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University of Minnesota Extension

Impact of COVID-19 on Latino-owned firms in Minnesota

Key findings

A small business owner taking a customer's order
A customer ordering food at Latino-owned business, KAHLO Underground, in Northfield, Minn. | Photo: Cory Ryan
  • Latino-owned firms in Minnesota are slightly more likely to indicate a significant negative effect from COVID-19 than the broader business community.
    • Data collected during the study showed that 43 percent of Latino business owners felt the pandemic is having a significant negative effect on their business revenue, while 35 percent reported a moderate negative effect.
  • The pandemic created strains on the supply chain for many Minnesota firms. These challenges were mirrored at Latino firms.
    • Results from the survey showed 28 percent of Latino-owned businesses faced a reduction in the availability of main inputs from their suppliers.

  • There is evidence of disparities in access to COVID-19 relief programs.

    • Results from the Census survey showed 73 percent of Minnesota businesses received the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP). In comparison, 45 percent of Latino firms responding to the survey reported benefiting from the program.

About this study

The COVID-19 pandemic has had sweeping economic repercussions. Evidence shows it has had disparate effects on both minority populations and people of color. To measure the economic impact of the pandemic on Latino-owned businesses in Minnesota, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER) and University of Minnesota’s Extension Department of Community Development conducted both a qualitative and quantitative survey to better understand how Latino-owned businesses have fared since the pandemic’s onset.

This research aims to provide insight into the current situation Minnesota’s Latino business owners are facing, their ability to weather the storm, and how the pandemic’s impacts on Latino businesses ripple throughout the economy. While the number of survey responses limits a generalization of findings, results do provide some indication of how firms are faring.

The U.S. Census Small Business Pulse Survey has been gathering data from firms across the nation since the start of the pandemic. This information augments this research and provides a benchmark for comparing the data collected in the study.

Read full report

Este reporte está disponible en Español.

Authors: Rodolfo Gutierrez, HACER; Jennifer Hawkins, Extension; Juan Pablo Higuera, HACER; Neil Linscheid, Extension, Brigid Tuck, Extension; Jocelyn Hernandez Guitron, formerly with Extension

Reviewed in 2020

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