The Aspen Institute reports that if Hispanic business owners were provided the resources to scale at the same rate as white-owned businesses, “an estimated $1.47 trillion dollars could be added to the economy.” What additional challenges are these owners facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how can we all help? Hello Alice decided to take a look at those questions in a new report titled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Hispanic & Latinx Business Owners.”
This document is part of a series built on a growing dataset gathered from more than 100,000 applications to our Business for All grant program. To date, 14,566 of those are from Hispanic and Latinx business owners primarily spread across the Professional Business Services, Food & Beverage, Beauty/Self-Care, and Consumer Goods/Retail/E-commerce sectors (with a handful of others represented). Roughly 55% of this demographic identifies as women.
What did these business owners have to say? Key takeaways include:
- 75% of Hispanic and Latinx entrepreneurs said they were most impacted by reduced sales due to social distancing
- 71% said they need emergency grants immediately, with 36% reporting that $10-25k grants would mean business survival after COVID-19
- 39% of Hispanic and Latinx entrepreneurs were impacted by employee anxiety and distraction
The report also includes qualitative data, showcasing the individual stories of entrepreneurs struggling to connect with emergency funding and adapting to a changing business environment.
“This year we were forced to be extra creative and develop several different options to assist both teachers and families,” writes Jessica Sotelo, owner Symphony Strings Music Co. in El Paso, Texas. “Our customers can now rent instruments online, follow detailed instructions on how to size their musicians at home, order accessories for curbside pickup, and schedule any needed appointments. Though technically our sales numbers are not the same as previous years, we count our blessings that we can continue operating.”
Finally, we gathered input from our partners at Latino Business Action Network and We Are All Human to put the data in a larger context. As Mark L. Madrid of Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative writes in the report’s opening pages: “This powerful research will influence municipal, county, state and federal policy that could mean the difference between life and death of a great number of Latinx businesses across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.”
Action Plan: How We’re Using this Report
Hispanic and Latinx business owners make up 13.4% of the Hello Alice community. We are and always will be committed to equal access for these business owners. Our data shows that there needs to be a concentrated and conscious effort to support Hispanic and Latinx business owners to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hello Alice has also launched a Hispanic Business Resource Center to compile resources, how-to guides, and a growing directory of Hispanic businesses across the United States.
Finally, Hello Alice recommends the following actions based on our data:
- Rent relief. 54%of Hispanic and Latinx entrepreneurs have asked the government to step in and assist with rent.
- Emergency funding, now. 71%of Hispanic and Latinx entrepreneurs say in order for their business to survive they need emergency funding now
- Business support. 24%of Hispanic and Latinx entrepreneurs have struggled with growing their business.
If your company or organization is interested in supporting this important work or gaining insights into your community of business owners, please reach out to [email protected]
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact [email protected]