Owning a small business can be really challenging. Minority and women small business owners face these challenges and additional unique challenges.
- There may be a large number of women business owners, however, women are still known for reaching a glass ceiling. This includes being challenged by both growth and wealth. A large percentage of these businesses are micro-businesses. There is an earnings gap in comparison to small businesses not owned by women. Women are typically tasked with managing responsibilities within the home. This can be challenging to balance with their professional obligations.
- African American business owners face barriers such as representing a lower portion of overall wealth within their communities. Statistics show that these business owners have limited management experience. African American business owners have a higher rate of failure in comparison to other small businesses.
- The number of Latino-owned businesses is rapidly increasing! Latino business owners face many of the same issues as women business owners and African American business owners. This subset of business owners has typically migrated from other countries. This can result in receiving less education than other business owners. The businesses they open and operate often generate less income than the average firm in the U.S.
Minority-owned businesses have a powerful impact on our overall economy!
With women business owners making up 11.6 million businesses in the United States, African-American business owners making up 2 million of the business in the United States, and Latinos representing 4.65 million businesses, there is an imminent need to support their owners to strengthen our economy and create new jobs.
Supporting small minority-owned businesses, including women-owned businesses, strengthens our economy and supports the American Dream!
When we think of opportunity, we often view the opportunity as the business owner’s potential for success. Jobs are created when these businesses achieve success. These businesses are able to recruit from their unique communities. This allows them to live, work, and play in their respective neighborhoods. As jobs are created, wealth increases itself.
Small businesses owned by minorities promote culture and diversity. This allows individuals in these communities to purchase unique items locally versus a national chain. This revenue generated to these small businesses allows owners to reinvest within their families and purchase goods and services locally.
Some helpful resources to overcome barriers contributing to the success of the small business may include support in:
- Advising and consulting services
- Financial support in the form of capital such as grants, loans, or investors
- Identifying and making connections to prospects and new customers
- Establishing connections and relationships to other business owners and partners providing collaboration and ongoing education
- Developing skills required to support business operations
- Creation of a strong marketing plan to establish the brand and increase its reach
There are limitless resources available for minority-owned small business owners to support these goals.
These resources help break down barriers by providing capital, consulting, and advice to attract and obtain customers.
The Small Business Association (SBA) is a good overall resource, offering financial funding, counseling, and more.
Here are a few resources to help these business owners gain support.
- Most communities have a Black Business Directory or a Women in Business Directory. Small business owners can utilize these directories to prospect for customers and connect with other like-minded business owners. Business owners can include themselves in the listing by contacting the publisher. This can become a great marketing tool.
- Opportunities exist for businesses to bid and obtain government contracts. Minority or woman-owned businesses may receive preference in obtaining some of these contracts. Organizations such as SCORE can help business owners prepare to bid on government contracts. This may include supporting them in obtaining certifications that may be needed. The MBDA Business Center of Pennsylvania assists businesses in obtaining commercial contracts.
- Both the African American and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce can provide networking opportunities and educational opportunities for businesses to support one another. Owners can explore opportunities at both the local and national level for education and networking. There are many resources available for capital, including Grant.org, Scale-Up Pitch Challenge, We Back Black Business, Amber Grant, and all the resources that SCORE and the SBA can provide.
- Facebook, Google, and Hootsuite offer complimentary online training to help Hispanic small business owners learn their Spanish applications to leverage these tools to grow their business.
We can all be a resource to support small minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
Some of the ways we can support these businesses include:
- Identifying these businesses and choosing to shop locally, purchasing items from these businesses.
- Becoming a mentor. Be willing to share your experiences, offering encouragement to these business owners, providing tips to support their journey.
- Extending invites for these business owners to speak or be a part of a panel discussion. Invite them to network functions.
- Consider utilizing their services for your business or personal uses.
- Help spread the word! Post a positive online review. Tell friends, family, and co-workers about these businesses creating word of mouth exposure, and providing referrals for these businesses.
After a challenging 2020, 2021 will be a year to come together and support one another for the greater good.
This means stimulating the economy, doing the right thing, supporting EVERYONE, and uniting! The power of community is necessary to support small business, embracing their dreams and supporting their goals. Supporting these businesses will add jobs in our backyard. This allows these employees to reinvest in our local community.
PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. We are dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more information about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please contact us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!