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10/05/2022

STUDY: Half of Small Businesses are Open to Investing in New Tech

The survey, conducted in partnership with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, reveals the biggest challenges facing Hispanic small business owners.
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Hello Alice and Square unveiled a new study to outline the challenges and opportunities faced by Hispanic-owned small businesses and to provide resources to meet their needs. Hello Alice, the free platform helping over one million small businesses grow, released this latest survey report in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The survey was conducted in partnership with Square, the technology company helping sellers of all sizes run and grow their businesses, and The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).

The survey of 2,700 Hispanic small business owners across the United States on the Hello Alice platform revealed the largest challenges facing the Hispanic demographic: raising capital through funding or credit building opportunities, obtaining raw materials or inventory, acquiring customers, growing their staff, and effectively marketing to new and returning customers. Expanding access to financial education, grants, loans, credit cards, and other types of capital continues to be one of the best ways to address these challenges and help Hispanic owners further grow their companies and contribute to the overall global economy.

Key findings from the survey include: 

  • Inflation Drives Demand For Additional Capital: When surveyed on their greatest business challenges, Hispanic owners most commonly cited two related areas: raising capital (30%), with the primary difficulty being finding funding opportunities (86%); and growing the business (24%). Much of this difficulty reflects a need for greater financial literacy and education.
  • 2023 Business Outlook Hinges On Customer Acquisition And Hiring: 81% of Hispanic owners say they're confident their business will grow in 2023, but the factors Hispanic business owners say will most determine their potential success include two categories: acquiring new customers and hiring a team. Hispanic owners cited acquiring new customers (33%) as a determining factor nearly as often as the ability to secure funding (35%).
  • Hispanic Owners See Marketing as a Challenge and Opportunity: Related to their focus on customer acquisition, Hispanic owners are more likely than the overall population to cite marketing as a significant challenge (11% vs 7.6%). In particular, Hispanic owners identify paid advertising (57%) and social media (54%) as potential growth areas.
  • Owners Seek Software Solutions to Address Operational Challenges: About half (48%) of all Hello Alice business owners say they are always on the lookout for the latest technology solutions for their business, and another 48% say they are open to new technology solutions — provided they significantly improve processes.

Last month, Square announced that its entire ecosystem of products (including Square Restaurants) is now available in Spanish to sellers in the United States. Hispanic-owned businesses can use Square's end-to-end business solutions in either English or Spanish, including key products that address the challenges outlined in this report. Square's ecosystem gives sellers a single, easy-to-understand home for their entire business, unlocking a variety of capabilities like accessing loans through Square Banking, connecting with and staying in touch with customers through Square Marketing, and managing staff through Team Management and Square Payroll.

"Hispanic-owned businesses contribute enormously to their communities and the economy, all while facing a unique set of challenges," said Bryan Solar, Head of Restaurants at Square. "Square is fully invested in the success of Hispanic-owned businesses and recently underwent a company-wide effort to make our entire ecosystem of products and services available in Spanish, guaranteeing that both English- and Spanish-speaking sellers could take full advantage of our ecosystem in their preferred language. As a Latino whose grandmother and extended family have owned Mexican restaurants in Texas, I'm very excited about what we can do for Hispanic emprendedores like the ones I grew up with."

"Minority-led small businesses have been historically underrepresented and often face a unique set of challenges when trying to grow their businesses," said Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, co-founders of Hello Alice. "However, minority-led small businesses, including Hispanic owners, have been growing in economic power, as part of the emerging New Majority. They represent an increasingly powerful segment of the economy, full of potential if provided the right assistance to overcome growth challenges. This survey helps us better understand these specific challenges of Hispanic small business owners so that we can uncover more effective solutions to help their businesses become more successful."

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports 5 million Latino-owned businesses in America.