5 resources every Latinx small business owner should know

Editorial Team

6 min read
Latino shop owner on tablet in stock room

Make no mistake – business is booming for Hispanic entrepreneurs. According to research, the number of Latinx business owners grew 34 percent over the past 10 years, compared to just 1 percent for all other business owners in the United States.

In addition, Latinx business owners contributed about $500 billion to the economy in annual sales.

(As an aside, we understand that Hispanic and Latinx aren’t synonyms, but in an effort to be inclusive to those groups, we’ll use these descriptors throughout the piece.)

However, Latinx businesses have faced their share of unique challenges during and in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. A recent Stanford study indicates that a helping hand can go far in empowering small businesses–especially Latinx businesses–to survive and thrive in difficult market conditions. From the sample of Latinx businesses reviewed, researchers found those businesses had “fewer resources to weather the ongoing storm”–that is, less cash on hand and a lower PPP loan approval rate, about 3% compared to 7% for white-owned businesses. It also found, however, that 82% of SLEI Education Scaling Program alumni received PPP funding compared to 18% of scaled Latino-owned businesses and 28% among scaled white-owned businesses.

That means, a little help can go a long way in empowering Latinx entrepreneurs to make a difference in their communities. We at Clover want to empower Latinx merchants to build and grow thriving businesses. So, we’ve collected these handy resources and tips for Hispanic business owners looking for a little extra help and advice.

The 5 resources

Money is critical for every entrepreneur, and for Latinx business owners, building a strong financial base can mean the difference between success and failure. Without ready access to loans and other financial support, many small business owners wind up using their own money in their ventures, making it even tougher to grow their businesses. Fortunately, Hispanic entrepreneurs have several avenues to explore that provide access to loans, grants, and other monies that can help stabilize or grow their businesses. 

Take a look at these 5 types of resources to help boost capital:

1. Private/nonprofit opportunities

  • Accion is a nonprofit financial institution that provides low-cost lending opportunities. Loans can range from $300-$100,000 with personalized repayment terms. They offer services in both English and Spanish.
  • Sean and Kenny Salas founded Camino Financial to support small business owners like their mother, who lost her Mexican restaurant when they were children. They offer simple, low-cost loans with the motto of “Never Leave a Small Business Behind.”
  • Kiva is a crowdfunding site that gives owners the opportunity to promote their business and provide a target goal that visitors can pledge money toward in the form of a zero-interest loan.

2. State-sponsored programs

3. Venture capital

  • EmprendeLatino is a group of entrepreneurs committed to providing capital to Latinx startup business. While the group is located in Albuquerque, NM right now, they plan on expanding to 10 locations across the US.
  • Manos Accelerator wants to open the “Latino gateway to Silicon Valley” by providing business resources, capital and hands-on education for Latino-led startup companies with a technology focus.

4. Grants/contests

  • Since 2013, FedEx has run a small business grant contest every year, with a grand prize of $50,000. The 2021 contest recently ended, with several minority-owned businesses taking home $10,000.
  • The PowerUp Fund, a joint partnership with Ureeka, Google and Hispanics in Philanthropy, offered cash grants of $5,000 to 300 Latinx business owners in California, New York and Texas hit hard by the pandemic. The program plans to return in 2021.

5. Mentoring and networking resources

With enough drive and determination, you can launch a business. Once it’s up and running, however, it can be hard for Hispanic entrepreneurs to find someone to answer questions and provide a sounding board for advice. 

This gap in mentorship and networking is slowly being filled by groups and individuals eager to help the next generation of Latinx business owners. Take these, for starters:

  • The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the national organization designed to protect and nurture the interest of Latinx business owners. Many large cities have local branches of the chamber that offer mentorship and development opportunities for small business owners.
  • Latinas Think Big is an online community of more than 15,000 professional women that connects fellow women entrepreneurs to business opportunities, peer mentoring and networks that can help with jobs and advice.
  • SCORE is a network of volunteer, expert business mentors who are dedicated to helping small business grow and thrive. SCORE gives owners a chance to speak and learn from someone who understands the challenges facing Hispanic small business owners today.
  • A multichannel platform that helps Hispanic small businesses grow and thrive, Hello Alice partners with enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions to identify growth opportunities.

Buying and supporting Latinx business

More consumers are shopping more intentionally to support diverse businesses–especially businesses of color and Hispanic-owned businesses. That helps strengthen local economies, create job opportunities, close the racial wealth gap, and celebrate diverse cultures. The great news is that over the past year Latino-owned businesses reported growth of around 15%. And maintaining that level of growth is critical for long-term success.

On the flipside, many merchants would like to insert themselves into the supply chain or ecosystem of Hispanic-owned businesses, but they may not know where to start. 

Consumers can tap these resources to help support Hispanic-owned businesses:

  • Support Latino Business offers a robust online directory where you can shop Hispanic in a variety of categories, ranging from home décor to wine.
  • The Los Angeles Times spotlighted a host of LA-based, Latinx businesses in a range of specialties, from bilingual books to nurseries. Most feature delivery throughout the country.

Merchants can also help by:

  • Varying the supply chain: Business owners should consider adding minority vendors, suppliers and service providers to the supply chain.
  • Diversifying the workforce: Help train the next generation of minority entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to work today.
  • Building a relationship: Companies should support Hispanic-owned businesses because they believe in their mission, values, and plans. Building relationships is a way to connect on more than a surface level.

And, we at Clover now offer our Back2Business program to help small business owners–especially Latinx and other minority-owned small businesses–get back on their feet and back to business with grants, mentorship, and other support. 

This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers should contact their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.

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