Top 15 Types of Latino-owned Businesses

A few weeks ago, a colleague asked me why Latino micro entrepreneurs focus on retail or construction businesses instead of developing other ideas. As a loan specialist who works directly with Latino businesses, my immediate thought was, I see more than retail.

I decided to look into it. I found an analysis of the nations’ top 15 small business categories owned by Latinos. The study used census data from 2010 to 2015, and was done by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Can you guess what topped the list? It was restaurants – no surprise – followed by real estate, landscaping services, trucks and transportation, building services, automotive repair and maintenance, child care services, offices of physicians, beauty salons, management and consulting services, legal services, grocery stores, insurance services, computer system design, and architectural and engineering services. Construction wasn’t part of the analysis as the census doesn’t distinguish detailed industries.

I also found an article by SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet talking about Hispanic businesses being at the forefront of small business growth. Contreras-Sweet congratulated the more than 3.2 million Hispanic-business owners, who together have contributed more than $468 billion to the economy.

She noted that, with 55 months of consecutive job growth, Hispanic businesses have created 2 out of every 3 net new jobs. SBA experienced record lending to Hispanic entrepreneurs, increasing their loans by $1.3 billion over the previous year.

We've been busy here in Nebraska too! Loans from the Latino Business Center accounted for 32 percent of REAP’s total lending in FY 2015. We also worked with 40 percent of the people who received training.

If you’d like to learn more about the Latino Business Center or you want to start or develop a new business idea, please contact me, Juan Sandoval, at 402.371.7786 or

Feature image: REAP Latino Business Center clients wrap up a QuickBooks training session in Spanish held at the Lexington Public Library in Lexington, Nebraska. REAP offers training, financing, and counseling to all kinds of rural small businesses.