Today, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), led by Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA); the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), led by Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA); and the House Small Business Committee, led by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) released a new report examining the state of Hispanic entrepreneurship and businesses ownership in the United States.
According to the report, there are nearly five million Hispanic-owned businesses in the US alone, which together contribute more than $800 billion each year to the American economy. In the decade preceding the pandemic, the number of Hispanic business owners increased 34 percent, compared to just one percent among non-Hispanic business owners, and nearly one in four new businesses are started by Hispanic entrepreneurs. Hispanic-owned small businesses represent the fastest growing segment of U.S. small businesses, making them a key driver of overall economic growth and job creation. Roughly two percent of the workforce is now employed in Hispanic-owned employer businesses.
But structural barriers leave Hispanic business owners more vulnerable to economic shocks than their white counterparts, making the impact of the coronavirus recession especially pronounced among Hispanic-owned businesses. In March 2020, more than 4 out of 5 reported a large negative impact from the pandemic and its economic effects, and in the immediate fallout, Hispanic-owned businesses faced barriers to accessing emergency relief.
Evidence-based investments in American businesses and families, like those included in the Build Back Better agenda, will help level the playing field for small businesses and unleash the full potential of Hispanic entrepreneurs and their businesses, promoting economic growth that is more strong, stable, and broadly shared.
The JEC and CHC recently released two reports in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. The first examined the contributions of Hispanic workers to the U.S. economy, and the second examined the wealth disparities that threaten the economic security and opportunities of Hispanic Americans and their families
“Hispanic businesses drive economic growth and are integral to U.S. economic dynamism,” said JEC Chair Don Beyer. “Growing at a pace that is faster than the national average, Hispanic-owned businesses serve as an engine of job creation, which is especially vital in this moment to fuel our nation’s economic recovery. But while many Hispanic-owned small businesses stayed open during the pandemic to help Americans access the goods and services they desperately needed, many of these enterprises faced barriers to accessing economic relief in the immediate fallout from the pandemic and remain financially precarious. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and investments in working families and initiatives that improve access to credit and provide support for agencies like the Small Business Administration are vital to strengthening Hispanic businesses and promoting our nation’s shared prosperity.”
“The report by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) under Chair Don Beyer’s leadership spotlights the outsized role Hispanic businesses play in driving and growing our economy,” said Chair Dr. Raul Ruiz. “Nearly one-quarter of new businesses are Hispanic owned, and Hispanic businesses employ 3 million workers with more than $100 billion in annual payroll. Despite their significant contributions, Hispanic businesses were less likely to have access to federal grants and business loans during the pandemic, which caused some to permanently shut down. As the JEC report demonstrates, equal opportunity to apply for business loans does not always mean equal access to business loans. The CHC is committed to advancing policies, such as increased access to capital and federal contracts to help Hispanic businesses across the nation succeed as we recover from the pandemic.”
“The dynamism of Hispanic entrepreneurs and the ways they shape the American economy radiate throughout this report," said Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). "But despite Hispanics’ great success in the small business sector, they face obstacles that keep them from reaching their full potential. Hispanic entrepreneurs consistently have less access to capital, federal contracts, and valuable training. These are critical factors that can make the difference between success and failure for a small business. Fixing the inequities for Hispanic small businesses will take bold and deliberate action by Congress. That’s why House Democrats are working diligently to pass the Build Back Better agenda, which constitutes a generational investment in small businesses and will help level the playing field for underserved small firms.”