Hispanic businesses hard hit by the pandemic, but key to the recovery
Hispanic businesses are already an important pillar of the US economy, and their numbers continue to grow. Unfortunately, these businesses have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19 and the resulting economic shutdown. Here’s how these businesses can lead the recovery.
The number of Hispanic businesses is significant, and growing
According to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, there are over 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the US, which, combined, contribute over $700 billion to the American economy each year. One in four US small businesses is Hispanic-owned, and 75% of new businesses in the US are being started by Hispanics, according to Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBC Universal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group.
Hispanics have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19
It has been widely reported that Hispanics and Latinos have been impacted by COVID-19 at a greater rate than the general US population. But the virus has also affected Hispanic businesses disproportionally. According to a recent report by McKinsey, the five business sectors most affected by COVID-19-related shutdowns (leisure and hospitality, retail, transportation, construction, and ‘other’) generate almost 50% of the revenues of all Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses. Sixty-five percent of Hispanics and Latinos work in these sectors.
The key to recovery may lie with Hispanic businesses
With Hispanic businesses making up such an integral part of the US economy, their recovery is closely linked to the economic recovery as a whole.
According to the McKinsey report, “Hispanic and Latino population growth means the country’s long-term recovery is inextricable from the recovery of Hispanic and Latino families, communities and businesses. Indeed, the community’s unique assets—such as its relative youth and above-average rates of entrepreneurship—can contribute to more equitable post-pandemic recovery and growth.”
How can Hispanic and Latino businesses thrive?
There are resources in place to help Hispanic and Latino businesses come back from the pandemic stronger than ever. Here are a few examples.
More inclusive financing and mentoring from organizations like:
- Accion, which provides microlending to entrepreneurs.
- Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, part of the US Treasury, provides funds to local banks and organizations so they can offer low-cost loans to businesses in underserved communities.
- Digitalundivided supports Latina entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses, including training, mentorship, and coaching. Their fast track incubator program helps start-ups owned by women of color to raise funds and secure partnerships.
- SBA en español provides information and assistance from the Small Business Administration in Spanish.
Increased exposure, brand building and networking opportunities, like:
- The recently launched “Nuestros Negocios” (“Our Businesses”), which will spotlight small and medium-sized businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a project from NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, in partnership with the USHCC.
- Over 250 local chambers of commerce and business associations for Hispanic-owned businesses nationwide, for which the USHCC serves as an umbrella organization.
How non-Hispanic businesses can help
Given the impact of Hispanic-owned businesses in the national economy, it’s important for everyone in the business community to support this critical segment. Here are some ways non-Hispanic-owned businesses like Hiscox can help.
- Celebrate the various ethnicities represented in your company and community. The Hiscox Latino Employee Network holds networking events, volunteers in the community, and raises funds for charities that support the Hispanic community.
- Create a workforce that mirrors the diversity of your community. At Hiscox, we are committed to providing equal hiring and promotion opportunities to all candidates and employees.
- If your customer base includes Spanish-speaking people, make it easier for them to do business with you by offering sales and customer service information in Spanish. Hiscox has Spanish-speaking licensed agents who answer insurance questions, help with policy purchases, and handle claims.
The Hispanic business community is hardworking, strong and resilient, and it’s these qualities that will help weather this economic storm.