December 8, 2022
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Nashville organizations assist getting financial help to Latino business owners

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Some Nashville organizations are working to make getting financial help more accessible to Latino business owners. This comes as some minority business owners say getting COVID relief during the pandemic was tough.

“When the pandemic started, somehow I got some memories from 2008. We need to start working in a different way. We have to work more and make less money. A lot of people just don’t want to come to work because they’re scared of the pandemic,” said Juan Lombera. He has been in the granite business for years.

Lombera said he is thankful for the federal funds available to business owners who were hit hard by the pandemic.

“Restaurants or whoever. If they need help, the government does really help small businesses,” Lombera said.

But research shows that Latino entrepreneurs have fewer resources available to help them bounce back from the pandemic’s impact.

“It’s a challenge every day because we don’t have a formula that we can follow,” said Karlha Ramon, owner of Azul 615 Magazine.

According to research from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, Latinos had their payroll protection program approved at half the rate of white-owned businesses. Ramon says she’s been writing about resources available for business owners and publishing those articles in her magazine.

“We’ve been working closely with the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we are in touch with that kind of information that we want the public to know,” Ramon explained.

Ramon says she started Azul 615 Magazine to help Spanish speakers in Nashville to better understand the resources that are available.

“It’s not that we don’t want to talk in English, but for some technicalities or legal things, we would like to have them in our own language that way we can make sure we are doing it in the right way,” said Ramon.

Azul 615 Magazine published an article about Nashville’s $9 million Federal American Rescue Plan Fund. Pathway Lending also reached out to the Hispanic community to tell them about the available funds and help them apply. More than 450 Nashville entrepreneurs received grants.



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