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Hispanic business owners share challenges, opportunities over last two years with Sen. Kaine, Rep. Bobby Scott

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hispanic and Latino business owners held a roundtable discussion with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Bobby Scott about the challenges they faced during the pandemic.

Like many other minority-owned businesses, Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses struggled during the pandemic.

That’s aside from the health struggles many families faced because of COVID-19.

“The Latino population in Virginia and nationally has been hit disproportionately hard,” said Kaine.

For the nation’s largest ethnic minority, the last two years of the pandemic have been a struggle.

CEO & President Johnny Garcia of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Coastal Virginia says their conversation with Sen. Kaine and Rep. Scott helped them paint a clearer picture of the realities Latino families and businesses have had to face in the last two years.

“One out of three Hispanic-owned businesses in the 757 failed because they couldn’t apply for the PPP or EIDL

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Chattanooga business owners got a lifeline from pandemic aid, but remain cautious

Business owners who relied on Paycheck Protection Program funds to keep going during the pandemic say the forgivable federal loans carried them through the crisis, but the lessons of the last two years have changed the way they think about the future.

“The business is good, PPP got us though, but I’m worried for what comes next, much more worried than I would have been in the past,” says Bev Eitner, the owner of Play Dog Excellent in Red Bank. “Any illusion that I was in charge has been shattered.”

Through two rounds of Paycheck Protection Program loans, more than $13 billion went to Tennessee businesses, with an average loan size of $56,700. The program wrapped up at the end of May 2021, and the forgiveness process is well under way.

“For my clients, we’re at 100% forgiveness, we’re in good shape there,” says George Wilson, the owner of Southern

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DC business owners hard at work for Small Business Saturday

As the nation celebrates Small Business Saturday, D.C. business owners say, for them, the day is a chance for people to support businesses in the community, and not the usual big box stores.

As the nation celebrates Small Business Saturday, D.C. business owners say, for them, the day is a chance for people to support businesses in the community, and not the usual big box stores.

Amaya Smith, co-founder of The Brown Beauty Co-op in Dupont circle, says she’s happy that Small Business Saturday has become a staple of the holidays.

“Everybody thinks of Black Friday and the big box stores, but small businesses really power our economy and it’s great for small business to have a piece of this huge retail opportunity that takes place after Thanksgiving,” she said. “It’s been a critical part of our business success, and I think it’s important in general.”

As someone who has

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Inequity impacts minority business owners

The Federal Reserve Bank took a look at racial inequities and their impact on minority business owners.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The country’s central bank is calling out inequities in the business world, pointing to the struggles of business owners of color. Those challenges only grew during the pandemic, resulting in price hikes, layoffs, and some businesses going under. 

In a panel Tuesday, the Federal Reserve held a panel on the impact of racism on business and financial services. The Fed noted people of color typically pay higher interest rates and work lower paying jobs compared to white Americans. The Fed also stated systemic racism limits opportunities for people of color and threatens the health of the overall economy. 

“All the monetary policy, quantitative easing in the world will not be adequate if the emerging majority of Americans, people of color, remain on the outside of the banking system looking

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