Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers Board (NCHEPM) announced this year’s theme, Unidos: Inclusivity for a Strong Nation. Here at the Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center, we strive to support and uplift all businesses within our community by providing them with the tools and resources to start and grow their businesses. That is why we would like to highlight Hispanic-owned businesses, provide local resources, and share what you can do to support your local businesses.
Unidos: Inclusivity for a Strong Nation
Hispanic Heritage Week was first recognized under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. Then 20 years later, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended the duration to a span of 30-days, starting from September 15 to October 15. With this year’s theme being “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Strong Nation”, there is a stronger call for diversity and inclusion. It’s important to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard and their perspectives are acknowledged in the decision-making process, especially within the small and large business ecosystem.
What Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Means to the Small Business Community
Learning the history of American Latinx and Hispanics is essential to understanding what role they have played in the development of the U.S. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month goes beyond supporting Hispanic-owned businesses and educating yourself on the origins of the culture. Ivette Montejo, SBDC client and owner of Amor Por Vida says, “We strive to highlight what it means to be Chicano in Southern California and hope that it resonates with others.” However, everyone’s journey is never identical and for Victor Macias, SBDC client and owner of Aligned Ventures, being a first-generation Latino shaped his career. Victor recalls the story of his grandmother’s immigration journey and how “this immigrant spirit lives in all Latinos…we should celebrate where we come from and use that as a foundation to keep growing.” Acknowledging the Hispanic community and its differences is an important factor in recognizing its role in the growth of the community and country. Catalina Botero, SBDC client and owner of Ohkio, states how “our culture and differences contribute to the growth and expansion of all communities.” When one community wins, it paves the way to uplift several other communities.
4 Ways to Support Hispanic-Owned Businesses:
Support and Shop from Hispanic/Latinx-Owned businesses
Whether it be dining in or shopping, now is a great time to try out restaurants, stores, and more to see what they offer! The best part is, that there might be a place close to you so you can directly support your local community.
Share Your Experiences via Social Media:
As social media is a great way to help promote any business or product, sharing your experiences with a Hispanic-owned business can go a long way! This gives followers a chance to see what the business is all about and encourages them to visit and explore themselves.
Recommend Hispanic/LatinX Businesses with Others:
Have a favorite Hispanic-owned business or product you like? Now is a great time to recommend your friends and family to try them out. Word of mouth is an incredibly beneficial way for small businesses to gain visibility and bring in new customers.
Attend Hispanic/LatinX Networking Events:
If you are a business person yourself, consider attending any networking events that are geared towards Hispanic-Owned Businesses. Here you can show your support by attending, posting the event on social media, and tagging businesses or people you meet there to help spread awareness.
Hispanic Businesses to Support in Orange County and the Inland Empire:
- Handcrafted Papel Picado art pieces.
- Helps business owners, creatives, and entrepreneurs build a thriving business
- Security systems, smart home products, AV and IT services
- Family-owned and operated pizzeria
- Restaurant with Colombian styled-dishes
- Family-owned and operated taqueria
Hispanic and Latinx Resources:
Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:
- The Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities for Hispanic and Latinx-owned business growth, networking, and legislative advocacy.
National Hispanic Business Group:
- National Hispanic Business Group (NHGB) is open to Hispanic entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals at the level of vice-president and above.
- Code2040 hosts 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.
Minority Business Development Agency:
- The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) helps provide assistance to minority-owned businesses nationwide.
National Minority Supplier Development Council:
- This organization connects members with corporations looking to purchase a portion of its products and services directly from minority-owned businesses.
8(a) Business Development Program:
- This program helps provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities.
- This national organization is broadly recognized for its ability to provide free business mentoring and education for businesses.
- The Small Business Administration offers several funding programs for small business owners; minority-owned businesses are encouraged to apply.
- Check out our list of resources, programs, and business opportunities specifically for women-owned businesses.
- Learn about the resources, programs, and business opportunities available for veteran-owned small businesses.
- Discover LGBTQ-owned business resources, programs, and opportunities.
- Find the tools you need to get your business up and running, with government resources, guides, templates, and more. Utilize these tools to assist you in starting up your business, applying for leases, and attaining government certifications. All resources are downloadable at no cost!
Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center:
- The OCIE SBDC offers no-cost business consulting services and training for small businesses located in the Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. Our Network of more than 100 staff and consultants spans across generations, regions, and backgrounds speaking over 40 languages, including Spanish and Portuguese.
Looking to start or grow your business? Here at the Orange County/Inland Empire SBDC, we’re here to help you with any aspects of your business. Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or make an intake appointment at ociesbdc.org/consultation to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.