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Guest post: As the Hispanic population continues to grow, so does the state’s economy

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Hispanics have become the largest minority group in the United States and are the second fastest growing group in the country behind Asian Americans. This huge increase in population is clearly linked to economic growth, as Hispanic households now hold considerable income and consumption power compared to a decade ago.

In the Garden State, Hispanics have some of the highest business ownership rates in the United States, as recent data shows they are more likely to have their own business than the general population. American. New Jersey is home to more than 120,000 Hispanic-owned businesses, which in turn create thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in tax revenue, essential to fund municipal services and strengthen social programs like Medicare. and Social Security. Notably, New Jersey’s Latino gross domestic product was $ 97 billion in 2018, higher than the overall economic output of the state of Hawaii.

However, the road to prosperity and the “American Dream” has been arduous and long for many Hispanic entrepreneurs, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated existing challenges in accessing capital and obtaining income. ‘other financial resources. Nonetheless, Hispanic immigrants and Hispanics continue to make strong and consistent contributions to New Jersey’s population and economic growth.

“As part of his vision to create a stronger, fairer and more equitable New Jersey economy, Governor Murphy is committed to a whole-of-government approach to removing barriers to facilitate greater equity in the access to much needed municipal and state services. and federal resources for historically underserved communities, ”said NJEDA Executive Director Tim Sullivan. “NJEDA has developed a broad portfolio of programs designed to help grow small businesses and create vibrant communities. “

As of March 2020, the NJEDA has approved more than 91,000 support awards for businesses affected by COVID-19. Through a combination of grants, low-interest loans, financing guarantees and free business advice, the Authority has provided more than $ 650 million in pandemic relief. Many of these programs have specifically targeted the most at-risk businesses, including micro-businesses, Hispanic-owned businesses, and businesses in communities eligible to be designated as New Jersey Opportunity Zones.

Throughout the pandemic, NJEDA has partnered with leading marketing companies specializing in outreach to minority and women-owned businesses to ensure awareness of NJEDA COVID recovery resources in underserved communities . As a result of these efforts, NJEDA provided more than $ 160 million in COVID-19 relief to minority-owned businesses, many of which were Hispanic-owned, and a similar amount to women-owned businesses. These numbers will continue to increase as the Authority continues to process relief requests and provide additional grants and loans.

More recently, as businesses recover from the impact of the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the Authority selected the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of the State of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) and the African-American Chamber of Commerce of NJ (AACCNJ) to guide businesses that have suffered damage from the storm. through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Non-COVID Economic Disaster Lending (EIDL) program application process and / or the Physical Business Disaster Lending Program.

“We very much appreciate our long-standing partnership with NJEDA, the resources it provides and the open line of communication we have with its leadership,” said Carlos Medina, President and CEO of SHCCNJ. “This support has been extremely critical for so many of our members during the pandemic and recent inclement weather, as it has enabled them to expand their networking opportunities, connect with mentors, and gain access to the educational resources needed to support them. ‘flourish in New Jersey.’

A central pillar of the Murphy’s administration’s efforts to ensure the state’s long-term economic resilience is the implementation of the suite of new programs created by the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA). One such program, the Main Street Recovery Program, is a $ 100 million small business support program that will fund several financial aid products aimed at supporting the growth and success of New Jersey small businesses. The NJEDA plans to open applications for one element of the Main Street restoration program, the Small Business Rental Grant program, on October 20. The $ 10 million pilot program will help revitalize downtowns and main streets by offsetting some of the costs associated with businesses and nonprofits leasing ground floor space. This is the first of several programs that NJEDA will be launching in the coming months as part of the Main Street restoration program. More information is available at https://www.njeda.com/main-street-recovery-fund/.

The role of Hispanics in the United States, and particularly in New Jersey, is more important than ever before. Latinos bring color, vibrancy, passion and flavor to our communities, but they also strengthen the fabric of this nation with their persistence and hard work as they have proven to be a source of resilience for the world. American economy.

As the end of Hispanic Heritage Month approaches, NJEDA’s commitment to better serve Hispanic and other minority business owners and New Jersey residents continues to grow stronger.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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