local businesses near you.
If you are interested in learning more about how SmartBiz works with minority-owned businesses, visit our website. In just five minutes, you are able to see if you pre-qualify and find out what loan options are available. Get started with our simple application today.