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ggroup of key local latino business owners

Pandemic Magnifies The Needs Of Minority-Owned Businesses Devastated By The Pandemic

Prestamos CDFI Convenes Group Of Key Players and Local Latino Owned Business To Discuss Challenges They Face

Small businesses are the heart and soul of any community. While being responsible for keeping the economy afloat, they provide much more than monetary value. Small businesses are also responsible for shaping and molding the culture of a state, city, and neighborhood. They become gathering spaces for friends, cultivate and foster innovations, or provide comfort through a shared meal with loved ones. At Prestamos Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we understand that there is a uniqueness to every small business and the entrepreneurs responsible for bringing them to life. Our organization is not only focused on helping small businesses identify and develop areas of opportunity. We are also here to be their advocates.

ggroup of key local latino business owners

 

 

To this end, members of the lending and technical assistance teams at Prestamos CDFI recently convened with Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carazza, The Arizona Commerce Authority, District SBA, and several Latino owned small businesses at the Chicanos Por la Causa Buckeye Commerce Center. The purpose of the convening was to have open and honest conversations about the needs and struggles minority-owned, small local businesses face. While for some small business owners, these issues have always been at play, the pandemic further exposed and magnified how lack of resources and assistance can devastate a business. In the convening,

One of the largest discussion topics was the importance of funding for Technical Assistance programs, especially as the potential for another round of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) assistance becomes more likely. As an administrator of the PPP, Prestamos CDFI found that many small businesses struggled to understand the application process and need assistance in organizing their documents and getting their books in order. This is a critical component of applying and obtaining assistance through the PPP and other similar programs.

Phoenix immigration attorney, Emilia Bañuelos, spoke about how COVID-19 had significant negative impacts on her business. She spoke to how access to the PPP funds was crucial to the survival of her business. Emilia also pressed the topic of how difficult and disheartening the process was when her longtime bank turned her away for the PPP and how Prestamos was critical in helping her secure the funds. She expressed that there is a continued growing fear amongst the minority-owned small business community as uncertainty and frustration plagues our society.

Amber Cordoba, Director of Business Education and Consulting Services, at Prestamos, shared her concerns that “many minority small business owners struggled to gain access to PPP and other CARES funding because they were not considered a priority by their banks. This further reinforces the important role that CDFI’s play in the communities they serve and the importance of Technical Assistance programs.” This sentiment was echoed by others in the room, including everyone around the room, including Amado Becera, one of the four brothers that make up B’s Granite.

At the start of COVID-19, the construction industry was faced with startling closures, which impacted their business and their ability to support their families and employees. B’s Granite in Phoenix is another example of how PPP funding helped keep the business open and keep all eleven of their employees employed. While PPP has been critical in assisting many businesses to keep their doors open, it has also not been quite enough for the long-term.

As the PPP component is only a small part of what Prestamos CDFI does, we also provide technical assistance through our SBA MicroLending programs and were recently awarded the SBA Program for Investment In Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME). Through the PRIME program, Prestamos will offer no-cost training and technical assistance (TA) to help strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly in Opportunity Zones, Rural areas, and HUBZones. Support will include bilingual training and coaching in areas such as Accounting, QuickBooks, Business Pivoting, Strategic Planning, Business Plan Coaching, Marketing, Debt Restructuring, and Human Resources.

In addition, Prestamos is hopeful to be selected to host an SBA Women’s Business Center. This unique program is something that does not currently exist in Phoenix but would help women entrepreneurs gain the skills and assistance needed to start and operate successful small businesses.

SBA loan guarantees remove barriers to capital access that disproportionally impact minority-owned businesses and support quality job creation in distressed communities. CDFI’s, like Prestamos, play a big role in providing support and opportunity for small businesses that they may otherwise not have access to. As the conversation came to Teresa Miranda, Vice President of Prestamos CDFI, expressed to Administrator Carazza how honored Prestamos was to be selected to host the round table and for the support the SBA has provided to the organization and the small business community.

Prestamos CFDI continues to work and impact small businesses in our market communities of Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. We exist to help nurture and grow entrepreneurs through their journeys. We are a mission-driven entity that operates under the non-profit Chicanos Por La Causa, which provides communities with resources ranging from health, education, financial services, housing, and advocacy. Prestamos continues its efforts to advance our work to provide high-quality financial products and services for small businesses that lead to impactful economic development projects. We invite you to visit our website to find out how you can be part of this impact.

Neon lights: Reno, the biggest little city in the world

Small City, Big Heart: How Business Diversification Is Helping Reno, Nevada Thrive

Recently named the Best Small City, Reno, Nevada is anything but small when it comes to the boom in the job and economic growth they’ve been experiencing n recent years. With an attractive cost of living, great climate, and space for development – Reno has fostered a perfect ecosystem for entrepreneurs. While it was just as susceptible to the impact caused by COVID-19 and affected by the shut-downs, that ecosystem the city has fostered has been crucial to its long-term growth and recovery.

Reno is home to hundreds of small businesses, and like in cities throughout the world, many of them were greatly affected by the closure caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, this city has proven it has what it takes to succeed. Compared to the rest of the state, northern Nevada has lower unemployment numbers, which is the result of a plan first launched in 2011 to diversity the cities economy. This plan was led by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada in 2011 in response to the recession.

Neon lights: Reno, the biggest little city in the world

The primary purpose of this plan was to diversify Reno’s economy. Building up the infrastructure to attract different industries helped establish an upward trajectory for the business community. The city experienced an influx in the creation of quality high-paying jobs by attracting advanced manufacturing and technology companies. With an excellent track record of adaptability and resilience, the Reno business community can work together to create solutions to the problems they are facing. By creating partnerships within the business community, entrepreneurs can work together to continue diversifying their economy. While many of the jobs created were by industries and companies that are bigger, these new industries are also responsible for growth in population.

As more people from across the country continue to choose the “Biggest Little City In The World” as a place to call home, this climate means more opportunities for small businesses. From skilled services to specialized shops and restaurants, all companies are needed in Reno. Aside from the need, Reno has excellent incentives and resources for new businesses to set up shop. With a strong focus on the development and revitalization of the downtown region, the city has created the Downtown Reno Partnership.

The partnership focuses on business development, fostering relationships, and creating resources to make downtown a destination. Most recently, with the shutdowns, the Downtown Reno Partnership created helpful resources to help businesses easily understand any guidelines put in place and safely reopen. This plan included a toolkit that all businesses in the area could take advantage of, including graphics to promote reopening and social distancing, links to COVID-19 recovery resources, and much more. This type of support helps build community and confidence with businesses that are established and also looking to open. With these types of partnerships, entrepreneurs can feel more at ease, knowing they have a support system when they need help.

As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Prestamos is honored to work with Reno businesses, our efforts are to work with small businesses in the communities we serve to help them in their growth and quality job creation. We believe that small businesses are the economic engine of our communities. They are essential for our local and national economies to work and grow.

neon-viva-vegas-sign

Bringing The City Back to Life: How Las Vegas Can Hit the Jackpot After COVID-19

Las Vegas is infamous for entertainment, a lively atmosphere, and booming tourism industry. For years, people from all over the globe have flocked to Las Vegas for some fun. As with every other major city, COVID-19 put the city that never sleeps to a halting slumber.

As casinos, restaurants, and hotels shut down, so did a considerable portion of the city’s economic infrastructure. Las Vegas is a city where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry. This hard-hit industry left many unemployed, which in turn hurt the small local businesses serving the community.

While Las Vegas is in the process of opening back up, it is difficult to say whether or not people will once again resume travel and continue operations “normally.” However, it is expected to once again recover, unlike one of the city’s biggest draws: conferences and conventions industry. How does this $10.5 Billion industry, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, recover and get back to its feet?

neon-viva-vegas-sign

One of the first things the industry must do is begin looking at is how they can prioritize people’s safety, health, and well-being. This starts with their sanitation and social distancing efforts. While it may take some time to get back to the numbers they were once at, demonstrating they do have people’s best interest and empathizing with their needs is the key to gain trust. Secondly, they should start looking at what services they can offer clients looking to host hundreds or even thousands of people in a virtual setting. Although it is hard to replace that face-to-face interaction that conferences boast, looking at ways to incorporate technology and AI into their event planning can be a game-changer.

When thinking of the economy of an area, it is good to start by looking at the hundreds and thousands of small businesses that make up the community of the Las Vegas area. The one thing they all have in common is their diversity. Focusing on this aspect can help recover, revitalize, and diversify the economy as a whole. The diversification of an economy is crucial not only to help put it back on track but also to help long-term growth and sustainability.

This presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to open up a business or expand existing businesses. Thinking about ways to bring new industry, technology, and services on a small or large scale is crucial for a city to begin rebuilding and strengthening its economy.

As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), Prestamos is honored to work with businesses in the Las Vegas area. We are here to work with small businesses in the communities we serve to help them grow and quality job creation. We believe that small businesses are the economic engine of our communities. They are essential for our local and national economies to work and grow.

The Prestamos loan products and consulting services are designed for emerging and existing business owners. What sets Prestamos apart is our highly skilled Business Advisors, which our clients have access to at no additional cost. Our business advisors are here to help entrepreneurs in marketing, HR, accounting, website, and much more – our team is here to help you develop your business. We pride ourselves in leveling the playing field for businesses of every type and assisting communities in thriving.

Contact us today to learn more about our variety of loan products and business consulting programs to help your business grow and succeed.

david adame

Chicanos Por La Causa’s highest priority is the health and safety (COVID-19)

A message from David Adame
President & CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa.