Emilio Salazar has always been driven by supporting his roots and his culture. He started his first business in Monterrey, Mexico in 1998 and started Colinas Foods with his partner Eduardo when they noticed local restaurants were charged high price points for quality protein. Colinas Foods launched in 2015 in the Greater Austin area to provide quality, affordable proteins to Hispanic-owned restaurants, so they could thrive.

Emilio needed to keep up with demand and goals; to do this he needed capital and as a start-up business owner, he was having difficulty finding funding till he met LiftFund.

With a LiftFund loan, Emilio built a bigger cooler and freezer, which allowed him to buy larger qualities at better prices and hire staff.

“The support that LiftFund offers is fantastic. With the funds it was easy for me to hire the right people with the right knowledge and be able to pay them the right amount,” said Emilio.

Every month, especially during Hispanic Heritage month, LiftFund supports and celebrates Hispanic entrepreneurs like Emilio.

While there are positive trends in Latinx business growth and revenue, there are still some challenges. Latinos own 3.2 million businesses in the country according the U.S. Small Business Administration, combined they generate almost $500 billion in economic activity annually. Hispanics are 1.5x more likely than their counterparts to become entrepreneurs. The vast majority, 90 percent, of immigrant entrepreneurs are Hispanic and in recent years, Hispanics have become entrepreneurs at a faster rate than all other major racial/ethnic groups.

Numbers are important, at the same time, according to a Bank of America survey, credit availability is 2x more a concern to Hispanic-owned businesses than to their counterparts, with health care and commodities pricing the top concerns of Hispanic business owners. Despite concerns, Hispanic businesses are more optimistic about their business growth, hiring, application for credit and expansion than their counterparts.

Just like Emilio, a combination of support and commitment to cultura, economy, and quality creates opportunities for Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. While we close this year's Hispanic Heritage month, we know every day is important in supporting and celebrating diversity in entrepreneurship. You can join our movement and support entrepreneurs, just like Emilio, today by supporting LiftFund.