Let’s Save Latino Owned Businesses

Dear Friend

LULAC and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) are working together to save Latino owned businesses.

Join me in cosigning this letter so we can send it to Washington and show them how important Latino owned business are to our community, to the U.S. economy, and to the millions of people they employ.

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration, facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to COVID-19, were authorized by the CARES ACT to provide $349 Billion in relief for Small Business as part of its Payment Protection Program (PPP). The PPP program is a forgivable loan that companies do not have to payback if they meet certain criteria.

The PPP program launched on April 3rd and by April 16th (13 Days) ran out of funds. A total of $342,277,999,103.00 was dispersed to 1,661,367 companies. What we have learned since is that 2% of the firms approved for loans accounted for almost 30% of the funding. That’s $104.7 Billion dollars for 33,200 businesses or an average of $3.15 million each.

A program designed to work for small businesses with less than 500 employees, ended up paying out $20 Million to Ruth Chris, $10 Million to Shake Shack and PotBelly, companies with over $100 Million in revenue. All of this because of a small exception allowing franchises to benefit from the program thanks to Rep. Hern (OK 1st District).

Funny thing is that these large companies have to report this income if they are public just as Shake Shack did on Sunday. Given the overwhelming public disgust at large companies getting bailed out over small businesses they decided to do the right thing and give the money back.

Collectively, Latino-owned businesses that employ others generate $Billion in revenue and employ over 3.2 million people, accounting for about 4% of U.S. business revenues and 5.5% of U.S. employment. These Latinos business are key drivers to the U.S. economy and provided essential services in many underserved communities. Think about the daycare centers, flower shop, construction company, favorite Latino restaurant, and bodegas in your predominately Latino community. Think about the small business that your parents, brother, cousin, or friend from school started and have worked so hard to make successful. Now think about those same businesses disappearing because of COVID-19 and the mismanagement of the SBA program and the large banks who administer it like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and others.

So here is what we are asking U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Administrator Jovita Carranza. Our top three economic priorities that are crucial for Hispanic and Minority-owned small businesses and their economic success are the following:

  1. Prioritize economic relief resources for entrepreneurs who are waiting in line with completed loan applications. Many of our small business members have followed the instructions set forth by the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration to request economic relief resources and have not received updates on the status of their loans. Our small businesses are waiting for these funds that are needed immediately and everyday counts.
  2. Prioritize economic relief resources for small businesses with (20) employees or less. True small businesses are being left behind in the rollout of the economic relief resources provided by the CARES Act and will not be able to pay their bills and operating costs. We are urging Congress to approve $400 billion more for this program, with not less than $200 billion going to firms that have 20 or fewer employees.
  3. Prohibit Discrimination Against Small Employers in the Paycheck Protection Program. To eliminate financial institution loan practices of big-customers-first and favored-customers-first in the PPP program, Congress should prohibit discrimination among applicants in the order or speed of processing or granting of loans.

Join me in cosigning this letter so we can send it to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Administrator Jovita Carranza to show them how important Latino owned business are to our community, to the U.S. economy, and to the millions of people they employ. Together, we can send a message to Washington, DC and to these large banks and lenders that Latino Small Business matter now more than ever and they deserve the fair share of the CARES Act specifically earmarked for Small Business.

To co-sign the Save Latino Owned Businesses click here now.

Hasta la Victoria,

Domingo Garcia
LULAC National President

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/