“One of the greatest things you have in life is that no one has the authority to tell you what you want to be. You’re the one who’ll decide what you want to be. Respect yourself and respect the integrity of others as well. The greatest thing you have is your self-image, a positive opinion of yourself. You must never let anyone take it from you.” – Jaime Escalante
Every year, from September 15 to October 15, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month. We take this month to recognize the many achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans. It’s a celebration of the impact Hispanic American history and culture has had on America and commemorates notable figures who have inspired others to achieve success.
As President Lyndon Johnson wrote in his proclamation, he wanted to recognize the “great contribution to our national heritage made by our people of Hispanic descent—not only in the fields of culture, business, and science, but also through their valor in battle.”
About Hispanic Heritage Month
The month-long celebration first started as a week called Hispanic Heritage Week. This observation began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. It was not until August of 1988 that President Ronald Regan expanded it to what it is known today a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.
The celebration begins halfway through September to coincide with national independence days in several Latin American countries. On September 15, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica celebrate their independence. This is followed by Mexico on the 16th, Chile on the 18th, and Belize on the 21st.
The Role of Hispanic-owned Businesses in the U.S.
Hispanic-owned businesses are a significant driver in the U.S. economy. The revenue of Latino-owned businesses increased 61% from 2017 to 2020. According to a study from Stanford University, Latino business owners have grown 34% compared to 1% for all business owners over the past 10 years.
Like many other businesses, Hispanic-owned businesses have encountered many struggles throughout the pandemic. However, they continue to be a growing economic sector and play a big part in its overall strength. The same Stanford study found they contributed $500 billion to the economy in annual sales. Additionally, Stanford reported that Hispanic-owned businesses account for about 4% of U.S. business revenues and 5.5% of employment.
How You Can Support
This past year and a half has been especially tough on Hispanic-owned businesses. Make sure to take the time to celebrate this month and support your local Hispanic-owned small businesses.
Here are just a few ways you can show your support:
- Learn about Hispanic Heritage and how they’ve impacted the U.S.
- Research local Hispanic businesses and shop
- Follow, like, comment, and engage with Hispanic-owned businesses on social media
- Leave positive reviews on Yelp and their social media accounts
- Spread the word by telling your family and friends about Hispanic-owned businesses you shop at
- Show your favorite businesses some love on your own accounts and tag them when you show off their products or services
- Keep it going! Continue to show your support all year long, don’t stop once the month ends
Hispanic-owned Businesses to Support in Orange County and the Inland Empire
- Bibi Bars
- Healthy probiotic bars
- Guardian Gear
- Ballistic products and bulletproof panels for law enforcement and civilians
- Lili Dulce Artisan Treats Bakery
- Delicious and delicate artisan alfajores, cakes, tarts, and other desserts
- MBites Foods
- Authentic ready-to-eat and make-ahead Colombian food
- Savannah Crafts
- Handmade and hand-printed leather handbags, belts, and wallets
- The Roomeaze
- Event planning and managing for all types of events, including corporate, non-profit, social, trade shows, meetings, incentive trips, sponsor parties, conferences, etc.
- This national organization is broadly recognized for its ability to provide free business mentoring and education for businesses.
- SBA Funding Programs
- The Small Business Administration offers several funding programs for small business owners; minority-owned businesses are encouraged to apply.
- Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- The OCHCC provides opportunities for Hispanic and Latinx-owned business growth, networking, and legislative advocacy.
- National Minority Supplier Development Council
- This council connects members with corporations looking to purchase a portion of its products and services directly from minority-owned businesses.
- National Hispanic Business Group
- The NHBG is open to Hispanic entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals at the level of vice-president and above.
- Minority Business Development Agency
- This agency provides assistance to minority-owned businesses nationwide.
- Code2040 is a nonprofit hosting events and training for Black and Latinx founders. This organization also plays a role in connecting Black and Latinx college students with careers at established companies.
- 8(a) Business Development Program
- This program provides a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities.