As the United States reflects this week on the many contributions of our veterans and service members over Veterans Day weekend, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) recognizes the value that Hispanic veterans’ efforts have had on our economic recovery.
According to the most recent Census Bureau Survey of Business, the percentage of Veteran-owned businesses under Hispanic ownership doubled from 2002 to 2007. Hispanic veteran-owned businesses now number over 113,000. These businesses employ about 141,000 people and account for nearly $25 billion in receipts.
“Hispanic veterans have demonstrated an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit worthy of our continued support,” said Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the USHCC. “These talented veterans and service members have honored our country with their commitment, and it is critical that we ensure they have access to the resources and opportunities that will turn their training, experience, and drive into prosperity for the American people.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) acknowledges the importance of supporting veteran entrepreneurs as well. The SBA’s bipartisan efforts to ensure that veterans have access to necessary resources should be applauded. In fiscal year 2011, the SBA has funded 4,300 loans totaling upward of $1.5 billion in financing for veteran-owned small businesses. Furthermore, all government agencies remain committed to meeting requirements that at least 3% of federal contracts be awarded to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and at least 5% of all federal contracts be awarded to minority-owned small businesses.
As thousands of veterans return to the U.S. in the coming months, it is crucial to assist them by providing a strong foundation for their economic success, and the USHCC will continue to commend the SBA and policies that allow for veteran-owned small businesses to flourish.