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Latino Small Businesses Hurt By Government Shutdown

Former SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto Jr. warns that government shutdown will slow small business growth.

As he is getting ready to launch the National Business and Government Leaders at the 2013 West Coast Economic Summit this week, Hector V. Barreto Jr., chairman of The Latino Coalition, is concerned with the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., affecting millions of small businesses, including Hispanic, African-American and women-owned companies.
In a climate of uncertainty, several hundred small businesses are meeting in the San Francisco Bay area to discuss key issues such as healthcare, procurement opportunities, newly available financing, risk management and legal reform this week.
According to Barreto, the government shutdown not only has the U.S. markets sliding but it is also stopping small businesses from growing and expanding.
“If you are a small business with a SBA application that was on the verge of being approved this week, and have made decisions based on that money, you are affected because loans are not being processed or approved,” Barreto told VOXXI.
He also pointed out that the SBA lends one billion dollars to small businesses every month. Two thirds of this loan amount goes to Latinos and other minorities.

“If you need help to write a business plan for a loan application package or an investment, nobody is providing technical assistance to do so,” he said.

“Moreover, if you have a contract with a federal agency, whether you are just starting as a federal vendor, signed a contract or need to be paid, nobody answers the phones.”
Every year, the administration is required to contract a certain amount of services for federal agencies to minority small businesses. “The SBA processes $100 billion in contracts each year to minority vendors,” he said.
In this climate of uncertainty, Barreto, a former SBA administrator under George W. Bush’s administration, believes small businesses suffer the most as they are working in the “land of maybe.”
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