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SBA Women’s Business Ownership Assistant Administrator Natalie Madeira Cofield shares resources for women entrepreneurs to grow and thrive

 Latinas in Business President and CEO Susana G Bauman recently spoke with Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss resources for women entrepreneurs. 

In their conversation, Natalie highlighted various SBA initiatives and programs that benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs, especially minority women entrepreneurs, and how small business owners can take advantage of these programs to grow their businesses and thrive

As the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Natalie serves as a senior executive providing executive oversight, management, leadership, and championship of female entrepreneurship and oversees the expansion of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) network across its nearly 140 center footprint. 

In addition to her work at the SBA, Natalie is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with over 15 years of experience in securing diverse capital, building strategic partnerships, and leading state and local economic development policy advocacy to successfully incubate and scale small business development and expansion initiatives in communities throughout the United States. 

Most recently she served as Founder & CEO of Walker’s Legacy and the Walker’s Legacy Foundation providing entrepreneurship programming to support thousands of multicultural women entrepreneurs.

Last year, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership was elevated to report directly to the Office of Administrator Guzman. This elevation is a big win for women entrepreneurs and business owners as it puts the agenda of women and women equality right at the ear of leadership with a direct line of communication to the cabinet level secretary, giving priority and immediacy to the challenges of women entrepreneurs. 

Overcoming challenges as a woman entrepreneur 

Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, at the U.S. Small Business Administration. (Photo source: sba.gov)

As an entrepreneur herself and the daughter of a woman entrepreneur, Natalie knows first hand the challenges women face when starting their own business. 

“My story really starts with me as a young girl reading the business plans of my mother when I was 11 years old. My mom is the first entrepreneur and intrapreneur that I was ever really exposed to. She was a Senior Vice President at one of the fastest-growing businesses in the Rochester community, which is where I grew up as a young girl. And I realized even though I hated reading them at the time that I was learning so much about what business looks like, what it meant to start a business, what planning is required for women in leadership, the challenges that we had.”

Natalie watched as her mother grew as an entrepreneur and she saw how people respected her and also how people disrespected her as a leading woman. 

“When I say the disrespectful piece, I’m talking about the fact that women have oftentimes found themselves challenged in their leadership in ways that many times men are not. And whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it does have an impact on women, and most certainly had an impact on my mom. And you know, I’m proud to be in a new generation of women who are leading another path that is inspired and paved by women who came before me to really continue to break glass ceilings and to shatter all the limitations that are put before us.”

Becoming an entrepreneur at age 26, Natalie has been a serial entrepreneur ever since. Now in her role as the Assistant Administrator at the SBA, Natalie is honored to represent 12 million women-owned small businesses and continue to expand their network of business resource providers and centers across the country. 

Some challenges Natalie has noticed in her role at the SBA include the pervasive challenges that women entrepreneurs have had historically, which is access to capital, access to contracts, access to educational resources, and access to networks—along with additional challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic

sbagov #YearInReview Small businesses are the giants of America’s economy.

Since the pandemic, a common challenge many women have reported is struggling to manage the duplicity of their role as a mother or caretaker— regardless of what their maternal status is— and as a small business owner. The pandemic put women in a position where they were challenged around managing time, managing emotions, and managing the health and wellness of themselves and others, while giving so much of themselves to their communities. 

“We saw during the pandemic the impact that inequity still has on women, as it relates to who’s the first to to leave the workforce, both by required force of the small business and also by default of the many roles and hats that women wear,” said Natalie. 

In fact the COVID-19 pandemic saw women leaving the workforce at higher rates than any other time since the 1980s. 

“So when you layer that health and wellness component, and the lack of access to markets during COVID-19 pandemic, on top of the existing challenges that women entrepreneurs have had, it creates the type of moment that we’re just trying to address right now at the Small Business Administration, which is a moment where we’re trying to ensure that women have the resources that they need to rebuild, or build, to scale and to grow,” said Natalie. “And that requires that we ensure that we have resource centers across the country, that the distribution of disaster recovery relief is equitable as it relates to women, which I’m proud to say that this Administration and Administrator has done.”

View the full conversation below!

Additionally the SBA has been working to address challenges many minority and immigrant entrepreneurs face in the access of resources. One big obstacle has been addressing the language and linguistic barrier and ensuring that resources and documents are available in enough languages to reach all of the small business community across the country. 

Another hurdle that the SBA has helped clear is removing restrictions that previously limited who could access resources. 

“When the Biden Harris administration came into office, we realized that the smallest of the small businesses had challenges getting access to PPP,” said Natalie. “We removed the requirements for student loan debt, which disproportionately affects Latinas as it relates to access to education, many of them are taking out educational student loans. And so having that debt would then disqualify them from having access to PPP. We also removed the requirement to have a social security number and allow for those businesses to have tax identification numbers, which made the community of non-citizen based US folks more eligible for access to PPP funding.” 

Still, with these barriers removed, documentation is still needed for applications to these assistance programs. Natalie urges businesses to prioritize bookkeeping and utilize the SBA resource centers for help. 

“There’s an old saying, ‘You don’t have to get ready when you stay ready.’ At the end of the day, you still need to have your books. You need to know what your numbers are, you still need to be able to enter this information in and to ensure that you are eligible,” says Natalie.

You might be interested: 6 Key business planning resources for Latina entrepreneurs to start anew in 2022

resources for women entrepreneurs

Ascent Platform is a free learning platform by the SBA, providing training and resources for women entrepreneurs. (Photo source: ascent.sba.gov)

SBA Programs & Resources for women entrepreneurs 

Some key resources woman entrepreneurs can utilize to grow and thrive their business: 

Women’s Business Center Network Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are a part a national network of entrepreneurship centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. The SBA has 140 Women’s Business Centers across the country, where you can go for training, counseling, advisory courses, assistance with government contracts, applications, and financial applications for loans and other forms of access to capital.

Small Business Development Centers If there is not a Women’s Business Center in a community near you, then you’re also able to access Small Business Development Centers, with over 900 centers across the country. Small Business Development Centers provide counseling and training to small businesses including working with the SBA to develop and provide informational tools to support business start-ups and existing business expansion.

Ascent Platform  Ascent is a free learning platform for women entrepreneurs. Women are able to access training and educational resources to teach them how to scale and grow from their kitchen table. If you do not have access to a center, or you don’t have the time to go into a center this platform allows you to manage the training of starting a business whenever and wherever you want to do that. 

SBA Government Contracting Programs The SBA offers government contracting programs like the Women Owned Small Business Certification program, and the 8(a) Business Development program for which Latino entrepreneurs, the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment in the country, are eligible to apply for and to compete for government contracting opportunities.

To learn more about opportunities for women entrepreneurs visit sba.gov

National Entrepreneurship Day: Bounce back post-Covid with the Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Today is National Entrepreneurship Day, an annual event that occurs on the third Tuesday of November to honor our nation’s entrepreneurs. 

Officially Established in 2010, then-President Barack Obama proclaimed the last day of 2010’s National Entrepreneur Week as National Entrepreneurship Day. 

In the past year, U.S. entrepreneurs have faced historic challenges in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many businesses were forced to close, faced setbacks, and financial losses. However, we have also seen great hope and innovation during this time as entrepreneurs and business owners found ways to adapt and communities came together to help each other. Additionally, this time saw a boom of new businesses established during the pandemic. 

In a White House statement for the Proclamation of National Entrepreneurship Month 2021, President Biden said, 

“In the midst of the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, Americans started more than 4 million businesses last year, a 24 percent increase from the year before — the highest number of monthly business applications on record — and start-up rates growing the most among immigrants and Black, Latino, and Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Americans.  This is important for our future success, as small businesses are the engines of our economic progress — and the heart and soul of our communities.” 

To help entrepreneurs and small business owners recover post-Covid, various programs have been established dedicated to providing aid and assistance. One program small businesses can benefit from to bounce back financially in the Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). 

Economic recovery for small businesses: COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan 

The COVID-19 EIDL is a federal small business loan program that supports small businesses’ recovery from COVID-19’s economic impacts by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital. The program is open to small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories. 

