SBA Alaska Supports Hispanic-Owned Small Businesses
by sabine poux
The logistics of pandemic relief for small businesses are confusing in any language. And Alaskans whose first languages are not English may find it that much harder.
To reach across that language barrier, the Alaska District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is using a pool of translators and Spanish-language resources to provide personalized assistance to small business owners in a myriad of languages.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the SBA and the Alaska Small Business Development Center are offering two online workshops in Spanish, geared toward Alaskans who are looking to start their own businesses. Collectively called “¿Está pensando en comenzar su propio negocio?,” the workshops will take place on Tuesday, September 22 and Tuesday, October 6, both from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A prior workshop on SBA resources and loans, held in Spanish, garnered an audience of close to 15 business owners, according to Norma Lucero, the Economic Development Specialist for the Alaska SBA.
The Alaska District SBA also encourages small business owners to call the office to talk to staff about their specific needs. Callers can ask to be reconnected to either one of the office’s two bilingual staff members or, for languages other than Spanish, one of many on-hand interpreters.
Coronavirus relief The application window for the national Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) closed August 8, but now small businesses can apply for forgiveness on their loans through the SBA Debt Relief program. The loan forgiveness form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers.
The SBA also has a temporary Community Advantage Recovery Loan Program (CARL), that will “increase SBA-guaranteed loans to small businesses in underserved areas,” according to the SBA website. Applications are due September 27, and loans will be disbursed before October 1.
“This is a loan that brings in expertise and technical advice to the business. It’s not just money, but it’s also advice on how to revamp and retool your business plan in this COVID environment and this COVID economy,” said Steven Brown, the director of the SBA’s Alaska District Office. For more information, call 907-271-4022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE CO. Sol de Medianoche is a bimonthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska