Our Blog

Your Stories & Actionable Tips

Subscribe now to get instant access to stories from business owners like you, funding opportunities from Hello Alice and our partners, and tips from small business experts.

Subscribe
An illustrated image of Ziggy looking at a screen with various cards on it
NYC entrepreneurs enjoy wine, snacks, and networking at a festive seasonal event.
Events

NYC Entrepreneurs Sleigh the Season with Hello Alice, Shopify, and TikTok

Hello Alice and our partners at Shopify and TikTok were delighted to host New York City small business owners for two at-capacity, in-person events designed to help owners sleigh the season on Tiktok this holiday and long after.  Hundreds of small business owners from our NYC community gathered in Shopify’s SoHo space on October 19 and November 15 to learn how to attract customers on Tiktok and set up a strategic plan for success, while enjoying light bites, free headshot opportunities, swag, and convivial networking all around. During each event, our friends at TikTok were joined by special guest creators — including TikTok sensation and commercial filmmaker Grace Wells, who has over 2.4M followers and 52M likes — to discuss tips and tricks for optimizing trends, finding and attracting new customers, turning hearts into carts, and building success on the fastest-growing social media platform.   "TikTok is unique in a lot of ways,” Grace told the group. “The discoverability is absolutely insane. You can be an account with zero followers and have a video that gets literally 20 million views.” She encouraged owners to take advantage of the many TikTok tools available to help them. “The reply comment feature for videos, the duet feature, the stitch feature — there’s so many ways that you can enhance the engagement and the connection you have with your audience.” Thank you to every small business owner who attended, asked questions, and made these events two nights to remember.  Next, we’re taking the event over to Los Angeles on December 6 — register here to sleigh the season in LA. Additional Support for Your Small Business Free Shopify and TikTok Guides Set Up Your Shopify Store Expand Your Reach with Shopify Tools Create a Winning Holiday E-Commerce Strategy Get Started on TikTok Create Scroll-Stopping Content on TikTok Boost Your Results with TikTok Tools New Grant Opportunities Visit the Small Business Funding Center to find new grant opportunities and lending options, including: $25K Small Business Growth Fund, accepting applications until January 6, 2023 from high-growth small businesses $5K Keep It Local Fund, accepting applications until December 16, 2022 from entrepreneurs of color Upcoming Hello Alice Events Get ready for success in 2023 with experiences designed to help you reach your goals: Goal Setting Workshop,  December 8, 2023 Small Business Boost Camp Accelerator, January 23-25, 2023 Learn more about getting forward focused on 2023 with Hello Alice. Free Resources From Our Partners Do you live in NYC or LA? The Shopify calendar is jam-packed with pop-ups, workshops, art parties and more.  See what's upcoming in NYC or LA. Download your free TikTok Holiday Playbook for in-depth tools and resources to help build the business of your dreams on TikTok.
Nov 22, 2022 • 2 min read
Black entrepreneurs and representatives of Hello Alice and Mastercard pose at an event for Black-owned small businesses.
Events

Hello Alice and Mastercard Celebrate New York City’s Black-Owned Small Businesses

November 3 was a night to remember with more than 100 small business owners from across New York City joining Hello Alice and Mastercard to network and discuss the challenges and triumphs of Black entrepreneurship — all part of the Mastercard Strive tour, encouraging the support of Black-owned small businesses across the country. Guests gathered at the stylish Flatiron District boutique Noir et Blanc and enjoyed drinks from Brooklyn’s Happy Cork as speakers from Mastercard and the Hello Alice community led a lively discussion on breaking down barriers and opening new pathways to success. Speakers included: Ginger Siegel, North America Small Business Lead, Mastercard International  Deann Donahue, VP of Business Development, Mastercard  Natalie Diamond, VP of Business Development, Hello Alice Ken Ebie, Executive Director and CEO, Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) Savonne Anderson, owner, Aya Paper Co. Deborah Koenigsburger, owner, Noir et Blanc Deborah Koenigsburger, the recipient of a COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant and the owner of Noir et Blanc, inspired the room with her message of resilience and community: “Getting the grant was the first time someone gave me something for my business that I didn’t have to give back. My advice is to educate yourself about what’s out there to help you and take advantage of it. There are a lot of people trying to support our community right now. There are a lot of people that believe in us more than we believe in us. Get on the bandwagon!” Download the full recap of the event now! Wondering if a Mastercard Strive event is heading your way? Join a Strive City chapter now and stay up to date on all Mastercard Strive resources available for you! About the Hello Alice x Mastercard Partnership In partnership with Hello Alice, Mastercard has pledged $500 million to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities across America. Together we’re focused on getting small business owners the capital, technical assistance, and tools they need to grow: The $25K Small Business Grant Fund — open until January 6, 2023 The Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard Mastercard Strive City chapters Educational resources to support digital readiness through Digital Doors
Nov 15, 2022 • 2 min read
A Black female entrepreneur smiles proudly.
Events

4 Ways to Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week! Celebrated from November 14–20 with over 40,000 events taking place in more than 200 countries around the globe, #GEW2022 is the week for adventurers, dreamers, risk-takers, and small business owners just like you to come together, reflect, plan, strategize, contribute to your community, and — okay — brag a little about just how amazing you are.  Organized by our friends at GEN Global, this year’s celebration focuses on four key pillars: education, inclusion, ecosystems, and policy. Each pillar is at the heart of ensuring small businesses continue to find the resources they need to succeed and contribute to the health of our communities worldwide.  Get out in your community and enjoy Global Entrepreneurship Week. Find a listing of events in your area from GEN Global, and share your story on social with #GEW2022!   Here are four more ways you can celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week and work to propel your business forward at the same time! Here’s to YOU! 1. Get Educated — No Matter Your Budget or Time to Spare Investing in yourself is critical, even when you’re over-extended, strapped for cash, and trying to make it through the busiest time of year. Keep calm! We’re ready to help you take action and thrive in the year ahead.  Milestones Hello Alice Milestones break down essential business topics like fundraising, marketing, and branding into step-by-step guides to help you level up your operations for FREE any time you need. Get started now. Goal Setting Workshop: Charting the Course for 2023 Refresh your clarity, direction, and focus with this engaging virtual class. Hello Alice Chief Product and Technology Officer Kelsey Ruger will share his science-backed approach to reaching goals and taking charge of your business. Register now: December 9, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET Boost Camp  Reset your business and mindset for 2023 over three powerful days led by Hello Alice Co-founder Carolyn Rodz! Carolyn designed Boost Camp with her own failures and your specific needs in mind. She’s now determined to help you strategically focus your priorities, define your roadmap, and de-risk your business model to change the way you operate and grow — with workshops, feedback, accountability check-ins, loads of invaluable learning, surprises, and incredible guest speakers on the schedule, including: Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble Sallie Krawcheck Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest Noora Raj Brown, Executive Vice President of Brand at Goop Allan Jones, Founder and CEO of Bambee Phyllis Newhouse, legendary entrepreneur and investor    Register now: January 23-25, 2023, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET 2. Connect With Your Inclusive Community to Grow You’re part of 1,000,000+ small businesses spanning all industries, demographics, and locations in the Hello Alice community. Every time you attend an in-person or virtual event, apply for a grant, connect with a fellow owner on social media, or even tell somebody about an opportunity on Hello Alice, you’re bolstering the diverse and driven community that we’ve built together.  A few inclusive offerings on Hello Alice right now: Mastercard Strive Join a community of Black-owned small businesses in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dayton, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and St. Louis. The Hello Alice Small Business Secured Mastercard Helps you build or rebuild your credit over time and unlock opportunities as you grow.  Every entrepreneur deserves a chance to secure their financial future! NEW Grant Opportunities Hello Alice, in partnership with the Nextdoor Kind Foundation and NAACP, is now accepting applications for the $5K Keep it Local Business Fund. Preference will be given to businesses in Home & Garden, Personal & Professional Services, Retail, Restaurant/Food Services, Health & Wellness, and Child & Pet Care. Application deadline: Dec. 16, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET The Small Business Growth Fund, in partnership with Mastercard and part of the Year of Small Business movement, offers high-growth small businesses the opportunity to receive a $25,000 grant to help them reach their next big milestone. Application deadline: Jan. 6, 2023, at 6 p.m. ET Search for grants, loans, and other financing options and get the capital you need to grow your businesses in The Hello Alice Small Business Funding Center 3. Access Free Resources from Our Ecosystem Partners Nearly 80% of Hello Alice owners tell us they can’t access the resources they need to grow.  We’re working hard with our trusted partners to break down those barriers and help your small business thrive. FREE resources from our partners designed specifically for New Majority owners:  StartOut supports LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and startup founders, with community events, one-on-one mentorship, one-on-one office hours with experts, a 6-month accelerator program, and investor connections USHCC Navigates offers free bilingual counseling for the Hispanic entrepreneur community. In partnership with Hello Alice, they’ve also created bilingual guides to grow your business: Understand Your Business Model: English | Español Map Your Business Model: English | Español Create Your Vision Statement: English | Español Choose Your Business Structure: English | Español Create a Competitive Analysis Report: English | Español Write a Traditional Business Plan: English | Español Get an EIN: English | Español Bunker Labs provides community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses  The SBA offers a multitude of resources, from funding to education, and stellar local assistance opportunities from its invaluable Small Business Development Centers to helpful business mentorship in partnership with SCORE  Likewise, GEN Global is a hub of resources and is especially helpful for staying up-to-date on opportunities in your area to connect and network with other entrepreneurs  4. Advocate for Yourself and Your Community Inflation. Supply-chain woes. Access to capital.  Barriers. Hurdles.  Knowing what you’re up against as an entrepreneur is critical to understanding where advocacy begins. Stay apprised:  Listen to Hello Alice co-founder Elizabeth Gore discuss the overwhelming need for equitable access to capital with GEN’s Jonathan Ortmans in honor of GEW2022, and her recent interview with Cheddar News about military-connected entrepreneurs finding pathways to success. Keep an eye on our Impact Reports to stay up to date on the challenges and needs facing small business owners just like you.  Find out more about the important policy work our partners are doing on your behalf.  Visit the SBA Office of Advocacy and read the latest policy news from GEN Global.  For more information on Global Entrepreneurship Week, head to genglobal.org/gew!
Nov 14, 2022 • 4 min read
Impact Reports

4 Insights About Military-connected Businesses in 2022

In honor of Veterans Day and Military Family Month, Hello Alice conducted a survey to understand the challenges and needs of military-connected small business owners.  Among the 1,000,000+ small businesses spanning all industries, demographics, and locations in the Hello Alice community, more than 90,000 military-connected owners come to Hello Alice for support, funding opportunities, and resources.  This temperature check captures their unique challenges including accessing and building credit, securing financing, and dealing with the rising costs of marketing. These responses highlight our need to offer more opportunities, solutions, and educational resources to better help serve the entrepreneurs who’ve proudly served our country. Hello Alice is committed to getting these vital resources into the hands of our military-connected communities. Here are some key takeaways about military-connected small business owners in 2022: 1) Military-connected Business Owners Struggle With Raising Capital Raising capital ranks as the number one challenge for military-connected small business owners for the third year running. More than two-thirds of military-connected owners have applied for a traditional bank loan in the last 5 years, and 43% have been denied — significantly higher than the 34% denial rate for non-military owners. 2) Optimism Is Greater Than Among Non-military Owners An overwhelming 87% of military-connected owners currently express confidence that their business will stay afloat (compared to 84% of non-military owners). The overall outlook has improved significantly over the last year. In fact, the portion of military-connected owners who say their business is steady has increased more than 10% QoQ and increased 24% from 2021. 3) Difficulties With Marketing Are Ballooning The portion of military owners ranking marketing as their top challenge has nearly doubled since 2020, and nearly 60% of owners struggling with marketing cite expanding search presence and paid advertising as obstacles.  Military-connected owners were also more likely to cite difficulties with social media and remarketing. The portion of military-connected businesses ranking social media as an obstacle is 38% higher than the portion of non-military businesses. 4) Building Credit Remains an Obstacle When it comes to raising capital, 63% of military-connected owners said building credit is an obstacle — nearly 22 percentage points higher than non-military owners! Almost half (48%) of military-connected owners claimed to have a personal credit card application denied in the last five years, and 33% have had a business credit card application denied. Increasing access to credit would have profound benefits for the military-connected community. According to survey data, 90% of military owners without business credit believe a business credit card would impact their business in a positive way.  Specifically: 54% said they would use the card to cover unexpected expenses 53% said they would use it to pursue new opportunities 51% said it would allow their business to grow more quickly. Partner Spotlight Bunker Labs provides community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses.  Signature programs include: Veterans in Residence — An early-stage business incubator CEOcircle — A year-long program that builds a brain-trust of peers Ambassador Program — A dynamic program connecting military community business owners in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem More Resources Interested in learning more about military-connected business owners? Download the full Hello Alice report here. Is your company or organization interested in supporting this important work? Or gaining insights about your community of business owners? If so, please reach out to [email protected] Finally, for media inquiries or interview requests, please contact [email protected]
Nov 8, 2022 • 2 min read
Illustration of Atlanta's skyline with a large peach among the buildings.
Events

Hello Alice and Mastercard Celebrate Black-Owned Small Businesses in Atlanta

Over 100 Atlanta small business owners joined Hello Alice and Mastercard on September 13, 2022 for a curated evening of networking, conversation, and light bites while shopping Black-owned small businesses at The Village Retail — all part of the Mastercard Strive tour heading to New York and more cities soon!  The evening featured a lineup of intriguing speakers from Mastercard and the Hello Alice community who discussed the triumphs and challenges of Atlanta’s Black-owned small business community, including:  Paul Wilson JR., Innovation & Entrepreneurship Director,  Russell Innovation Center for EntrepreneurPatrice Jackson, owner, Sweet Honey RoseDr. Erica Gamble, owner, The Wig Dr. Boutique and Hair Loss CenterLakeysha “Dr. Key” Hallmon,  founder and CEO, The Village Retail Market The support, creativity, and energy among all attendees was a reminder of the resilience of Hello Alice’s community of 1M+ owners and our commitment to getting you the resources you need to grow.  Why? As Patrice of Sweet Honey Rose summed it up: “It’s the pride you feel when people keep coming back, time and time again, not just to do you favors – but because your product is changing their lives.”  Download the full recap of the event now! Wondering if a Mastercard Strive event is heading your way? Join a Strive City chapter now and stay up to date on all Mastercard Strive resources available for you! About the Hello Alice and Mastercard Partnership In partnership with Hello Alice, Mastercard has pledged $500 million to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities across America. Together we’re focused on getting small business owners the capital, technical assistance, and tools they need to grow: Grant opportunitiesThe Hello Alice Small Business MastercardMastercard Strive City chaptersEducational resources to support digital readiness through Digital Doors
Oct 12, 2022 • < 1 min read
Runner's feet pound the pavement during a marathon
Uncategorized

Announcing $5,000 Grants for New York Small Businesses!

The 2022 TCS New York City Marathon takes over the streets of NYC on Sunday, November 6, and our friends at Mastercard— proud supporter of New York Road Runners and the TCS New York City Marathon since 2020 — know just how much running a small business is like going the distance each and every day. This year we’re looking for five (5) local businesses who live and breathe New York City and the entrepreneurial ethos that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” to apply to receive a grant. Mastercard will be awarding $5,000 Small Business Growth Fund grants to one small business in each of the five (5) boroughs of New York City. But hurry — applications for this round of funding close on October 14, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. Eligible businesses must: ● Be a for-profit business ● Have less than $1M in 2021 gross annual revenue ● Have a commitment to their customers and community ● Have a clear plan for use of funds. The deadline for this round of funding is October 14, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. Apply now! Additional Support for Your Small Business Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic Mastercard’s free Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic helps you holistically assess your business across six key strategic dimensions, benchmark yourself against industry best practices, and obtain expert recommendations. Learn more. Mastercard Digital Doors® Now more than ever, having a digital presence is critical. Access resources to get you online, protect your business, and ensure you have the right tools to digitally transform. Learn more.
Oct 5, 2022 • < 1 min read
A woman stands proudly with her arms crossed in front of a building and palm trees.
Small Business Funding

Apply Now to the 2022 Stacy’s Rise Project!

Are you a woman-founded small business in the food and beverage industry? Would $15,000 help you support your business and better serve your customers?  Hello Alice and Stacy's Pita Chips have partnered for a new grant fund just for you. All you need to do is apply! What is the Stacy's Rise Project? Hello Alice and Stacy's Pita Chips have partnered to offer the latest iteration of the Stacy's Rise Project. Created to help bridge the funding gap for founders, the Stacy’s Rise Project has been connecting and empowering small business owners for years. But Stacy’s Pita Chips wasn’t always a household name. Marketing, mentorship, and monetary support helped this brand rise from a humble sandwich cart to the nation’s supermarkets. And it’s these same resources that today’s entrepreneurs need to succeed — now, more than ever. The Stacy's Rise Project will award $15,000 grants to 10 women-founded small businesses in the food and beverage industry. For chef Jocelyn Ramirez (pictured above), founder of LA-based Toto Verde and a 2021 Stacy's Rise recipient: "This funding will be used towards our launch efforts for our first plant-based product line of seasoning, helping our community in making more easy delicious, and culturally relevant meals at home." What will $15k help you accomplish? We want to know! Who is eligible for this grant funding?  To be eligible, applicants must: ​​Be a for-profit U.S.- based business selling a consumer packaged good (CPG)Be at least 50% woman-founded (based on original founding, not current investment ownership)Have annualized sales of between $25,000 and $1M. Other eligibility criteria include:  Must be willing to participate in a virtual mentorship programMust not be part of an accelerator program at the time of participation For a full list of eligibility criteria, see the terms and conditions. When is the deadline?  Applications open now through October 21, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. Apply now! Hop over to our funding center to find even more funding opportunities.
Sep 12, 2022 • 2 min read
A blue credit card with a rabbit and Hello Alice branding on it.
Small Business Funding

Hello Alice Launches Best-In-Class Small Business Credit Card with Mastercard

Hello Alice, the free platform helping over one million small businesses launch and grow, today proudly announced the launch of the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard as it broadens its suite of inclusive capital products. In partnership with Mastercard, the exclusive payments network, and First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), the card offers small business owners industry-leading accessibility to tools and services including expert business advice, powerful business insights, cashback, and a unique rewards program featuring the ability to earn points by completing business-advancing activities on the Hello Alice platform. "We designed the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard to meet the needs of small business owners where they are, breaking longstanding barriers to mentorship, access to credit, and overall financial health for those who have traditionally been denied access," said Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, co-founders of Hello Alice, "In times of economic boom and bust, access to capital remains the leading challenge for all small business owners, and particularly for New Majority owners, which is why we continue to focus our efforts on expanding the capital continuum beyond our existing grants and loans programs." To maximize capital accessibility for all small business owners, the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard will be offered as a traditional credit card as well as one with additional provisions to help with credit-building. For business owners with a limited or poor credit history, the credit-building credit card provides cardholders full card benefits while they improve their credit. In as few as twelve months, small business owners may, subject to credit approval, seamlessly graduate from a secured to an unsecured card, a unique feature in the market. "Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, yet too often face significant obstacles in securing the resources they deserve, particularly if the owners come from underserved communities," said Linda Kirkpatrick, president for North America at Mastercard. "The launch of the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard is an important step in our mission to build a more inclusive digital economy by providing small businesses with the financial tools and capital they need to thrive, while also advancing our half-billion-dollar commitment to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities." The card is part of Hello Alice's larger Equitable Access to Capital program, a commitment to ensure that all small businesses have access to the capital they need to grow the sustainable businesses that power the national economy. The program provides all of the financial products, tools, and education for owners to scale their businesses, including its own grant fund providing security deposits for high-potential but credit-challenged small business owners. By 2025, Hello Alice estimates that approximately $70 million in grants could fund credit enhancements for approximately 30,000 business owners, unlocking up to $1 billion in credit access. Entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, or people with disabilities continue to face barriers to accessing the capital they need for long-term success. In the latest Small Business Capital Access Study completed by Hello Alice*, seventy-eight percent of small business owners claim access to capital is limiting their ability to manage their day-to-day operations, with Black (84%) and Multi-Racial (82%) owners over-indexing on this claim. Eighty-nine percent of owners claim access to capital is limiting their business growth potential. The added stress of the pandemic and its lasting effects continue to impact small businesses. In a recent Hello Alice survey of Black business owners, 34%** of Black owners cited raising capital as their primary obstacle in 2022. "FNBO has been committed to helping small businesses succeed for 165 years, and we are proud to partner with Hello Alice and Mastercard in this vital initiative to elevate all small businesses," said Jerry J. O'Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Partner Customer Segment at First National Bank of Omaha. Hello Alice serves a diverse community of business owners across the country. Approximately 68% of owners are BIPOC, 63% are female, and 17% are military-affiliated. For small business owners interested in learning more about the card, please visit https://hialice.co/meet-the-card. Please direct all media requests to Renee Rossi, [email protected] *Based on data compiled from 2,978 small business owners across all 50 states. **Based on data compiled from 30,500 Black business owners across all 50 states. ABOUT HELLO ALICE  Founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice is a free platform serving more than one million small business owners across the United States. Committed to equitable access to capital for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and entrepreneurs with disabilities, Hello Alice offers funding, education, tools, and curated opportunities. Working with enterprise business services, ecosystem partners, affiliates, and government agencies, Hello Alice provides its growing community with everything they need to grow their businesses. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. ABOUT MASTERCARD (NYSE: MA)  Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. www.mastercard.com ABOUT FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OMAHA  First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) is a leader in the credit card partnership arena, with partners in a variety of industries including retail, travel, entertainment, automotive, oil, nonprofits and more. For over 60 years, FNBO has specialized in providing comprehensive credit card programs with personalized service to help its customers achieve their goals. Visit card.fnbo.com for more information.
Aug 16, 2022 • 4 min read
A jovial restaurateur sits inside her Bangladeshi eatery.
Small Business Funding

Announcing the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund Grant Recipients

We’re proud to announce the recipients of the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund! Each of these 13 restaurants will receive a $10,000 grant for rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, payroll, and other essential expenses. DoorDash launched the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund as part of its ongoing five-year, $200 million Main Street Strong pledge to empower local communities. In partnership with Hello Alice, DoorDash has also developed step-by-step guides to help business owners both prepare for a disaster before it strikes and how to recover and rebuild their businesses in the aftermath. "This grant means we can finally begin improvement projects and ultimately reopen dine-in for our loyal guests who have been long-awaiting our sit-down service," says recipient Nur-E Rahman (pictured above) of Jersey City-based Bangladeshi eatery Korai Kitchen. "We are so grateful." Congrats to the recipients below, and save the date: Round 3 of the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund is currently open and closes on September 23. Apply today! Spring 2022 Recipients Winter 2021 Recipients Looking for more grant opportunities and lending options to the Small Business Funding Center to find more grant opportunities and lending options.
Aug 15, 2022 • < 1 min read
A business owner does work while on the phone.
Small Business Funding

Find and Secure Small Business Funding with These 3 Guides

New Majority business owners say a key barrier to fundraising is not knowing what to expect. And we don’t blame anyone for feeling this way — fear of the unknown is real. As business owner Gwendolyn Washington told the Kaufman Foundation, “What you lack [is] the community ... a line of people who you already know who can teach you and support you.” To help break down this barrier, Hello Alice has partnered with Silicon Valley Bank to create a milestone with practical steps for fundraising preparation and all it entails. Broken down into three guides, this milestone includes actionable information to get you on the road to reaching your fundraising goals. In addition to these go-at-your-own-pace guides, we’ll also hosted three, free Ask-Me-Anything events, during which industry experts from Silicon Valley Bank answered any questions about the topics covered in each guide.  Missed the live AMAs? Check out the recordings below to catch up on how to find and secure funding for your business now! 1. Determine How Much to Raise Understanding how much money you truly need is the first step to protecting ownership of your business. Early money is likely the most expensive money you’ll take — and it’s important to ensure it doesn’t come with too many strings attached. The first guide in the milestone, Determine How Much to Raise, will help you through this crucial process. Watch the full Ask-Me-Anything, featuring Silicon Valley Bank's Sophie Nazarian, and Kristin Olszewski, founder and CEO of Nomadica, below! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGUitvnSXEU 2. Design Your Pitch Deck The second guide, Design Your Pitch Deck, will help you craft a solid pitch deck to present to potential investors. Because venture capitalists and angel investors wade through hundreds of startup pitch decks every year, a complete and well-positioned deck can help your business stand out from the crowd. Watch Silicon Valley Bank's Sophie Nazerian and Micaela Amaroli, and Jennifer Richard, Principal at Bonfire Ventures, talk pitch decks below! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nquMaLS2uJU 3. Negotiate and Close the Deal The last guide of the milestone, Negotiate and Close the Deal, offers direction once you’ve garnered the attention of investors. With these tips and insights, you’ll be well on your way to securing capital for your business. Silicon Valley Bank's Micaela Amaroli, and Louise Fritjoffson, founder of Martie, walk you through even more tips below. Are you ready to start fundraising and increase your capital? Time to get started! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jfoxmoX1tg For more small business tips and inspiration create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Aug 9, 2022 • 2 min read
Entrepreneur Sandra Portal-Andreu enjoys chips and dip from her company's sustainable container for small bites.
Small Business Funding

Apply to The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch Today!

If your small business received a $10,000 grant, what would be your next big move?  That’s what we want to know from anyone applying for The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch. What is The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by Sia Scotch? Part of the Year of Small Business movement, this grant program addresses small business owners’ number one need: access to capital. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 grant to accelerate their growth and help make 2022 the year of their small business. "The support from SIA Scotch further solidifies our purpose and mission to bring people to the table. !Muchísimas Gracias!" says Sandra Portal-Andreu (pictured above), artist and co-founder of eco-friendly company Tappas, one of twenty five outstanding recipients funded in 2021.  Who is eligible for this grant funding? Eligible businesses must: Be owned 51%+ by person(s) of colorBe a for-profit business producing less than $5M in annual gross revenueOperate and/or conduct business in at least one of the following states: CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NV, NY, RI and/or TX.NOT be an alcohol beverage retail license holder (such as a bar, restaurant, hotel, or store which sells or serves alcohol) or a business which makes alcohol Eligible applicants must: Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United StatesBe at least 25 years or older as of November 1, 2022 Be the owner or an individual who is legally authorized to bind the Business for purposes of participation in the ProgramNOT have ownership interest and/or be invested in an alcohol beverage retail license holder (such as a business or establishment which owns a license to make, sell or serve alcohol)NOT be an employee of a retail license holder Preference will be given to businesses in the food and beverage industry, such as those who offer products and services across kitchenware, glassware, barware, cocktail mixers, at-home entertaining/party planning, food trucks, cafes, food and beverage blogging, recipe curation, and more.  Additional restrictions apply. See the terms and conditions for details. Do I need to submit a new application if I applied in 2021? If you applied and were not selected as a recipient previously you are welcome to submit a new application. We will evaluate your application based on any new information and judge it against a new pool of applicants! Everyone who applies receives free access to the thousands of curated resources and a community of nearly one million small business owners on Hello Alice. When is the deadline? The application deadline is September 26, at 6 p.m. ET. Learn more and apply today! Still have questions? Read our FAQ. Sponsored by SIA Scotch Whisky. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. SIA Blended Scotch Whisky. 43% Alc/Vol. Imported by Diageo, New York, NY. Do not share with anyone under the age of 21. Restrictions apply.
Aug 2, 2022 • 2 min read
Small Business Funding

Announcing the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Round 2 of 2022!

Maryland small business owners can now apply for the next round of a grant program funded by BGE in partnership with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Launched in January 2021, the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants will distribute $5 million to Maryland small business owners seeking COVID-19 relief during this second round of funding for 2022. Eligible businesses located in BGE’s central Maryland service area can apply for a grant of $20,000 each. Applicants will need to demonstrate financial need, and preference will be given to New Majority business owners disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Applications are now open until August 26, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET.  Applicants must be a for-profit business and an existing BGE electric and/or gas customer with positive BGE credit history. Other eligibility criteria include: For-profit business founded in 2020 or priorIn good standing (or on the way to) with the State of MarylandA maximum of twenty-five (25) employees Annual gross revenues in 2021 of less than $7 million USDDemonstrated need for funding to support business and serve customers If you applied and were not selected for previous rounds of the program, you are welcome to submit a new application. We will evaluate your application based on any new information and judge it against a new pool of applicants!  “Our hope is that the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants will provide much-needed help to hundreds of small businesses in our community, especially historically underrepresented minority and women-owned businesses," said BGE CEO Carim Khouzami. "This is part of a multi-layered plan to provide direct assistance to energy customers, area nonprofits, and government partners to help put Maryland back on its feet for the long-term, as the public health crisis begins to lift.” Hundreds of recipients have been announced as part of the 2021 funding rounds and first round of 2022.  Arion Long, Founder & CEO of Femly, a for-profit social enterprise that increases access to natural & organic feminine hygiene products based in Baltimore, MD, was a recipient of a 2021 BGE Energizing Small Business Grant. She says, “This funding will help our organization scale to stock restrooms and do our part to end ‘period poverty.’” Visit bge.helloalice.com to learn more about the program and apply for the grant today!
Jul 18, 2022 • 2 min read
Black entrepreneur Lorne Jenkins smiles for the camera.
Small Business Funding

Meet the Small Business Growth Fund Recipients

Hello Alice is proud to announce the recipients of the Small Business Growth Fund!  What is the Small Business Growth Fund?  Part of the Year of Small Business movement, the Small Business Growth Fund exists to empower small business owners and strengthen the overall small business economy by addressing SMBs' number one need: access to capital. Now in its second round of funding, each recipient will receive a $5,000 grant, provided by Mastercard, to accelerate their growth and help make 2022 the year of their small business. The Small Business Growth Fund Recipients  Hello Alice is proud to say that many recipients identify as part of the New Majority of small business owners: 67% people of color69% women7% military-affiliated36% LGBTQIA+22% people with disabilities While their businesses span a variety of industries and stages of growth, the recipients all share a common commitment to impact. Each owner told us how they create jobs, integrate social impact, and donate to local causes and organizations. "We are running a camp called Mini Money Runners this summer in Antonito, Colorado," says Lorne Jenkins (pictured above), founder of Mini Money, a financial literacy app and educational program for schools. "The average income in the county is $22,000 and it is 82% Latino. This grant funding will go to funding the financial literacy portion of the camp, and pay teachers to host workshops that cover money, emotions, budgeting, and entrepreneurship throughout the six-week sessions." Get to know the full list of Small Business Growth Fund recipients below, and visit the Small Business Funding Center to find more grant opportunities and lending options. Round 2 Grant Recipients Round 1 Grant Recipients For more small business funding opportunities and inspiration create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Jul 12, 2022 • < 1 min read
Two entrepreneurs pose side by side.
Small Business Funding

Announcing the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Recipients

We’re proud to announce the recipients of the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants! What is the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Program? BGE has pledged $15 million to assist Maryland’s small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery. With support and guidance from Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, BGE created the Energizing Small Business Grants program which provides recipients $20,000 grants. Hundreds of recipients have already been announced as part of the 2021 funding rounds! The BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Recipients To qualify for the first round of 2022 funding, Maryland-based, for-profit businesses had to be founded in or prior to 2020, be in good standing with the State of Maryland, have fewer than 25 employees, have a gross annual revenue of less than $7M for 2021, and be able to demonstrate a need for funding that supports their business and serves their customers. Congratulations to all BGE Energizing Small Business Grants recipients! Round 1 Grant Recipients, 2022 Round 3 Grant Recipients, 2021 Round 2 Grant Recipients, 2021 Round 1 Grant Recipients, 2021 For more small business funding opportunities and inspiration create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Jun 15, 2022 • < 1 min read
Impact Reports

Cuatro Perspectivas Sobre Los Emprendedores Hispanos en 2022

En celebración del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, Hello Alice realizó una encuesta para investigar las dificultades y los triunfos que enfrenta la comunidad de pequeñas empresas hispanas. La encuesta se realizó en asociación con Square, que ayuda a millones de vendedores a operar sus empresas con herramientas que incluyen desde un procesamiento seguro de tarjetas de crédito hasta soluciones de punto de venta, la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos (United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, USHCC) y la Red de Acción Empresarial Latina (Latino Business Action Network, LBAN). Hello Alice revisó las respuestas de la encuesta de más de 2,700 propietarios de pequeñas empresas y comparó esta información con su comunidad general de más de un millón de emprendedores. El informe también recopila historias de emprendedores hispanos para capturar sus necesidades y enfoques únicos para operar sus empresas. En este informe, explicamos cuatro perspectivas clave y recomendamos soluciones para servicios comerciales empresariales, socios de ecosistemas y propietarios de pequeñas empresas individuales en búsqueda de negocios para todos. Perspectiva clave n.º 1: La inflación impulsa la demanda de capital adicional Cuando se los encuestó sobre sus mayores dificultades comerciales, más comúnmente los propietarios hispanos mencionaron dos áreas relacionadas: obtener capital (30%) y hacer crecer su empresa (24%). Los resultados de nuestra encuesta señalan a la inflación como una clara causa: El 89% de los propietarios hispanos informan que, actualmente, la inflación está afectando su empresa: cuatro puntos porcentuales más que los propietarios no hispanos.El 70% de los propietarios hispanos informan que los impactos inflacionarios son peores que hace seis meses atrás.El 43% de todos los propietarios hispanos que tienen dificultades con el crecimiento nos informaron que tenían problemas para obtener materia prima o inventario en la economía actual. Gran parte de esta dificultad refleja la necesidad de mayor alfabetización y educación financiera: El 86% de los propietarios hispanos nos informaron que su principal dificultad para acceder a capital era encontrar oportunidades de financiación.El 43% de los propietarios hispanos buscan oportunidades de generación de crédito.El 29% de los propietarios hispanos han rechazado una tarjeta de crédito comercial en los últimos cinco años.El 35% de los propietarios hispanos han rechazado una tarjeta de crédito personal en los últimos cinco años.El 29% de los propietarios hispanos planifican solicitar financiación en 2022, una cifra notablemente menor que el 36% de los propietarios no hispanos que planifican hacer lo mismo. Estos hechos indican la necesidad de recursos adicionales para educar y conectar a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas hispanas con oportunidades de financiación disponibles. Ampliar el acceso a subsidios, préstamos, tarjetas de crédito y otros componentes del continuo de capital es una manera de abordar las mayores dificultades de los propietarios hispanos de forma inmediata y de eliminar su único mayor obstáculo para el crecimiento. Perspectiva clave n.º 2: El panorama comercial de 2023 depende de la adquisición y la contratación de clientes En total, el 81% de los propietarios hispanos informan que confían en que su empresa crecerá en 2023, lo que está a la par de las respuestas de la comunidad general de pequeñas empresas. Sin embargo, cuando le preguntamos a la comunidad de pequeñas empresas de Hello Alice qué factores determinarán principalmente su posible éxito, los propietarios hispanos apuntaron sólidamente hacia dos categorías: adquirir clientes nuevos y contratar a un equipo. Los propietarios hispanos mencionaron que adquirir clientes nuevos (33%) era un factor determinante casi tan a menudo como la capacidad para obtener financiación (35%). Cuando se les preguntó qué dificultaba la contratación: El 68% de los propietarios hispanos informan que tienen problemas para encontrar y reclutar candidatos.El 34% de los propietarios hispanos tienen dificultades para determinar un salario y beneficios competitivos.El 27% de los propietarios hispanos tienen problemas para encontrar ayuda a tiempo parcial. Sin soluciones para superar las dificultades para adquirir clientes y contratar a trabajadores, podemos esperar un panorama comercial de 2023 desalentador para los propietarios hispanos. Perspectiva clave n.º 3: Los propietarios hispanos ven el marketing como una dificultad y una oportunidad En relación con su enfoque en la adquisición de clientes, hay más probabilidades de que los propietarios hispanos mencionen que el marketing es una dificultad considerable en comparación con la población general (11% frente a 7.6%). En particular, los propietarios hispanos identifican dos posibles áreas de crecimiento relacionadas con el marketing: Al 57% de los propietarios hispanos les interesa un plan de marketing para enfocarse en la publicidad pagada.Al 54% de los propietarios hispanos les interesa un plan de marketing para enfocarse en las redes sociales. Brindar herramientas y educación para ayudar a los propietarios hispanos a optimizar su inversión digital contribuirá en gran medida a cumplir los objetivos relacionados con la adquisición y la retención de clientes. Además, obtener capital adicional les permitiría a estos propietarios invertir plenamente en áreas de oportunidad. Perspectiva clave n.º 4: Los propietarios buscan soluciones de software para abordar las dificultades operativas Alrededor de la mitad (48%) de todos los propietarios de empresas de Hello Alice informan que siempre están buscando soluciones de última tecnología para su empresa, y otro 48% informa que está abierto a soluciones de nueva tecnología, pero solo si mejora los procesos de manera considerable. En particular, los propietarios expresaron el deseo de contar con herramientas que maximicen la eficiencia. Por ejemplo, casi el 22% de los propietarios que tienen dificultades con las operaciones diarias afirmaron que programar y administrar el tiempo era un obstáculo, una consecuencia del tiempo y los recursos limitados de los propietarios. Estos sentimientos respecto del software son constantes en toda la comunidad de pequeñas empresas en general, incluidos tanto los propietarios de pequeñas empresas hispanas como los de pequeñas empresas no hispanas. Encontrar maneras de conectar a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas de forma proactiva con las herramientas correctas en el momento adecuado puede ayudarlos a maximizar la eficiencia y a acelerar el crecimiento a corto y largo plazo. Recursos para propietarios de empresas hispanas: Para todos los propietarios de pequeñas empresas hispanas que lo necesiten, recomendamos las siguientes soluciones para abordar las dificultades documentadas en este informe: Oportunidades de acceso a subsidios, préstamos y créditos Busque subsidios, préstamos y otras opciones de financiación y obtenga el capital que los emprendedores hispanos necesitan para hacer crecer sus empresas. El Centro de Financiación para Pequeñas Empresas de Hello Alice ofrece aplicaciones sencillas y recomendaciones personalizadas. Módulos de capacitación virtual completos Hitos de Hello Alice analiza las dificultades comerciales más frecuentes de los propietarios hispanos: recaudación de fondos, marketing y contratación en guías paso a paso para ayudar a su empresa a alcanzar su máximo potencial. Con el apoyo del programa USHCC Navigates Small Business, una gran cantidad de módulos de capacitación virtual están disponibles en inglés y español. Comprensión de su modelo comercial: Inglés | EspañolEsquema de su modelo comercial: Inglés | EspañolCreación de su declaración de visión: Inglés | EspañolElección de su estructura comercial: Inglés | EspañolCreación de un informe de análisis competitivo: Inglés | EspañolRedacción de un plan comercial tradicional: Inglés | EspañolObtención de un número de identificación del empleador (EIN): Inglés | Español Domine y optimice sus habilidades de software con apoyo bilingüe, cortesía de Square El software puede tener una curva de aprendizaje. El Centro de Recursos Comerciales de Town Square de Square, disponible en inglés y español, ofrece investigaciones acreditadas y guías prácticas para ayudar a los propietarios hispanos a aprovechar al máximo sus soluciones digitales. Además, la Comunidad de Vendedores de Square (también disponible en inglés y español) les permite a los propietarios hispanos acceder a conocimientos entre pares y a la resolución de problemas. Obtenga asesoramiento comercial bilingüe gratis Los asesores comerciales bilingües están esperando a ayudarlo a progresar: servicios gratuitos impulsados por la Administración de Pequeñas Empresas (Small Business Administration, SBA) y Hello Alice, que recibirá a través de USHCC Navigates. Programe su cita gratis hoy. Más recursos y contexto Consulte y descargue el informe de impacto completo para propietarios de pequeñas empresas hispanas. Acerca de Hello Alice Empresa de propiedad latina fundada por Carolyn Rodz y Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice (helloalice.com) es una plataforma multicanal gratuita que ayuda a las empresas a crecer. Creemos que todos pueden tener su empresa al ofrecer acceso a todos los propietarios, incluidas mujeres, personas de color, personas relacionadas con el ejército, miembros de la comunidad LGBTQ+, personas con discapacidades y todo estadounidense con espíritu emprendedor. Acerca de Square Square ayuda a los vendedores a operar y hacer crecer sus empresas con mayor facilidad con su ecosistema integrado de soluciones de comercio. Square ofrece software creado para fines específicos para realizar operaciones complejas de restaurantes, venta minorista y servicios profesionales, herramientas de comercio electrónico versátiles, servicios financieros integrados y productos bancarios, funcionalidades de comprar ahora y pagar más tarde a través de Afterpay, administración de personal y funciones de nómina, y muchas opciones más: todo esto funciona en conjunto para ahorrarles tiempo y esfuerzo a los vendedores. Millones de vendedores de todo el mundo confían en Square para potenciar su empresa y para que los ayude a progresar en la economía. Square es parte de Block, Inc. (cotiza en la Bolsa de Nueva York), una empresa de tecnología mundial con un enfoque en servicios financieros. Para obtener más información, visite www.squareup.com. Acerca de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos La Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos (USHCC) promueve activamente el crecimiento, el desarrollo y los intereses económicos de cinco millones de empresas de propietarios hispanos que, en conjunto, contribuyen con más de $800,000 millones a la economía estadounidense todos los años. La USHCC es el grupo de defensa de pequeñas empresas más grande de los Estados Unidos y representa a más de 260 cámaras locales y asociaciones comerciales de todo el país, y se asocia con cientos de corporaciones estadounidenses importantes. Para obtener más información, visite ushcc.com. Síganos en Twitter: @USHCC. Acerca de la Red de Acción Empresarial Latina La LBAN es una empresa sin fines de lucro dinámica con sede en Silicon Valley, que tiene la gran misión de fortalecer la economía de los Estados Unidos al fomentar el espíritu emprendedor latino en todo el país. Nos asociamos a Stanford University a través de la Iniciativa de Espíritu Emprendedor Latino de Stanford (Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, SLEI) que recibe apoyo conjunto. Además de impulsar el Programa de Escalamiento Comercial de Educación e Investigación de la SLEI, la LBAN se centra en crear un ecosistema nacional para los propietarios de empresas latinas. Obtenga más información en lban.us.
Oct 5, 2022 • 6 min read
Impact Reports

4 Insights About Hispanic Entrepreneurs in 2022

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Hello Alice conducted a survey investigating the challenges and triumphs faced by Hispanic entrepreneurs. The survey was conducted in partnership with Square, which helps millions of sellers run their business with tools ranging from secure credit card processing to point of sale solutions, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), and the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN). Hello Alice reviewed survey responses from more than 2,700 small business owners and compared this information to its overall community of more than one million entrepreneurs. The report also compiles stories from Hispanic entrepreneurs to capture their needs and unique approaches to running their businesses. In this report, we elaborate on four key insights and recommend solutions for enterprise business services, ecosystem partners, and individual small business owners in pursuit of business for all.  Key Insight #1: Inflation Drives Demand for Additional Capital Among Hispanic Entrepreneurs When surveyed on their greatest business challenges, Hispanic owners most commonly cited two related areas: raising capital (30%) and growing my business (24%). Our survey results point to inflation as a clear culprit: 89% of Hispanic owners say that inflation is currently impacting their business — four percentage points higher than among non-Hispanic owners 70% of Hispanic owners say inflationary impacts are worse than six months ago43% of all Hispanic owners struggling with growth told us they are having trouble either obtaining raw materials or inventory in the current economy  Much of this difficulty reflects a need for greater financial literacy and education: 86% of Hispanic owners told us their primary difficulty in accessing capital is finding funding opportunities43% of Hispanic owners are searching for credit-building opportunities29% of Hispanic owners have been rejected for a business credit card in the last five years35% of Hispanic owners have been rejected for a personal credit card in the last five years29% of Hispanic owners plan to apply for financing in 2022 — notably lower than the 36% of non-Hispanic owners who plan to do the same These facts signal a need for additional resources to educate and connect Hispanic small business owners with available funding opportunities. Expanding access to grants, loans, credit cards, and other components of the capital continuum is one way to immediately address Hispanic owners’ biggest challenges and remove their single greatest barrier to growth. Key Insight #2: For Hispanic Entrepreneurs, 2023 Business Outlook Hinges on Customer Acquisition and Hiring In total, 81% of Hispanic owners say they’re confident their business will grow in 2023, which is on par with responses from the overall small business community. However, when we asked the Hello Alice small business community what factors will most determine their potential success, Hispanic owners over-indexed in two categories: acquiring new customers and hiring a team.  Hispanic owners cited acquiring new customers (33%) as a determining factor nearly as often as the ability to secure funding (35%). When asked what makes hiring difficult: 68% of Hispanic owners say they’re having trouble finding and recruiting candidates 34% of Hispanic owners are struggling to determine competitive pay and benefits27% of Hispanic owners are having trouble finding part-time help Without solutions to overcome challenges in acquiring customers and hiring workers, we can expect Hispanic owners to revise their 2023 business outlook for the worse. Key Insight #3: Hispanic Entrepreneurs See Marketing as a Challenge and Opportunity Related to their focus on customer acquisition, Hispanic owners are more likely than the overall population to cite marketing as a significant challenge (11% vs 7.6%). In particular, Hispanic owners identify two potential growth areas for marketing: 57% of Hispanic owners concerned with marketing plan to focus on paid advertising54% of Hispanic owners concerned with marketing plan to focus on social media Providing tools and education to help Hispanic owners optimize their digital spend will go a long way toward achieving goals around customer acquisition and retention. Additionally, securing additional capital would allow these owners to fully invest in areas of opportunity. Key Insight #4: Owners Seek Software Solutions to Address Operational Challenges About half (48%) of all Hello Alice business owners say they are always on the lookout for the latest technology solutions for their business, and another 48% say they are open to new technology solutions — but only if it significantly improves processes.  In particular, owners expressed a desire for tools that maximize efficiency. For example, nearly 22% of owners struggling with day-to-day operations stated scheduling and managing time as an obstacle, a consequence of owners’ limited time and resources.  These sentiments around software are consistent across the small business community as a whole, including both Hispanic and non-Hispanic small business owners. Finding ways to proactively connect small business owners with the right tools at the right time can help them maximize efficiency and accelerate both short- and long-term growth.  Resources for Hispanic Business Owners: To all Hispanic small business owners in need, we recommend the following solutions to address the challenges documented in this report: Access Grants, Loans, and Credit Opportunities Search for grants, loans, and other financing options and get the capital Hispanic entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses. The Hello Alice Small Business Funding Center offers easy applications and personalized recommendations. Complete Virtual Training Modules Hello Alice Milestones break down Hispanic owners’ most common business challenges — fundraising, marketing, and hiring — into step-by-step guides to help your business reach its full potential. With support provided by the USHCC Navigates Small Business program, a growing number of virtual training modules are available in both English and Spanish. Understand Your Business Model: English | EspañolMap Your Business Model: English | EspañolCreate Your Vision Statement: English | EspañolChoose Your Business Structure: English | EspañolCreate a Competitive Analysis Report: English | EspañolWrite a Traditional Business Plan: English | EspañolGet an EIN: English | Español Master and Optimize Your Software Skills with Bilingual Support, Courtesy of Square Software can have a learning curve. Available in both English and Spanish, Square’s Town Square Business Resource Center offers authoritative research and how-to guides to help Hispanic owners get the most out of their digital solutions. Additionally, Square’s Seller Community (also available in English and Spanish) allows Hispanic owners to access peer-to-peer knowledge and troubleshooting.  Get Free, Bilingual Business Counseling Bilingual Business Counselors are waiting to help you thrive — complimentary services powered by SBA and Hello Alice, brought to you by the USHCC Navigates. Make your free appointment today. More Resources & Context View and Download the Full Hispanic Small Business Owner Impact Report About Hello Alice A Latina-owned company founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice (helloalice.com) is a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses grow. We believe in business for all by providing access to all owners, including women, people of color, military-connected individuals, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, and every American with an entrepreneurial spirit.  About Square Square helps sellers more easily run and grow their businesses with its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions. Square offers purpose-built software to run complex restaurant, retail, and professional services operations, versatile e-commerce tools, embedded financial services and banking products, buy now, pay later functionality through Afterpay, staff management and payroll capabilities, and much more – all of which work together to save sellers time and effort. Millions of sellers across the globe trust Square to power their business and help them thrive in the economy. Square is part of Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ), a global technology company with a focus on financial services. For more information, visit www.squareup.com. About the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) actively promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of five million Hispanic-owned businesses that, combined, contribute over $800 billion to the American economy every year. The USHCC is America's largest small business advocacy group, representing more than 260 local chambers and business associations nationwide, and partners with hundreds of major American corporations. For more information, please visit ushcc.com. Follow us on Twitter @USHCC. About the Latino Business Action Network LBAN is a dynamic nonprofit based in Silicon Valley with a big mission to strengthen the U.S. economy by empowering Latino entrepreneurship across the country. We partner with Stanford University through the jointly supported Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI). In addition to driving SLE-Research, SLEI-Education Business Scaling Program, LBAN focuses on building a national ecosystem for Latino business owners.  Learn more at lban.us. For more small business tips and inspiration, create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Oct 5, 2022 • 5 min read
Impact Reports

