Hispanic Small Business Owners Expect Growth in 2017
Jon Goering / Shelby County Reporter

Hispanic Small Business Owners Expect Growth in 2017

A study released Wednesday found Hispanic small business owners are more hopeful about growing their businesses in the year to come compared to their non-hispanic counterparts. According to the Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight, Hispanic entrepreneurs are significantly more optimistic about their revenue and hiring plans in 2017.

The study of 1,000 small business owners found that 71 percent of Hispanic small business owners expect their revenue to increase. Only 51 percent of non-Hispanic respondents reported an expected increase. As the fastest-growing segment of the small business sector, Hispanic business owners are impacting the growth of local economies.

The report shows Hispanic entrepreneurs intend to hire more employees this year than their non-Hispanic counterparts. Long-term predictions are equally optimistic, with 76 percent predicting growth over the next five years compared to 55 percent of the other respondents.

“Hispanic-owned small businesses are a vital driver of economic growth and American jobs. The Bank of America findings show that trend is on track to continue in 2017. Research such as this is important in highlighting the critical contributions that Hispanic-owned businesses are making to build and sustain prosperity for families and communities across the country,” said Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The study reports 51 percent of Hispanic small business owners believe there is a lending gap for Hispanic versus non-Hispanic small business owners. However, results also found that of those who applied for a loan at some point during the lifetime of their business, 86 percent of Hispanic entrepreneurs were approved and 85 percent of non-Hispanics reported approval, contradicting the popular misconception.

“Sometimes perception is not the reality,” Elizabeth Romero, an executive with Bank of America’s small business division, said at a luncheon in Coral Gables, Florida. “In 2017, Hispanics will be applying for loans four times more than non-hispanics,” she added.