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SBA Initiative Creates Opportunities for Hispanic Businesses

Wednesday, 21 Mar 2012 | 3:28 PM ET
Small Business Administration
AP
Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration announced today that it has teamed up with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to support Hispanic small businesses and entrepreneurs.

They signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum that they say will help Hispanic businesses grow and create more jobs in the Latino community.

“Despite the economic downturn, the Hispanic community continues to push forward,” Javier Palomarez, the chamber's president and CEO, told CNBC.com.

“The memorandum demonstrates SBA’s support to offer opportunities for Hispanic small businesses, and allow them to recover from a difficult downturn.”

The collaboration between the SBA and the chamber involve local and national Hispanic organizations that will work toward securing access to capital and loans, access to government contracts and international trade opportunities.

According to Palomarez, Hispanic business owners have started new ventures at three times the rate of the general public over the past five years.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is part of the Hispanic DNA,” he said. “It’s a collaborative community. We have entrepreneurial mentors that want to help other members get their share of the American dream. And, there’s a can-do attitude. Most business people are just one or two generations removed from family members that survived unbelievable odds to get to this country.”

That can-do attitude provides more than $425 billion of revenue to the U.S. economy each year, said Palomarez.

Still, access to capital is one of the largest issues facing these business owners. “Loan programs and access to capital initiatives, through the SBA, are critical for our membership,” he said.

The chamber represents more than 3 million Hispanic-owned firms from 200 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce branches throughout the country.

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