According to recent U.S. Census Bureau data, Hispanics are opening businesses at a rate three times faster than the national average. And what was once regarded as a minority group now represents the fastest-growing segment of the nation's economy.
This is a fact that is not lost on the government.
Speaking to Hispanic News, Ying Lowrey, senior economist at the Small Business Administration's advocacy office, has this to say: "the contribution of minorities to the economy is tremendous."
The corollary of this is that more and more government resources dedicated to helping Hispanic entrepreneurs start up, operate and grow, are becoming more widely available both in local communities and on the Internet – if you know where to find them.
Here's a breakdown of some of the best government and non-profit resources and programs, which specifically support Hispanic business growth.
Get Local, Expert Start-Up Advice en Español
If you are thinking of starting a business or are already engaged in the early stages of business ownership, get valuable in-person advice as well as networking opportunities from numerous local organizations who specialize in promoting the growth of Hispanic businesses through training, advice, loan assistance and more.
Here are a few to consider:
- Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers: Local MBDA centers can connect you with loan programs, training courses, one-on-one assistance and other services that help minority business owners succeed.
- Small Business Development Centers (Centros de Desarrollo Empresarial): SBDCs provide small business advice, training and networking opportunities in local communities across the country. Learn more about SBDC en Español or find an SBDC near you.
- United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce*: This national body can connect you with over 200 local chapters; find a local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce* by selecting your state on the map.
Funding for Hispanic-Owned Businesses
Getting financing can be the most challenging part of starting a business – the easiest route may be to consider a loan from a bank that is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Although, be aware that the SBA doesn't give any special consideration to Hispanic entrepreneurs in its programs or during the approval process.
To help you understand more and find the right loan for your business, the SBA offers a version of its site in Spanish where you can get facts and information about these loans as well as other resources. Click the "translate" button at the top of the page to select your language.
An alternative to the SBA-guaranteed loan option is to talk to your local U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce*. Many of these chapters work with banks and lenders to administer loan programs for Hispanics.
Online Government Resources for Hispanic Empresarios
The IRS en Español (check out their resources and forms for businesses) is one of a number of government resources now available in Spanish that help Hispanic-owned businesses grow their businesses while also helping them navigate the maze of regulations that accompanies business-ownership.
Hispanic Business Associations
In addition to government agencies, there are many trade associations and non-profits who are committed to helping Hispanics in business succeed. These include:
- HispanicSMB.com* - Content, an online community and other resources for Hispanic entrepreneurs.
- Latin Business Association* - Events, training, networking, and more.
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.