5 Insights About Small Business Credit Usage in 2022

Small business owners look to credit cards as an engine for growth and protection against unexpected costs, according to new data from Hello Alice.  Hello Alice conducted a survey of more than 5,000 small business owners to better understand their credit needs and experiences. The results show that owners with personal and business credit cards heavily rely on them to operate and grow their businesses. Conversely, owners without access to credit believe a business credit card would help them operate, stabilize, and grow their firms.  Here are some key insights about small business credit usage in 2022: 1) Small Business Owners Rely on Personal Credit for Funding Currently, 73% of small business owners surveyed have a personal credit card. The majority (61%) of these owners use this personal credit card to fund their business — not simply for emergencies. In fact, nearly three-quarters of those who use their personal credit card to fund their business are using it at least monthly. Among those surveyed, the most common uses for personal credit cards include: to meet day-to-day operating expenses (63%)to expand the business and pursue new opportunities (50%)to replace and/or repair large, long-lasting business assets (38%).  Even so, accessing this credit has not come easy to all small business owners. Nearly 45% of those surveyed have claimed they have had a personal credit card application denied within the last five years. Of those who have a personal card, 41% have a total credit limit of under $3,000. These relatively low credit limits lessen the card’s utility for owners looking to cover large expenses or pursue areas of expansion. 2) Few Owners Make Use of Business Credit Surprisingly, 80% of owners claimed they either do not have a business credit score or they do not know their business credit score. Only 20% of owners currently have a business credit card, and nearly half (42%) of those business card holders have had it for less than a year.  As with personal credit cards, respondents told us they use business credit cards to operate, grow, and replace/repair capital assets. The difference emerges in how often owners use business credit: Nearly 50% of owners are using their business credit cards once a week or more to fund their business. Business credit cards also carry higher spending power, with only 30% of respondents reporting business credit limits of less than $5,000, compared to 52% of those with a personal card. 3) Despite Barriers, Demand for Business Credit is High In total, 90% of small business owners without business credit believe a business credit card would impact their business in a positive way.  Asked how a business credit card would specifically impact their business: 59% believe it would help cover unexpected expenses59% believe it would allow them to pursue new opportunities52% believe it would accelerate growth47% believe they would be more optimistic about the future of the business. Currently, only 25% of respondents have ever applied for a business credit card, and 85% of those applications were denied.  This modest application rate and high denial for business credit correlate with obstacles to obtaining personal credit. For example, 42% of owners reported a personal credit score less than 620, and 45% have had at least one personal credit card application denied in the last five years. 4) Owners Want Resources to Improve Their Credit According to our survey, 88% of small business owners want to improve either their personal or business credit or both, and 70% are interested in educational content on this topic.  Additionally, owners are already pursuing many strategies to improve their credit, including: paying bills on time (76%)disputing credit report errors (38%)using a secure credit card in hopes of improving credit (25%)requesting higher credit limits (22%)  5) Access to Personal and Business Credit is Not Equitable Crucially, access to credit varies widely across demographics.  For example, Black small business owners are much more likely to lack both a personal and business credit card (31%) compared to their white counterparts (12%). Less than half the portion of Black owners has a business credit card than the portion of white owners. Black owners also have a much higher rate of denial for both types of cards.  Education and technical assistance will be key to reversing this trend, and a resounding 93% of Black small business owners surveyed want to improve their credit.  More Resources Interested in learning more about small business credit access? Download the full report here. Is your company or organization interested in supporting this important work? Or gaining insights about your community of business owners? If so, please reach out to [email protected] Finally, for media inquiries or interview requests, please contact [email protected]
Aug 16, 2022 • 3 min read