Latino entrepreneurs all over the country are struggling during the lockdown, but a few things can be done to help their businesses navigate this crisis.
Let’s start with some eye-popping statistics:
- 25% of small businesses in the U.S. are owned by Hispanics.
- 75% of new businesses in the U.S. are created by Hispanics.
- Latino small businesses contributed nearly $500 billion to the economy in 2019.
That’s the importance of Latino entrepreneurship in this country. However, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis can be huge to this demographic. According to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, 86% of Latino small business owners are reporting that the pandemic is having a significant negative impact on their businesses.
Nearly two-thirds of the businesses won’t be able to continue operations beyond six months if current conditions remain. That’s a huge risk for the Latino community in particular, and to the national economy in general.
So, what can be done by Latino entrepreneurs to successfully navigate this crisis?
Here are some ideas:
1. Go online
This may sound obvious, but it’s not that simple. For some businesses, the transition is possible, others depend on human interaction. Let’s take the example of The Queer Gym, which after closing its physical location in Oakland has migrated successfully to Zoom with online personal training classes.
If your business allows for it, go online quickly, even if the crisis ends soon, you will have developed a new branch of your business and it will be better equipped for life after lockdown.
2. Join larger organizations
Together is always better. Especially during hard times, it’s important to be able to rely on larger organizations with more resources in order to get the help you need. For instance, take a look at what they are doing in Philadelphia where the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Finanta, Community First Fund and Widener University Small Business Development Center got together to help Latino entrepreneurs during the Coronavirus crisis.
The idea is to be able to find and streamline access to information and resources for small businesses, making the most of these organizations’ technical and financial assistance. Look for similar initiatives in your area and remember that you are not alone!
3. Ask for help
Either through the government official programs such as the Payroll Protection Program loans or through private initiatives such as the “Nuestros Negocios” campaign, launched by NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, designed to promote the services of small Hispanic businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Pivot – Shift to a new strategy
We already talked about going online, but that’s not the only way you can transform your business. Pivoting, in the startup world, means exploring and developing a new area of your business that up until now you have neglected or didn’t even know it existed. For instance, restaurants offering meal kits around the country is a good example of carving a new niche during lockdown.
This requires creativity and the will to re-invent your business, but as with going online, once you create this new part of your business, it will not only help you get through these hard times, but it will leave you as a better-rounded company once the crisis ends.
Do you have any other tips for Latino entrepreneurs on how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis? Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation!