Nashville organization assists with financial assistance to Latino business owners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — Several Nashville organizations are working to make financial help more accessible to Latino business owners. Meanwhile, some minority business owners say getting COVID relief during the pandemic has been difficult.

“When the pandemic started, I somehow got some memories from 2008. We needed to start work differently. We had to work more and earn less. A lot of people just didn’t want to come to work because they were afraid of the pandemic ,” said Juan Lombella. He has been in the granite business for many years.

Rembella said he was grateful for federal funding for business owners hard hit by the pandemic.

“Restaurants or something. The government does help small businesses if they need help,” Lombera said.

But research shows that Latino entrepreneurs have fewer resources available to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“Every day is a challenge because we don’t have a formula to follow,” says Karlha Ramon, owner of Azul 615 magazine.

According to research from the Stanford Hispanic Entrepreneurship Program, Latinos are approved at half the rate of white businesses for the wage protection program. Ramon said she has been writing about the resources available to business owners and publishing them in her magazine.

“We’ve been working closely with the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and we’re reaching out to information that we want the public to know,” Ramon explained.

Ramon said she started Azul 615 magazine to help Spanish speakers in Nashville better understand the resources available.

“It’s not that we don’t want to talk in English, it’s that for some technical or legal issue, we want to have it in our own language so we can make sure we’re doing it the right way,” Ramon said.

Azul 615 magazine published an article on Nashville’s $9 million federal U.S. rescue program funding. Pathway Lending also reached out to the Hispanic community to inform them of available funds and help them apply. More than 450 Nashville entrepreneurs received grants.

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