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The Covid-19 crisis has hit Latino small businesses particularly hard, including not being able to access PPP funding at a similar rate to other business owners. And many individual proprietors or small, family-owned businesses may feel the impact of Covid more directly, as the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Latino community.
If you’re a Latino entrepreneur or small business owner, know that you’re not alone, and that there are tools, funding, and mentorship available to help you succeed through this crisis. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some essential tools that can help Latino small business owners rebuild and thrive.
Social media & digital tools
Using social media to your maximum advantage is a cost-effective way to market your business, strengthen customer relationships, and sell through new channels. Social media is an indispensable tool to help level the playing field and grow your business during good and challenging times.
Facebook offers a Latino speakers’ series, free online training, and tools for Hispanic entrepreneurs using its services to market their business.
Google offers digital coaches, online workshops, training, and videos to help Latino business owners maximize the use of their tools.
HootSuite offers free online training in Spanish on the use of its platform, and the deployment of social media for small business, in general.
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Start-up accelerators can help early-stage entrepreneurs find training, mentorship, resources, and potential funding for their new ventures. Some are focused exclusively on Latino-owned start-ups, and can be found in metro areas throughout 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 start-ups in Silicon Valley.
Networking & business support groups
The Latino small business community enjoys support at the local and national level from a variety of organizations that help Hispanic business owners find the resources they need to succeed.
A good starting point: Most major cities have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that can help you access local support, and some heavily Latino-populated cities, such as Miami, have many other networking groups.
At the national level, there are several others:
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests and development of 4.37 million Latino-owned businesses in the United States through a variety of programs.
The Latino Business Action Network promotes entrepreneurship.
The Latino Economic Development Center helps promote the interests of Latino small business owners in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Small Business Administration’s Minority and Woman-Owned Business program can help Latino entrepreneurs locate appropriate funding for their businesses, including Covid-19 relief. Similarly, many banks offer funding programs for minority entrepreneurs, and there are multiple other funding sources worth exploring for businesses at every stage of development.