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A Country Built On Diversity Leads To An Economy Built To Last

A Country Built On Diversity Leads To An Economy Built To Last

By ana.harvey, Former SBA Official
Published: September 18, 2012


From our founding, people have come to America’s shores with a vision for a better future for themselves and their families. America’s story is rooted in the journey of these individuals. And National Hispanic Heritage month is an opportunity to not only recognize the enormous contributions of Hispanic Americans but to ensure that programs and policies are in place to ensure those contributions continue.

Minority-owned businesses are some of the fastest growing segments of the economy, with Hispanic-owned small businesses leading all other demographics.  In fact, according to the Kaufmann Foundation, monthly Hispanic business creation in 2010 was almost twice the national average. As we continue lay to the foundation for an economy built to last, the SBA and the Obama Administration have made supporting small businesses in underserved communities a priority, giving them the tools they need to thrive and be successful.

For example, SBA has supported more than $4.4 billion in SBA loans to Hispanic-owned small businesses over the last three years with almost a billion dollars in lending in 2012 alone. Since President Obama took office, the SBA has supported over $100.2 billion in Federal government contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses, many of which are Hispanic-owned, giving small business owners the cash flow they to meet their bottom lines and secure more contracts.

Although we have made significant progress, we know there is more work to do. That’s why we’ve looked for ways to increase our footprint in underserved communities. We’ve joined forces with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) to help support thousands of Hispanic small businesses and entrepreneurs.  We will pilot the partnership with eight city and state Hispanic Chambers in the following areas: Austin, Texas; California; El Paso, Texas; Florida; Nashville, Tenn.; Ohio; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Utah.  Through this collaboration, the SBA and USHCC will work to increase Hispanic-owned small business participation in SBA programs, including:

At the SBA, we’re working hard to help small business owners like John Fernandez gain access to our programs. He received a SBA-backed 504 loan to expand his business in 2009. Since receiving the loan his company Dystar Desserts now serves customers in 38 states- up from six. He has also increased sales by 62% and added 42 jobs. Another example is Zeferino Banda. He used his 8(a) certification to get a five year contract with NASA for his company, Banda Group International, LLC. His business has experienced tremendous success, ranking among the top 500 largest Hispanic-owned firms by revenue, according to Hispanic Business Magazine.

Working with USHCC, we’ll create more success stories like John Fernandez and Zeferino Banda and ensure our economy emerges as a global economic leader in the 21st century. This month, we celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans and we will continue to ensure that more Hispanic small business owners get the access and opportunity they need to build successful businesses and create good jobs in our communities. 

About the Author:

Ana Harvey

Former SBA Official