Celebrating Hispanic entrepreneurs’ growth, resilience

As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, many people are talking about the remarkable contributions of 60 million Hispanic Americans. Few people, however, can say they have done as much to propel this community – my community – forward as President Donald Trump.

As the first Latina to serve in a Republican President’s Cabinet, I am proud to work for an Administration that has empowered Hispanic Americans with unmatched opportunities to achieve the American Dream.

Indeed, under President Trump’s leadership, Hispanics have experienced record low unemployment, record low poverty rates, and record high homeownership and entrepreneurial growth.  

I know firsthand the power of economic opportunity. I was born to first-generation Mexican-Americans in a working-class community of Chicago. From early on, I took hold of the opportunities this country afforded me. Today, thanks to the trust placed in me by President Trump, it is my honor to lead the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

I believe it was mi destino to lead the SBA during this historic time. This year, Hispanic small businesses have weathered the coronavirus pandemic, economic shutdowns, property damage from civil unrest, and natural disasters.

Through it all, this Administration has stood by our country’s resilient entrepreneurs. Between the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, we have delivered nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in economic relief to sustain and revive nearly nine million small businesses and nonprofits through the pandemic.

Importantly, we took unprecedented steps to ensure small businesses in underserved communities could access the forgivable PPP loans. As a result, nearly 70 percent of all PPP loans went to firms with fewer than 10 employees – an important metric since the average Hispanic-owned small business employs between one to four people.

To help meet the need in the Hispanic community, SBA partnered with thirty-eight Hispanic Minority Depository Institutions to distribute nearly sixty-two thousand loans, totaling more than three and a half billion dollars.

One of these many PPP beneficiaries is Marlyn Parra who owns a Venezuelan restaurant in Pittsburgh. I visited her restaurant called Cilantro and Ajo last month and let me tell you, they made those two ingredients sing!

Marlyn shared with me how her small business is doing really well now, thanks to the PPP loan that allowed her to bring her six employees back to work.

The Trump Administration’s support for minority entrepreneurship is clear not only in the extraordinarily effective response to the pandemic, but in the elevation of Hispanic Americans’ success that the federal government is continually pursuing.

It is a tremendous privilege to be part of the President’s new White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative Commission. We must ensure that every Hispanic American has pathways – with respect to education, training, and skill development – to succeed in life.

Our Hispanic community is strong and vibrant, especially among our youth, where 75,000 Hispanic Americans turn 18 years old every month. It is vital we set up the next generation for success – both in terms of education and vocation.

That is the heartbeat behind the Hispanic Prosperity Commission.

This Administration knows entrepreneurship is a powerful mechanism for wealth creation. And one of the key areas this Commission is focused on is helping Hispanic Americans access capital not only to recover, but also to launch their own business and pursue the American Dream. 

There are currently about 3.3 million Hispanic-owned small businesses in the U.S. – and growing! Hispanic-owned small businesses generate $474 billion in annual sales. That is an enormous impact on our nation’s economy.

The Hispanic community has been asking for these types of policies and initiatives for years, and in President Trump, we have a champion and a friend. He isn’t just talking; he’s delivering.

This Administration is prepared to continue delivering results until every Hispanic entrepreneur recovers, prospers, and resumes their role as the foundational, job-creators of our economy.

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