Small Business Saturday Could Help Latino Entrepreneurs

By Nick Blumberg
November 23, 2011

PHOENIX -- A new counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is trying to encourage customers to spend some of their money away from big box stores and web sites during the post-Thanksgiving weekend. The campaign could mean a boost for Hispanic-owned businesses.

Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to do some holiday shopping at local stores in order to boost their local economy. It was started by American Express last year.

Among the supporters of Small Business Saturday is the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) based in Washington D.C. Emily Coronado is its director of small business development. She said any help is welcomed.

“Small Business Saturday is a great way to help draw attention from the consumer perspective to local businesses," Coronado said. "A lot of Latino-owned local businesses could use an uptick in customers and sales to build momentum.”

Despite the down economy, ownership of small businesses by Hispanics has been growing rapidly. Some estimates put it at more than twice the national average.

About one in five small businesses in the U.S. are owned by Latinos. In some states, like New Mexico, the rate is even higher at almost 24 percent.

Coronado says Latino business owners are becoming an ever-more important part of the small business community.