“The SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers a lifeline to millions of small businesses who are still being impacted by the pandemic,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a press release

The loan comes directly from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and must be repaid. It is a low-interest, fixed-rate, long-term loan to help businesses overcome the effects of the pandemic by providing working capital to meet operating expenses. 

Proceeds can be used to make regular payments for operating expenses, including payroll, rent/mortgage, utilities, and other ordinary business expenses, and to pay business debt incurred at any time (past, present, or future). 

Maximum Loan Amount: $2 million

Loan Term: 30 years

Interest Rate:

  • Businesses: 3.75% fixed
  • Private nonprofit organizations: 2.75% fixed

Payment Deferment: Payments are deferred for the first 2 years (during which interest will accrue), and payments of principal and interest are made over the remaining 28 years. No penalty for prepayment.

For more information visit the SBA site.

How to Apply 

To be eligible, applicants must be physically located in the United States or designated territory and must have suffered working capital losses due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A comprehensive list of additional eligibility requirements can be found here

To apply, first-time COVID EIDL applicants should complete the following steps:

  1. Confirm eligibility 
  2. Complete Intake Form.
  3. Sign up to create portal username via SBA email invite.
  4. Complete portal steps and submit relevant documents.
  5. Respond to SBA requests for signature, confirmation, and documents.

You might be interested: Excluded New Jerseyans Fund to provide pandemic-related financial aid to undocumented individuals

All business owners who have received previous loans through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), or Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) can still benefit from COVID EIDL. For no-cost assistance for the COVID EIDL program, and every other SBA program, go to www.sba.gov/local-assistance and connect with a local resource partner near you.

With over 13 million women-owned businesses, Women entrepreneurs are unstoppable

Today, there are over 13 million women-owned businesses and women are starting businesses at double the national average rate, according to the 2019 State of Woman-Owned Businesses Report. Additionally, women of color make up the majority of new business owners, making them the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. The month of October is National Women’s Small Business Month, which celebrates women-owned businesses and their effect on the country’s economy. 

In 1972, there were only 400,000 women-owned businesses and until 1988 women needed a male relative to co-sign business loans. Since then we have come so far. 

According to the 2019 report, women-owned companies grew 3.9% annually from 2014 to 2019, 2.2% more than all businesses at the time. By 2019, women-owned businesses represented 45% of all U.S. businesses and generated $1.9 trillion worth of revenue. Despite these great advancements, there are still many hurdles women entrepreneurs face when starting new businesses.

This week, from October 18 – 22, marks Women’s Entrepreneurship Week (WEW) where colleges and organizations across the country host events and share resources to help women entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Berkeley College is one of many institutions that will be hosting a WEW event. The virtual event, The Future is Women, will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19 and will feature panels of diverse women leaders and entrepreneurs. See here more information and to register

(Image source: Berkeley College)

Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration  (SBA) offers plenty of resources for women business owners and entrepreneurs to help women entrepreneurs launch new businesses and compete in the marketplace.

The Office of Women’s Business Ownership is one branch within the SBA that specifically works to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support. Established in 1979, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership has fostered the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically under-served or excluded. It supports programs through each of the SBA’s 68 district offices, providing business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities.

Resources and further reading for Women Business Owners and Entrepreneurs 

Women have made tremendous leaps and bounds in the area of business and entrepreneurship in recent decades. With over 13 million women-owned businesses and counting and the fastest growing group of business owners, women are an unstoppable force. To continue to foster this growth, we must continue to share resources and support initiatives that support women entrepreneurs. Below are a few resources and articles for further reading to help women entrepreneurs get started and succeed. 

“The pandemic caused much struggle for small business owners and we need to repair”, say Brooklyn2Bogota founders

Rosario B. Casas and Felipe Andrés Forero Hauzeur are the founders of Brooklyn2Bogota, a digital incubator for Hispanic business owners. Rosario is an award-winning women-in-tech advocate and serial tech entrepreneur. Felipe is an author, entrepreneur, engineer and veteran.  

The married couple founded Brooklyn2Bogota with the mission to close the digital divide post-Covid for business owners and entrepreneurs by focusing on empowerment, digital transformation, and business growth through a variety of activities and mentor lectures. 

In the fifth installment of the National Leaders for Latinx Advancement Series, Latinas in Business President and CEO, Susana G Baumann sat down with Rosario and Felipe to discuss the incubator program and how Latino businesses can grow post-pandemic. 

The pandemic push that launched their dream 

Brooklyn2Bogota leaders Rosario B. Casas and husband Felipe Andrés Forero Hauzeur. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

The husband-and-wife duo first began envisioning Brooklyn2Bogota sometime in 2015. At the time they were living in New York City and Felipe was working as a diplomat for the community. Together, they began wondering how else they could help the Hispanic community, especially immigrants. They wanted to help the community in other ways, aside from the legal work Felipe was already doing at the time. 

As an entrepreneur, Rosario began imagining ways to help Latino business owners and entrepreneurs succeed and grow their businesses and soon the seeds for Brooklyn2Bogota were planted. She quickly began reserving the name ‘Brooklyn2Bogota’ across various sites and platforms with her early vision in mind. Over time, Rosario and Felipe continued to develop this idea of an incubator program that would nurture entrepreneurs and small business owners on their journeys. 

“We had planned to launch more or less for 2022,” said Rosario. “But then the pandemic happened, the crisis happened, and we knew we had to launch early. The pilot plan was launching the first cohort. Today we are in the third cohort.” 

The pandemic caused much struggle for small business owners, especially in minority populations such as the Latino community. In the past year since Brooklyn2Bogota’s lauch, three cohorts have provided resources, assistance, and mentorships to Latino entrepreneurs and business owners. Covid-19 brought many things into focus, such as the impact of technology in our lives and the importance of community and working together. 

“When you speak of unity, you have to understand the numbers and the power that we have,” said Felipe, speaking about the vast and growing Latino population in the US. “Hispanics are now almost 25 percent of the population of the United States.” 

As such a large population, the Hispanic community has the potential to impact the economy and the country’s businesses. However, for too long, minority communities have struggled to gain the resources and knowledge necessary for success and growth. This is where Rosario and Felipe stepped up to help through Brooklyn2Bogota’s programs. 

Closing the digital divide for Latino businesses post-Covid 

Brooklyn2Bogota’s program is based on three fundamental pillars: Leadership, Product and Growth. As a tech entrepreneur, Rosario understands the importance of technology when it comes to running a business. Since the pandemic, the digital divide has become more obvious. Many business owners struggled to shift online during the pandemic and their businesses suffered. Rosario and Felipe want to close that divide so that every entrepreneur may succeed. 

The incubator program focuses on helping non-tech entrepreneurs and business owners who are unfamiliar with the world of tech. They offer information, resources, and mentorship to accelerate and promote digital learning. 

Many past videos of lectures and mentor sessions available online for free and the information is delivered in Spanish. This was important to Rosario and Felipe, since language barrier is often a barrier for knowledge. There is a plethora of resources in English but not as much in Spanish for Latino business owners and entrepreneurs, the couple explained. Many Latinos also prefer to learn in their native language, especially when the concepts are new or complicated. 

women-in-tech

Rosario at TEDxTalk. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

In the 10-week cohort entrepreneurs receive theoretical sessions and panels of specialized topics, dictated by carefully selected mentors. Focusing on the three pillars: Leadership, Product and Growth participants work to accelerate their growth in digital world post-COVID. The thematic mentoring sessions between members and participants provides them expert knowledge and guidance as they move through the program. 

You might be interested: Rosario B. Casas shares how the pandemic has accelerated technology and tech trends to keep an eye on

Finally, the program provides participants with a private network that brings together the mentors and participants who complete the program. This network allows for further connection, collaboration, and exchange of ideas in the future and continued growth for entrepreneurs and business owners. 

The fourth cohort is tentatively set to begin in April 2022. For more information and to apply, visit Brooklyn2Bogota.com

How to still apply for Covid-19 Business Tax Credits ending Sept. 30

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has provided businesses with various relief efforts. Now, several of these programs are coming to an end September 30, however there is still time for business owners to reap the benefits of the Covid-19 business tax credits before they end. 

