A Guide to Loans and Grants for Hispanic-Owned Businesses
Hispanic-owned businesses are a huge part of the country’s economy. In order to ensure this continues, information about economic opportunities must be made readily available to them, specifically ones that specifically support Hispanic entrepreneurs. The options are small business loans, grants and any resources that will be of assistance in the search for capital.
Small Business Loans
- SBA Microloans – Microloans of up to $50,000 are available to lenders, courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration and local nonprofit lenders. The non-profits do outreach with minority communities of business owners, including Hispanics. Since they are backed by the government, these loans have low interest rates and six-year terms.
- Opportunity Fund - This organization is a non-profit, similar to Accion. It partners with the SBA to provide microloans and community advantage loans. The online application is easy and loans are available in as few as five days. Their website has a Spanish version. They are active in 13 states with high Hispanic populations, such as California, Florida and New York.
- Camino Financial – This lending business was launched specifically to help Hispanic entrepreneurs. To work with Camino Financial, you must meet the following criteria: a credit score of at least 550, in operation for at least nine months, and the ability to generate sales of at least $30,000 per year. Lenders who meet these requirements sometimes receive funding in as little as two business days.
The upside of grants is that you do not have to pay them back. The downside is they are much more competitive than loans. Here are some private and government grants:
- Grants.gov – This is the largest resource for federal government grants. The website lists most federal agencies that provide grants. Technology and science-related businesses are likely to find opportunities here.
- USDA Rural Business Grants – Not all the grants are for tech and science. If you live in a rural area and are starting or expanding a small business, you might be eligible for this one. You must gross less than $1 million annually and have fewer than 50 employees. Contact your local USDA office for details.
- National Association of the Self-Employed – Before you apply, you must join the association. Then you must demonstrate how the grant will help you achieve your business goals. You will then be eligible for a grant of up to $4000.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – Contact your local MBDA center to be connected to loan programs or other resources that help you penetrate new markets. Business specialists will help you compete for a contract, secure a loan, identify a strategic partner and more.
- SCORE – This resource is available in Spanish. It is sponsored by the government and partly funded by the SBA. Take advantage of its business workshops. Find a mentor that will help you create a business plan or navigate funding challenges.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
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