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The Covid-19 crisis has hit small businesses in Latino particularly hard, including the fact that they are unable to access PPP funds at a rate similar to other entrepreneurs. And many sole proprietorships or small family businesses may be feeling the effects of Covid more directly as the pandemic hit the Latino community disproportionately.
If you’re a Latino entrepreneur or small business owner, you know that you are not alone and that tools, funding, and mentoring are available to help you navigate this crisis. Below we’ve compiled a list of some key tools that can help Latino small business owners rebuild and thrive.
Social media & digital tools
Leveraging social media to your maximum benefit is an inexpensive way to market your business, strengthen customer relationships, and sell through new channels. Social media is an indispensable tool to create a level playing field and grow your business in good and challenging times.
Facebook offers a range of Latino speakers, free online training courses, and tools for Hispanic entrepreneurs who use their services to market their business.
Google offers digital coaches, online workshops, training, and videos to help Latino business owners get the most out of their tools.
HootSuite offers free online training in Spanish on how to use its platform and social media delivery for small businesses in general.
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Start-up accelerators can help young entrepreneurs find training, mentoring, resources, and potential funding for their new ventures. Some are solely focused on Latin American owned startups and can be found in subway areas in the United States, including:
EmprendeLatino based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Rutgers Black and Latino Tech Initiative based in New Jersey.
The Latino NonProfit Accelerator with national reach.
The Manos Accelerator focused on tech startups in Silicon Valley.
Network and business support groups
The Latin American small business community is supported locally and nationally by a variety of organizations that help Hispanic business owners find the resources they need to be successful.
A good place to start: most major cities have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that can make it easy for you to access local assistance, and some heavily Latin American cities like Miami have many other network groups.
At the national level there are several others:
The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests and development of 4.37 million Latin American-owned companies in the US through a variety of programs.
The Latino Business Action Network promotes entrepreneurship.
The Latino Economic Development Center promotes the interests of small Latino entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic region.
The Small Business Administration’s Minority and Woman-Owned Business Program can help Latino entrepreneurs find appropriate funding for their businesses, including Covid-19 aid. Similarly, many banks offer finance programs for minority entrepreneurs, and there are several other sources of finance worth exploring for businesses at any stage of development.