The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is committed to helping small businesses, especially those in underserved markets. SBA’s North Florida District Office, along with the Georgia District Office and North Carolina District Office, entered a first-of-its-kind multi-state Strategic Alliance Memorandum with Prospera to help bring resources to Hispanic-owned businesses in the Southeast U.S. Prospera is an economic development, nonprofit organization headquartered in Orlando and specialized in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to start, sustain, or grow their business.
“In FY22, over $506 million in SBA loans went to Hispanic businesses in Florida, and we intend to grow that number. This year, SBA’s top focus is helping small businesses overcome the capital challenge, especially startups and small, disadvantaged businesses. Working with organizations like Prospera is one of the ways we intend to do that. This strategic alliance will bring SBA’s most valuable small business resources into reach for many entrepreneurs and furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build equity and opportunity in Hispanic communities,” stated Allen Thomas, SBA Region IV Administrator.
The North Florida District has worked with Prospera since 2014 to provide counseling and technical assistance for bilingual business owners. In part as a result of the Alliance, Prospera has assisted Hispanic business owners in the process of applying for over $70 million in SBA-backed loans.
The newly signed multi-state Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) will increase the participation of Prospera’s clients with special emphasis on Women-Owned, Minority, Hispanic, and Veteran-Owned businesses in the SBA’s capital-access, procurement, international trade, women’s business, and advocacy programs.
Jonel Hein, SBA North Florida District Director stated, “Hispanic businesses contribute to their communities, they hire from their neighborhoods, and they pay into their local tax base; but significant opportunity gaps persist due to underinvestment. We hope partnerships like this will continue to help lessen the gap and increase opportunities for our Hispanic business owners in our district, and across the region.”
“The U.S. Small Business Administration has been an important partner to Prospera in helping us strengthen and grow Hispanic-owned small businesses,” said Prospera President and CEO Augusto Sanabria. “As we continue to grow, we are grateful to renew our partnership with the SBA and extend its reach across the three states we currently serve – Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. We look forward to facilitating collaborations in our various offices to help our small business owner clients access capital, procurement, and advocacy opportunities through the SBA.”