News, Press Releases

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Invited to Testify at U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion Virtual Hearing Highlighting Challenges for Minority-Owned Small Businesses During Pandemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET. the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion will hold a Virtual Hearing relating to “Access Denied: Challenges for Women and Minority-Owned Businesses Accessing Capital and Financial Services During the Pandemic.”


The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has been invited to submit testimony on behalf of America’s more than 4.7 million Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs), many having been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis.


Carmen Castillo, President and CEO of SDI International Corp. and Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Board of Directors will be providing testimony along with Ron Busby Sr., President & CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc.; Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council; and Jenell Ross, President, Bob Ross Auto Group.


“In my role as President & CEO of SDI International, and as Chairwoman of the USHCC Board of Directors, we will stay committed to advocating for the U.S. Congress to enact legislation that will create positive economic impact for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) across America,” writes Castillo in her submitted testimony.  “We ask that our respective constituents be considered when our leaders in Congress seek to build solutions for COVID-19 economic relief, that our advocacy leaders of diverse backgrounds be included at the decision-making table, and that together we fledge forward to aid the prevalent needs of MBEs and their necessary economic recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Read her full testimony here.  



“The USHCC will continue to propose necessary solutions for the equitable inclusion of women and minorities into future economic stimulus legislation,” said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO, USHCC.  “We are proud to have a seat at the table to represent the voices of America’s more than 4.7 million Hispanic Business Enterprises. As small businesses work to re-open their doors, they’ll need access to resources and tools as we work to jumpstart the economy and get people back to work.”


According to the Subcommittee’s Congressional Memorandum, data shows that Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) are facing more difficult economic circumstances than others as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that MWBEs were not only more likely to show signs of limited financial health, but also twice as likely to be classified as “at risk” or “distressed” than their non-minority counterparts. 7 Further, nearly 60% of “at risk” and “distressed” business owners leveraged personal funds to respond to a two-month revenue loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The USHCC has been working tirelessly during this economic crisis, through advocacy and creative new partnerships to help strengthen local Hispanic Chambers and support small businesses recovery. The USHCC has launched several grant programs due to the overwhelming need of many small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The USHCC staff has also created many bilingual resource guides and provided 24/7 hands-on support for business owners including bilingual technical assistance for federal programs including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and more.


The USHCC also launched two new important media partnerships to help reach more business owners beyond our network. The USHCC has partnered with Telemundo and Comcast to launch the #NuestrosNegocios campaign to share immediate resources on TV and online markets/platforms throughout the U.S. including Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories. The USHCC also launched a new podcast and live radio show with Spanish Broadcasting Systems called “La Voz Del Negocio Hispano” (The Voice of Hispanic Business) which airs every Sunday to highlight resources and best practices for small business recovery.


Questions may be submitted to





About the USHCC


The USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of more than 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that combined, contribute over $800 billion to the American economy every year. It also advocates on behalf of more than 200 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 260 local chambers and business associations nationwide. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @USHCC.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from USHCC.