AS LATINO OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN DEVASTATED BY COVID-19, PRESTAMOS CDFI HAS BEEN A CRUCIAL RESOURCE
Small businesses in the U.S. collectively are among the biggest employers in the county. The local staples that we love in our communities also account for 44% of all the U.S. economic activity. Imagine if small businesses began to vanish, and close – or if the number of small business owners declined drastically. This scenario is not out of the realm of possibility, it is the reality our nation and communities are facing, and it has impacted Latinos at disproportionate rates. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of Latino business owners dropped 32%. To further put it into perspective, that amounts to a drop from 2.1 million businesses to 1.4 million from February – April.
These recent closures due to COVID-19 have forced many business owners to shut their doors permanently and temporarily. But those who made closures temporary are beginning to find themselves in a space where reopening may no longer be an option.
For Ricardo Aguirre and his family, this may very well be the case. After a government order, Aguirre, the owner of Tamales y Tacos Puebla, a catering company in Phoenix, was forced to shut down to comply with efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
In a matter of a few days, 30 orders were canceled, and money was refunded to their customers. This devastating blow to the business only got worst as the entire family contracted COVID-19. With his father in the hospital, mother, wife, and children all sick and unable to work, Robert was unsure how to move forward with their business. With little hope, Robert applied for assistance funds through the SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) but was denied as funds were quickly depleted.
Aguirre continued to fight for his health and business, and he tried many means to keep his business and family afloat. With mounting business and medical bills piling up, the family began to reach the end of what funds they had saved up. The announcement of the second wave of PPP funding was the pivotal moment that helped Aguirre keep Tamales and Tacos Puebla open for business.
Unsure of whether his business would qualify due to the necessary documentation of payroll needed, Aguirre would eventually receive the help he needed from Prestamos CDFI. His funding is being used not only to continue operations but to keep staff employed. You can read more about Robert Auiree’s story here.
Sadly, the story of Robert Aguirre and his family is quite common. Many minority business owners face a knowledge gap that makes it difficult for business owners to respond effectively to a crisis. According to Camino Financial, a California based lender, 69 percent of Latino business owners said they didn’t apply for the PPP because they were unsure if they qualified. This response is simply the outcome of a lack of resources available to minority entrepreneurs.
Helping fund over $20 million of PPP loans in Nevada and Arizona, Prestamos is responsible for assisting over 500 small businesses in both states to keep their doors open. While this assistance isn’t a full solution to the financial and operational problems companies are facing due to COVID-19, it does provide a safety net. It gives entrepreneurs time to plan and rethink their business plans and financials. Our business advisor team is highly skilled and trained to help coach and mentor entrepreneurs navigate this uncertain and challenging time.
Our team of advising professionals is here to help your business during this time of uncertainty. Whether you need a PPP or small business loan, as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Prestamos offers a variety of financial solutions for small business owners. With our loan products comes business coaching to provide entrepreneurs with insight into a wide range of areas needed to operate a prosperous business. From marketing to accounting, HR, and operations, our team of Business Advisors is here to provide coaching and mentorship to meet your goals.
As part of the Chicanos For La Causa (CPLC) family of programs, Prestamos is only one of the resources our parent organization offers. CPLC offers programs to help in Health and Human Services, Housing, Education, and Advocacy. We encourage you to reach out to us today and see how Prestamos and CPLC can be of assistance to meet the goals of you and your small business.