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latinas in business

Latinas in Business all hands in for a brighter future

What an incredible journey this year 2020 has been! Challenges like the pandemic, an economic crisis and social unrest gave Latinas in Business the opportunity to reach and impact more lives of Latinas across the country than ever. It’s now December, and we are closing a year that has been everything but boring, ending it with a mix of good news and bad news.

latinas in business

 

Good news first

Good news first, the COVID-19 distribution of vaccines has started around the country and the world so there’s hope that soon we will be on our way to the “new normal.”

Covid19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination at University Hospital in Newark, NJ. (Photo credit Kirsten Luce for The New York Times)

You might be interested: COVID19 Vaccination marks historic day in New Jersey

Latinas in Business has grown exponentially this year, and achieved many of the goals we had for FY 2019-2020 including extending our national footprint and completing our Executive Board.

After some hesitation due to the shock of the ”first wave,” we immediately recognized the Power of Collaboration as the beacon theme for this year.

We quickly pivoted our programs to virtual encounters and in July we launched the Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit virtually, with the participation of national and international organizations and over 700 views.

We ended the year with a tremendous opportunity to lead A National Conversation with Latina Leaders, 23 supporting organizations, and the presence of Keynote Speaker Maria Elena Salinas. We reached over 2400 viewers!

You might be interested: Maria Elena Salinas to be Keynote Speaker at Regain Our Latino Power virtual event

Strengthening the digital presence of our publication, LatinasinBusiness.us, we reach now almost 12,000 subscribers, publishing up to 5 times a week. So far 38 Latinas have been featured on our Spotlight Latina Leader of the Month. We also reached over 1800 members nationwide.

We launched our paid membership program and our affiliate marketing programs, intended to provide editorial and promotional value in a community that needs more help than ever!

Bad news second

My thoughts go first to all those who lost their loved ones this year. If death always seems unfair, losing a love one because of leadership inadequacy and negligence is not only unacceptable but also should be accountable. The worst legacy of the current Presidency is the continuous emotional roller coaster that has put the country and the world through, undermining the values and traditions this country and its governing system was built on.

Latinxs die in isolation covid19, latinas in business

Photo courtesy Graham Ruttan – unsplash.com

You might be interested: November 1 National Day of Remembrance of Latinxs killed by Covid-19

For frontline workers, my warmest wishes to those who have selflessly put their own lives on the line to save others, to protect even those who acted irresponsibly. They are the s/heroes that have, in many cases, left their own homes and families to protect those of others.

For real small businesses, especially Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs, this has been a year of death or survival.

According to recent news, Latino companies that applied for the Paycheck Protection Program saw a 21% drop in revenue from February through September while their costs for PPE and other safety measures rose and continue to remain high.

Additionally, they extended their spending to stay open and ended with a negative 11% margin. They are now cash flow negative and are on the brink of going out of business, the annual Latino Small Business Biz2Credit survey reveals.

You might be interested: How systemic racism is costing the U.S. trillions

In a glooming and already unequal environment -even before the pandemic-, from solopreneurs under the risk of losing their homes to small enterprises letting go of all their hired labor, it is estimated that around two-thirds of Latino businesses will close their doors for good.

The  recently announced $900 billion package will not rescue these businesses. The additional funding might last 3 months at the most, and this amount will not get them through the end of the pandemic.

You might be interested: Immigrant mixed-households to receive stimulus checks

Although we have great hope that the new Administration will return this country to sanity and to world leadership, we are still not at the end of the tunnel. So don’t count your money until it is in the bank!

The best for last

Lastly, we recruited 6 unstoppable Latinas, corporate, entrepreneurs and community leaders in their own right, for our Executive Board of Trustees. What an honor to be on this journey with such amazing ladies!

We will continue to push hard to advocate for the economic empowerment of Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs and working women who had lost their jobs and/or their childcare, and are dealing with enormous levels of stress and uncertainty.

latinas in business, executive board

You might be interested: Introducing Latinas in Business Inc. Executive Board Members

We are inviting you to participate in an unique opportunity to contribute to aid this problem, and help these businesses return to work. We are scaling our budget to include our Founding Corporate Advisory Board, a group of volunteers from prestigious partners to help us achieve our LATINA$GROW Recovery Fund Program.

Susana G BaumannDetails for this program are being discussed with some powerful allies and influencers, and we would be happy to share additional information with you if you’d be interested in being a part of our efforts.

Not one organization will be able to achieve all the work that needs to be done, so more than ever, the power of collaboration continues to be the only way out. We are in this together, we will get out of this together!

How the future looks

I foresee a great future for our ambitious goals. Only 2 years into our nonprofit status, we are already stepping on solid ground to grow at national and international levels.

Please consider to support this unique vision from Latinas in Business Inc., an organization that has proven to be here to stay. Join us in this fantastic venture to continue impacting the lives of thousands of Latinas and other minority entrepreneurs, professional and corporate women who are struggling to succeed in this economic crisis.

Let’s bring our future to a great start in 2021, and as always, thanks for your continuous support!

NJEDA, COVID-19

NJEDA announces new support to businesses impacted by COVID-19  

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

NJEDA

The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize enterprises and are meant to complement recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives.

The suite of new initiatives includes:

  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
  • Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.
  • CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.
  • NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.
  • Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.

More information about the NJEDA programs will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov.  (expected after March 30, 2020)

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in New Jersey has sent us into uncharted territory, and the economic impacts will be significant and far-reaching, especially on Main Street. The scope and scale of this new challenge requires immediate action to support New Jersey workers and businesses,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The new NJEDA programs announced today are a critical step that will mitigate the economic impacts of this unprecedented challenge and help workers and businesses to weather the storm and come out stronger when things return to normal.”

NJEDA, COVID-19

Development of the grant program, support for CDFIs, and flexibility for current NJEDA borrowers was enabled by the legislature through A3845. Primary sponsors of the legislation include Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, Louis D. Greenwald, Ronald S. Dancer, and Senators Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Brian Stack.

The new NJEDA initiatives focus on businesses that have been hit hardest by the novel coronavirus outbreak: local small businesses, mid-size businesses that have had to close or drastically reconfigure operations, and new businesses who were just getting on their feet before the crisis hit. The programs provide a suite of compatible offerings that address these businesses’ varied needs and include mechanisms to provide funding and assistance as quickly as possible.

Many of the resources are designed to be scalable with the addition of federal and philanthropic resources if they become available. Philanthropic partners interested in donating to support the NJEDA’s small business grant program should reach out to donations@njeda.com.

“Small- and medium-sized enterprises are the heartbeat of New Jersey’s economy and it is crucial that we do what we can to provide the resources and assistance they need to withstand the outbreak of novel coronavirus,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “In coordination with our partners throughout State government, we are undertaking an unprecedented effort to support these businesses and the New Jersey residents who rely on them for their livelihoods. These are challenging times, but New Jerseyans are resilient, and together we will get through this and rebuild our economy.”

Additional details on the NJEDA’s new programs, including eligibility requirements will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov. Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak is available here: https://covid19.nj.gov/.