So how do minority small-business owners plan to prosper and grow their companies?
Our research reveals that many are focusing on using the internet to help expand their enterprises. They also plan to increase capital spending, hire more workers and expand their facilities. These activities require infusions of cash.
Fortunately, the SBA has numerous programs in place to help minority-owned businesses and companies that are started in economic empowerment zones. Micro-lenders, often not-for-profit, have a mission to provide funding to minority entrepreneurs. Additionally, it has not hurt that the overall U.S. economy has been on a slow but steady rebound. After a near shutdown of small-business lending during the Great Recession, banks and others have opened up the vaults again.
We really should not be surprised by the optimism reported by minority business owners. Interest rates remain low, unemployment hovers around 5 percent, jobs are being added to the economy, and low gas prices have cut the cost of doing business. Among the industries that are doing well are the construction and hospitality sectors, along with travel/transportation and logistics/trucking, which both benefit from low oil and gasoline prices. Logistics firms, in particular, are thriving because of the changes in consumer spending; shoppers are buying products online and having them shipped.
As the baby boomers — the oldest of whom will turn 70 this year — begin to retire, they often sell their businesses to a younger generation that is more diverse than ever before. They tend to be optimistic, confident and enthusiastic about buying and expanding businesses.
By Rohit Arora, CEO and co-founder of Biz2Credit, a leading online marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with small-business loan options