Qualifying for Covid-19 business tax credit 

The Covid-19 business tax credits for small businesses provide businesses with dollar-for-dollar reimbursements that employers can use to provide paid sick leave to employees who cannot work due to Covid-19. These tax credits only cover paid leave between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021, but those who have not yet filed can do so before October 31, 2021. To receive the tax credit, employers should file Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return,  available on the IRS site. Qualifying businesses that file this form before October 31 will be able to claim credit for the year’s third quarter– July through September. 

A blog post by Rocket Lawyer –a free legal information and consulting site– details the various qualifications for applying along with additional information and legal advising about accessing Covid-19 business tax credits. 

To qualify for the business tax credits, businesses must have fewer than 500 employees. To use the credit, employees’ absence or inability to work must be for reasons related to Covid-19 between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. These reasons including:  

  • Leave taken to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Leave to recover from any illness or condition related to the vaccination.
  • Contracting COVID-19.
  • Caring for family members who have contracted COVID-19.
  • Quarantine periods related to COVID-19.
  • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and attempting to get a medical diagnosis or test result.

The credit covers both paid sick leave wages and paid family leave wages up to a certain amount. For paid sick leave wages, the credit covers up to two weeks of leave, up to $511 per day and $5,110 total. For paid family leave wages, the credit covers up to 12 weeks, up to $200 per day and $12,000 total. 

Self-employed individuals may also qualify. For additional details and guidelines visit the IRS.gov

Additional relief resources for small businesses 

While the Covid-19 business tax credits may be ending, there are still many resources for small businesses seeking relief. The Small Business Administration provides information for many COVID-19 relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program,  COVID-19 EIDEL, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and more. 

You may be interested: NJEDA announces Henri and Ida relief grant to support recovery for small businesses 

capital access, lban

Don’t miss this Free Resources for Small Businesses Webinar! 

Don’t miss the next session of the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN)  virtual 6-part series supported by Bank of America, “Resources That Matter for Latinx Entrepreneurs During These Times of Uncertainty.” The 6 part series is designed for entrepreneurs and key members of their team and covers important topics such as economic market forecast, capital access, customer acquisition, resource building, and networking. 

capital access

Resources That Matter: Session 3: All about capital Part 2

The next FREE webinar will stream on Thurs, June 24 at 1pm PST / 4pm EST. This upcoming session is a continuation of last month’s conversation on capital access and financial resources. 

Register Now! Session 3: Capital Access Part 2 – June 24th 

What is the impact of not having a banker?

“‘Have a banker before you need a banker’ is one of the best pieces of advice as it relates to capital,” LBAN says. “Capital is a key component in a company’s ability to scale. Unfortunately, not having an established lender is one of the barriers to accessing capital. In addition, we know that Latino-owned businesses are less likely to get their funding needs to be met. The research findings in Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 on Latino-owned Businesses found that 17% of Latino-owned businesses reported that they lacked an established banking provider that prevented them from accessing Round 1 of PPP funding in 2020.” 

This series will help you learn first hand from lenders about how to identify quality bankers and how to continuously engage with them in a way that builds a strong relationship, ensuring the best opportunity for your capital needs. In addition, participants will learn how to structure a one-page funding request, describing their company, their capital needs, and their deployment strategy. 

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to gain crucial capital insights and knowledge to help your business grow and propel you forward in 2021 and beyond. 

You might be interested: Latina Leaders share small business post-Covid recovery resources 

Latino Business Action Network

LBAN presents: “Resources That Matter: All about capital”

Don’t miss the next session of the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN)  virtual 6-part series supported by Bank of America, “Resources that Matter.” The series covers important topics such as economic market forecast, capital access, customer acquisition, resource building, and networking. 

Latino Business Action Network

Next virtual session May 27, from 1 PM – 2:30 PM PST. (Graphic courtesy LBAN).

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Latino-owned businesses used resilience, creativity, and innovation to survive. Today, the US economy is rebounding and experts are projecting an 8% growth in GDP.  What does that mean for small businesses? It means that small businesses can and should grow in 2021!

Access to capital is a critical component for growth.  We know there are existing barriers to accessing capital. The 2020 Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 on Latino-owned Business report identified a lack of banking relationship, and a lack of required application materials accounted for 39% of the barriers to accessing PPP.

Latino Business Action Network is committed to breaking down those barriers. Join two free webinars to learn the capital resources that will position you for future growth.  In these webinars you will understand the capital landscape, the types of products applicable for your company, how to leverage technology to ensure proper financial documentation, how to build a relationship with a lender, and how to create a one-pager for your company.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to network with growth-minded business owners from across the country.

You might be interested: Latina Leaders share small business post-Covid recovery resources 

The 6-part series is designed for entrepreneurs and key members of their team. From this series, you will hear from industry leaders, learn about essential resources, capital education, network with other growth-minded entrepreneurs, and you will inherit a growth perspective that will propel you in 2021 and beyond. 

Mark your calendar for May 27th at 1 pm PST and June 8th at 1 pm PST to gain the capital tools and resources so that you are best prepared for accessing capital and positioned for growth.  

Latino Business Action Network

Register today for the next virtual session!

Latino Business Action Network (LBAN)

The Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the United States by empowering Latino business leaders to grow substantial firms that create jobs. Our goal to double the number of $10+ million, $100+ million, $1+ billion Latino-owned businesses in the U.S.by 2025. LBAN collaborates with Stanford University to champion the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI).

restaurant, covid-19 worker

Applications for the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund are now open

The Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund is now accepting applications. This program will provide emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.

restaurant, covid-19 worker, businesses impacted by COVID-19, RRF

Photo by dapiki moto on Unsplash

About the Restaurant Revitalization Fund 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, small businesses have been impacted the most, with many facing tremendous losses in revenue and others forced to shut down. Of these businesses, restaurants and food establishments have been hit the hardest, as Covid-19 safety restrictions have limited business flow. 

Under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) has been established to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses recover from pandemic-related losses and stay open. The program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Applications for the RRF are now open as of May 3, 2021. Apply now!

Who can apply? 

Eligible businesses who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss as listed on the SBA site include: 

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

How to apply? 

All eligible businesses can apply directly though the SBA’s application portal: https://restaurants.sba.gov or through SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendors. Participating POS providers include: Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha), and Oracle. 

If you need assistance preparing your application, check out the following resources: 

 Watch a Webinar: Learn how to apply for RRF

RRF Application Dates

Priority Period 

Applications open today at noon, Monday May 3, 2021. Throughout the first 21 days from the opening of the Application portal, the SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants, but only process and fund priority group applications.

Priority groups are defined as a small business that is at least 51% owned by one or more individuals who are: women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged. 

Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals are those “who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities…and whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business area.” 

You might be interested: NJEDA & digitalundivided showcase resources for Black & Latino Entrepreneurs

Open to All 

From days 22 through funds exhaustion the SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants and process applications in the order in which they are approved by SBA.

How funds can be used

Funds may be used for specific expenses including:

  • Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
  • Payments on any business mortgage obligation
  • Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
  • Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
  • Business utility payments
  • Business maintenance expenses
  • Construction of outdoor seating
  • Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
  • Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
  • Covered supplier costs
  • Business operating expenses

For more information, access to forms and other specifications visit: sba.gov 

Grow with Google: Lucy Pinto discusses digital tools, trends, and resources for small businesses 

A report conducted by Grow with Google in partnership with the Connected Commerce Council found that since the pandemic began, 72% of Latino businesses are now using digital tools to reach customers online and keep their businesses open. 

Post-Covid Recovery: Trends in technology and digital tools 

Since the pandemic hit in March of last year, the impact on small businesses has been tremendous. Across the country, small businesses have struggled to stay afloat as restrictions continue to disrupt their business flow. Some of the small businesses that have been hit the hardest are minority-owned small businesses. 

During Latina in Business’ March virtual panel, “Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends,” panelists discussed how the pandemic has shifted our relationship with technology. Now more than ever, businesses are relying on digital tools to connect with customers, grow, and thrive. Lucy Pinto, who is the Manager of Diversity and Community Training programs for Google joined the conversation, sharing insights and resources on digital tools for small businesses. 

As the Grow with Google Program Manager, Lucy works to level the playing field for communities who face digital divides and barriers to digital resources. She manages the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program which delivers free digital skills training for U.S. Black & Latino small businesses. 

Lucy Pinto shares digital trends and resources 

Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager.

Pilar Avila, Latinas in Business Board Member and Chair of Finances and Governance, moderated the virtual panel. Below are some highlights from her conversation with Lucy Pinto on how small businesses can utilize digital tools, such as the Grow with Google program to help their businesses thrive. 

Pilar Avila  4:09  

So Lucy, access to technology. Digital Access has been, before, during and post pandemic critical for the growth of businesses. However, in many communities, many families, we have seen that the digital divide, and the lack of access to resources…has been accentuated with a pandemic. However, we know that you at Google are addressing exactly those challenges through your program Grow with Google Digital Coaches. Can you tell us about the program and the impact that it’s having as well as any growth trends that you’re identifying through the program, or any other services and programs at Google?

Lucy Pinto  5:45  

Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much for that. And thank you for the opportunity to be here….So Grow with Google is really Google’s initiative to provide digital skills training to Americans across all states. And so, as part of that initiative, one of our main focuses is to really focus on small business communities because we know that small businesses are the backbone of the country. And when you get a little bit more granular, what we do know, as data will show is that the rate at which Black and Latino businesses in the country are growing far extends those of other peers. And so we know that Black and Latino businesses, Latina businesses, as well, are fueling new business growth in the country.

And so in 2017, as part of an effort to help those businesses, those new Latino businesses that are launching and growing, we developed a program called the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program to specifically cater and reach small businesses that are Black-owned, or Latino-owned. And through the Digital Coaches Program, we provide free digital skills training and coaching to help these small businesses grow and thrive online. And since 2017, we have actually helped train over 60,000 small business owners, where we have digital coaches.

Our coaches deliver workshops in English and Spanish as well, because we know that sometimes they’re you know, in these communities, especially, you have a lot of immigrant communities that come in, you know, they’re starting their businesses, they’re launching, and sometimes they prefer to get information in Spanish. And so we want to make sure that we’re not leaving anybody behind. And we have, we have those workshops in Spanish as well. 

When COVID hit, we really had to pivot our own program plan, because all of these trainings and programs were done in person. And so when COVID hit we pivoted to virtual and that April, I remember last April, we saw such a tremendous interest in learning about these digital tools. So much so that as a Grow with Google team, we ended up partnering with the Connected Commerce Council to lead a report on what are the trends that we’re seeing during COVID? What are our small businesses doing? How are they feeling? How are they thinking? And as part of that report, we actually found some very interesting facts, very specific to Latino small businesses.

You might be interested: Latina Leaders share small business post-Covid recovery resources 

Key findings from the report 

  • Since the pandemic began, a large percentage of Latino small businesses are relying on digital tools as a safety net. 
  • 32% of Latino small businesses have been forced to close because of COVID. That’s 1 in every 3. 
  • 72% of Latino businesses (compared to 60% percent of the general public) adopted Google tools and digital tools to reach customers online, to update their customers, and to expand their reach and stay open.

How to grow your business with Google

Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program delivers free digital skills training for U.S. Black & Latino small businesses. The program has trained over 60,000 businesses on digital tools and works on initiatives that invest in communities that are underrepresented online to untap their potential, help them succeed, and drive bottom line impact. As our world becomes increasingly more digital, these skills and tools will be vital to business growth and success so be sure to take advantage of these free resources. 

Additionally, the Grow with Google Small Business Fund through the Opportunity Finance Network provides financial support to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses. The Fund will allow community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to support both the short-term recovery and long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses by providing low-cost, fixed-rate loans of up to 10-years with an option for interest deferral. 

Since the fund launched it has distributed $90 million in funding to businesses across the US through the local CDFIs and there is still $80 million left to deploy. 

For more information on the fund visit the Opportunity Finance Network.