Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Urges Latinos To Apply For Federal Loans

The top executive at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is asking Latino entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 crisis to apply for a loan from the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program.

Chamber President and CEO Ramiro Cavazos encourages business owners to “mobilize and be aggressive in communicating with the banks and community centers offering capital and seek for the guidance they need to apply for the PPP.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration launched a new round of the program last month to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has strongly impacted Hispanic businesses across the country.

“Fifty percent of our entrepreneurs do not have a relationship with a bank, which means 5 million entrepreneurs in the U.S. Many of them did not receive help during [the first round of funding in] March, April or May, and they had to reinvent their businesses,” said Cavazos, whose organization represents more than 4.7 million employers.

The chamber’s top executive urged businessmen to “not give up” and said that if they apply for a PPP loan and get rejected, they should try again or go to another banking institution.

Ramiro Cavazos, the president of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. *** Ramiro Cavazos, el presidente de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Estados Unidos. (Negocios Now)

“There are more than 5,000 banks and organizations offering loans. At one point, there were only 800 nationwide. That’s why we urge entrepreneurs to contact them for capital,” he said.

Cavazos said his organization’s website offers information in English and Spanish and a guide to help entrepreneurs apply for government relief, which includes forgivable small business loans, “because the need is very great.”

Hispanics and their relationship with banks 

The lack of a personal relationship with a banker meant “when the Payroll Protection Program came along, banks [only] helped those people who were their clients, because they already knew them,” Cavazos said.

There are three main reasons why many Latino entrepreneurs don’t have a relationship with a banker, Cavazos said.

More than 5,000 banks and organizations are offering loans. *** Hay más de 5,000 entidades bancarias y organizaciones que están ofreciendo préstamos. (Eduardo Soares/Unsplash)

“First, many Hispanic companies started with the help of relatives or [their owners] used credit cards to raise capital. Many of them have an account, but they don’t have a banker helping them out,” he said.

Second, Cavazos said, many of these small businesses do not have an accountant, and therefore do not have the financial information required to support a loan application.

Third, many entrepreneurs have not asked for help because “we are not used to asking for it,” the chamber head said.

“We need to have more self-esteem and more confidence to ask for help. [We must do] as all the other non-Latino entrepreneurs who are not ashamed to ask for help, even though they have money,” he said.

Presidente de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana exhorta a hispanos solicitar los PPP was first published on Negocios Now.

(Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos. Edited by Matthew Hall. )

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