National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the traditions and contributions of the Hispanic community that make our country thrive. The Hispanic community has a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s driven by much more than earning a living. It’s about improving the community through jobs and service. Nearly 70% of Hispanic entrepreneurs view community as vital to business success with 77% supporting local nonprofits or charities.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to Hispanic business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. We know that when small businesses succeed, communities succeed.
There are about 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. that contribute more than $700 billion to the economy annually, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Latino-owned companies have grown 31% since 2012, more than double the growth rate of all businesses across America (13%). Immigrants are about twice as likely as the native-born to start new businesses, regardless of firm size, according to a Kauffman Index Study.
Entrepreneurs like Fidel and Josefina Alanis, immigrants from Mexico, invested over a decade of hard work in making their entrepreneurial dream come true. In 2019, Mr. and Mrs. Alanis reached out to SBA’s resource partner, VEDC Women’s Businesses Center and received technical assistance and help writing a new business plan, and ultimately, received an SBA microloan to open their first brick and mortar in Santa Clarita, California.
The Alanis went from selling fruits in swap meets, to a fresh fruit truck, and now a brick-and-mortar location. Their diligence, commitment, and the knowledge that they weren’t alone on this journey, are prime examples of what keeps our small business community growing and thriving.
There are several resources by SBA and in the community to help small business owners succeed. Here are the top five resources that small business owners can utilize today to make their entrepreneurship goals a success:
- Apply to Emerging Leaders, an Intensive No-Cost Executive-Level Series
SBA’s Emerging Leaders provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small businesses. This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. Participants are provided with the opportunity to work with a network of experienced coaches and mentors, attend specialized workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community in order to build sustainable businesses that promote economic development within their communities.
Since its inception in 2008, Emerging Leaders has trained more than 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3 billion in government contracts. More information can be found at www.sba.gov
- Reach out to SBA Resource Partners for Local Support
SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veteran Outreach Centers are dedicated to helping local entrepreneurs succeed.
SBA resource partners offer free one-on-one counseling, low-cost training services, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities. Business owners can get help with procurement and government contracting opportunities, market research and more.
SBA resource partners train entrepreneurs on how to evaluate their readiness for government contracting, register as a government contractor, navigate the federal rules, and qualify for contracts through small business set-aside programs.
- Take Advantage of Tax Savings in Local Opportunity Zones
The Opportunity Zone tax incentive is a powerful new tool meant to bring private capital to underserved communities.
Through investment in Opportunity Zones, entrepreneurs can defer and reduce capital gain taxes. Entrepreneurs who start a business or relocate to opportunity zones can take advantage of investments pouring into these zones.
SBA knows that economically distressed communities require more than private capital alone. Many of these communities are in need of small business resources and support to ensure they develop the foundations necessary to support a thriving private sector.
SBA has resources for entrepreneurs looking to start or scale up their business and competitive grants for workforce development organizations located in Opportunity Zones. More information on Opportunity Zones can be found at www.irs.gov
- Utilize local makerspaces to train and recruit talent
For entrepreneurs, a tight labor market is making it much harder to find the right talent. There are makerspaces in the community, creating opportunities for small business owners to collaborate to help increase workforce development. A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or public/private facility for making, learning, and exploring high tech to no tech tools. These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, cnc machines, soldering irons, and even sewing machines.
Makerspaces are positioned to boost vocational education, apprenticeships, and entrepreneurship. By utilizing these spaces and working with makerspaces, communities can develop new skills and boost jobs.
Recently, the SBA awarded $1 million in prize money to makerspaces across the nation to support vocational education, develop apprenticeships, and cultivate access to entrepreneurship. Find a local makerspace at makerspaces.make.co
- Utilize the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to Invest in Your Small Business
Small business owners can benefit from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that allows temporarily 100% expensing of business property acquired and placed in service the year the investment is made, and deduction of up to 20% of qualified business income. This tax deduction to small business owners is the biggest small business tax cut in the country’s history.
Small business owners can take advantage of the tax savings from the new favorable depreciation rules to reinvest in new equipment, upgrades and repairs to existing equipment, and website updates to compete in e-commerce.
Entrepreneurs across the state taking advantage of the recent tax reform have seen their business grow—and it’s paying off. More information can be found at www.irs.gov
As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, I invite local entrepreneurs to learn about the many SBA services available to start, invest, and scale-up businesses. These resources will provide you the tools you need to realize your business dreams, as well as offer meaningful benefits to your local community.
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