The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) today announced that they have signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) that will support thousands of Hispanic small enterprises and entrepreneurs, enabling them to expand and create more jobs.
"The memorandum signals SBA's renewed commitment to ensuring that Hispanic (enterprise) has access to the same opportunities to succeed," said Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the USHCC. "And while there is work to be done, we are confident that Hispanic entrepreneurs will provide a great return on this investment. These businesses not only fuel the American economy, but are also at the leading edge of our recovery."
The SBA is charged with helping to support and protect the interests of small businesses by providing financial and business development assistance, and contracting opportunities to this key group of entrepreneurs.
Through this collaboration, the SBA and USHCC will work with national and local Hispanic organizations to increase Hispanic-owned small business participation in SBA programs, including:
-- loan programs and access to capital initiatives;
-- government contracting programs like the 8(a) program and the Women-Owned Small Business Program; and
-- international trade opportunities to achieve the goals of the President's National Export Initiative.
Palomarez believes that the alliance will help mine untapped potential.
"Despite the challenges brought about by the recession, Hispanic (enterprises) have still managed to thrive, growing over 44 percent in the past five years and generating new ventures three times faster than the general population," he said.
Fueled by the 3 million Hispanic enterprises, purchasing power has also risen from $212 billion in 1990 to more than $1 trillion today. In addition, small business represents 64 percent of all jobs in America and Latino small business is the fastest-growing segment in that sector.
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