Why Latino Small Businesses Thrive in California, Texas, Florida and New York

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: April 28, 2017
Photo credit: Shutterstock / LP2 Studio

If you’re thinking about opening up shop in one of these states — California, Texas, Florida, and New York — here’s a glimpse at the benefits that await Hispanic business owners getting started.

Last year, the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative released the State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2016 report that included key findings on the high growth of Latino-owned firms in the United States. One of the most interesting discoveries was uncovering the states where the majority of these firms do business. Nearly 60 percent of Latino firms are located in California, Texas, Florida and New York. Runner-up states include North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, South Carolina and Illinois.

While the four core states where these firms thrive are also well-known for their large Latino populations, each state provides plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to get their startups off the ground. If you’re thinking about opening up shop in one of these states — California, Texas, Florida and New York — here’s a glimpse at the benefits that await Hispanic business owners getting started.

1. California

The State of Latino Entrepreneurship report notes that in California, 22 percent of Latino firms call the West Coast home, particularly in the city of Los Angeles where 2.1 percent of these firms are based. This is great news for the city, which leads the nation in startups according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.

While it’s true that California is an expensive state to start a business, the flood of new firms has brought with it major financial assistance. In 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved more than $5 billion in small business loans for California companies. 2017 has great plans in store for entrepreneurs as well. 12 months of economic development are on the horizon including the major lending initiative, Partnerships for Lending in Underserved Markets or PLUM. A combined effort from the SBA and Milken Institute, this initiative plans to provide minority-owned businesses with enhanced capital access and increased lending for those in underserved markets.

2. Texas

Texas is home to two cities where one in nine Latino firms can be found: San Antonio (2.4 percent) and Austin (1.6 percent). The state is one of the fastest growing for Hispanic entrepreneurial activity and credits that action to the Latino population and overall economic growth.

The Lone Star State is also extremely small business friendly. Residents pay no personal income tax and receive access to loans with lower business taxes than most states offer. With so many benefits, it’s hardly a surprise that the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC) has the city on track to be the home of more than 51,000 Hispanic-owned businesses by 2020!

3. Florida

Seeking a grant for your Latino firm? Head over to the Sunshine State — as an extra incentive, your small business won’t have to worry about personal income or state tax. Florida is known for having the second-highest density of startups in the country and offers up small business grants and programs for qualifying startups. Two of our favorites include the Miami Mom & Pop Small Business Grant for Miami-based local businesses and the Orlando Downtown Facade & Building Stabilization Program for businesses based out of Orlando looking to improve the appearance of their buildings.

4. New York

Inside this concrete jungle where dreams are made of are a whole lot of entrepreneurs looking to make their mark. The SBA noted in 2014 that 99% of all New York businesses are made up of small businesses. Of the 60 percent of Latino firms scattered throughout the four main states, 6 percent are in New York with 3.6 percent of that percentage based in New York City.

While the entire state offers plenty of small business opportunities, there are several New York City-centric small business grants that are definitely worth looking into for new and established entrepreneurs alike. Some of these include the New York City Commute Enhancement Grant, or NYCCE Grant, for startups that tie in with city commuting. There’s also a grant provided by the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) for fashion startups and the Job Creation and Retention Program for new businesses committed to creating 75 new jobs in the Lower Manhattan area.

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