The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) are teaming together on a pilot program in eight states to broaden the impact of the agency’s programs among Hispanic entrepreneurs.
“An economy built to last includes boosting entrepreneurship opportunities in Hispanic American communities,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “The SBA is having a powerful impact in this sector, with a billion dollars in loans to Hispanic-owned businesses last year alone. The pilot program we are announcing today will help us do better.
“Combining our resources with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will spur new business growth, drive competitiveness and innovation, and strengthen our economic recovery and growth,” Mills said.
The new pilot program between the SBA and the USHCC will help widen the agency’s outreach efforts and connect Hispanic small-business owners and entrepreneurs with local lenders and business counseling to help them grow and create more jobs. The pilot partnership will launch programs with Hispanic chambers in four cities and statewide programs in four states: Austin and El Paso, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Philadelphia; and Florida, California, Ohio and Utah.
The pilot program follows a memorandum of alliance between the SBA and the USHCC, signed in May. The agreement allows both organizations to help Hispanic entrepreneurs achieve their goals through education of business start-up opportunities, and will work to increase lending within the Hispanic enterprise community.
The aim of the partnership is to help increase access to lending and counseling for Hispanic small businesses, widen participation of small Hispanic-owned businesses in SBA’s procurement programs, and spread awareness of SBA’s programs and services among Hispanic-owned small businesses.
Since 2009, SBA has supported more than 12,000 loans worth $4.4 billion to Hispanic-owned small businesses, with nearly $1 billion in lending in 2012 alone. Over the same period, SBA has trained and counseled more than 532,000 Hispanic-owned small businesses through its network of district and field offices, and resource partner network, including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE. SBA also has helped Hispanic-owned businesses secure $32.7 billion of prime contracts from the federal government, providing a major revenue base.
The national alliance will also help to forge stronger relationships among SBA district offices, local USHCC chambers chapters and SBA resource partners, and strengthen efforts to help even more Hispanic-owned small firms succeed, and expand the reach of SBA’s program and services.