Senator Stabenow, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet Promote Small Business Resources for Hispanic Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, today promoted resources available for small businesses during roundtable discussions with Hispanic business leaders and entrepreneurs in Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.

In 2015 alone, the Small Business administration provided over 2,600 loans in Michigan totaling over $750 million. Last year, the SBA hosted over 200 outreach visits and training events to make sure Michigan entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow their small businesses.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Michigan’s economy and create the majority of new jobs,” said Senator Stabenow. “When entrepreneurs have access to the right resources they can grow their businesses and hire workers.  Thanks to Administrator Contreras-Sweet for coming today to support and encourage business growth here in Michigan.”

Administrator Contreras-Sweet was sworn in as the Administrator of the SBA and as a member of President Obama’s cabinet on April 7, 2014.  As a business leader, California state cabinet official, and entrepreneur, Contreras-Sweet’s achievements in bringing efficiencies and modernization to large scale organizations have earned her international acclaim.  

“Senator Stabenow is a stalwart advocate for Michigan’s small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “I was delighted to join her in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing today to highlight the critical role that Hispanic-Americans – 55 million strong and 17 percent of our population – increasingly play in our nation’s economy and our prospects for continued growth.  The Hispanic consumer market in the U.S. is worth $1.2 trillion, which is more than the national economies of all but 13 countries and there are more than 3.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S.  SBA and our capital, mentorship, and contracting programs are at the ready for Hispanic entrepreneurs and small business owners across Michigan and beyond to launch a business and chart their own destiny.”

“The Hispanic community in Michigan has an increasing purchasing power exceeding $9.8 billion with 11K Hispanic owned businesses moving the state’s economy forward,” said Camilo Suero, Executive Director of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “SBA is vital for the Hispanic entrepreneurial spirit which has been growing businesses at a rate 15 times higher than all US firms. We appreciated the opportunity to showcase the success of our HBEs in Michigan and listen to Maria Contreras-Sweet and Senator Stabenow on their plans to bring more business opportunities to Michigan and to our HBEs.”

"We appreciate all the work Senator Stabenow has done to help small business in our community thrive," said Jose Yanez, President of the Greater Lansing Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "Not only do Latino owned businesses play a vital role in the overall economic growth of our communities but we also strive to serve as mentors and positive role models."

"The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce exists to support small Hispanic businesses by providing access to resources that will assist in the sustainability of such business,” said Jorge Gonzalez, Executive Director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  “We are thankful that the Office of Senator Stabenow and the Office of the US SBA Administrator partnered with our Chamber to host this important town hall meeting and discuss how the SBA can support Hispanic Owned Businesses in West Michigan."