Latino small businesses and COVID-19

Celebrating NAHREP familia, cultura, politics, and grassroots action

December 10, 2020

Qué onda mi gente?!

Noerena here reporting from California, where we are officially in another shutdown. While I am a firm believer that the only way to fix our economy is getting to the other side of this awful virus, I gotta say, I’m worried about our Latino small businesses.

We’ve boasted about this before: Latinos have been the driving force behind entrepreneurial growth in the U.S. Over the past decade, the number of Latino business owners grew by 34%, compared to only 1% growth for all business owners. However, the current lack of cash on hand for Latino-owned businesses can result in the loss of over two million jobs if Latino employer businesses have to permanently close before the end of the year. That’s really scary and poses a threat to the gains we’ve made in bridging the wealth gap, the future of the housing market and the economy as a whole.

We need another stimulus package. Small businesses need help and they need it fast.

This week, NAHREP, along with the Latino Donor Collaborative and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, met with the Biden-Harris Transition team again to continue the conversation surrounding NAHREP’s policy priorities. One of the things we emphasized was the need to prioritize bolstering small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

NAHREP priorities for small business relief:

  • Additional Stimulus Bill: An additional stimulus bill is urgent in order to ensure the viability of America’s small businesses. Whether that be a new round of PPP loans or other form of direct cash assistance to struggling businesses, something has to be done.
  • Payroll taxes: We urged that as a Day 1 priority, the Biden-Harris Administration signs an executive order providing a more gradual schedule for repayment of payroll taxes for small business owners.
  • Investment in CDFI’s and Minority Depository Institutions: We strongly encouraged an investment in Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions, which will be critical in expanding capacity to lend to Latino businesses across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Summary of stimulus negotiations

Back in May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a pretty extensive stimulus bill that would have significantly helped many of our small businesses. However, no stimulus package has passed the Senate. NAHREP has engaged in several email and phone call campaigns urging our Senators to pass a stimulus package. You can support this effort by taking action and emailing your U.S. Senator today!

Unemployment benefits and eviction moratoriums are set to expire and the pandemic numbers are through the roof.

This is what is being floated around in the current package:

  • A national eviction moratorium until February, 2021, and $25 billion in rental assistance for tenants who’ve fallen behind. Those funds would be targeted at households earning up to 50% of the area’s median income and could cover up to 18 months of back rent, according to the preliminary details. State and local governments would disburse the aid.
  • Another round of Paycheck Protection Program Loans: Small businesses need a rescue package tailored specifically to them to survive. If they do this, we would want to make sure that they are hyper focused on those small companies that are struggling the most.

As all of you meet with your chapters, ask yourselves this question: what can we do to help our small businesses in our community? And, let’s start putting some pressure on Congress!

Stay safe mi gente!

About Noerena Limón

Noerena Limón is NAHREP’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Industry Relations. Noerena heads the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts on issues ranging from homeownership, housing inventory, credit access and immigration.

Prior to joining NAHREP, Noerena spent six years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and served as a political appointee under President Obama in the White House Office of Political Affairs.