NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Some Nashville organizations are working to make getting financial assistance more accessible to Latino business owners. It comes as some minority business owners say it has been difficult to get COVID relief during the pandemic.
“When the pandemic started, I kind of had memories of 2008. We have to start working in a different way. You have to work more and earn less money. A lot of people just don’t want to come to work because they are afraid of the pandemic,” said Juan Lombera. He has been working in the granite field for years.
Lombera said he is grateful for the federal funds made available to business owners who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“Restaurants or whoever. If they need help, the government really helps small businesses,” Lombera said.
But research shows that Latino entrepreneurs have fewer resources to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“It’s a daily challenge because we don’t have a formula to follow,” said Karlha Ramon, owner of Azul 615 Magazine.
According to a study by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, Latinos had their Payroll Protection Program approved at half the rate of white-owned businesses. Ramon says she has written about resources available to business owners and published these articles in her magazine.
“We’ve been working very closely with the Nashville-area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we’re in touch with this type of information that we want the public to know,” Ramon explained.
Ramon says she started Azul 615 Magazine to help Spanish speakers in Nashville better understand the resources available.
“It’s not that we don’t want to speak in English, but for some technical or legal details we would like to have them in our own language to make sure we’re doing it the right way,” Ramon said. .
Azul 615 magazine ran an article about Nashville’s $9 million US federal bailout fund. Pathway Lending has also reached out to the Hispanic community to inform them of available funds and help them apply. More than 450 Nashville entrepreneurs have received grants.
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