Verizon supports small businesses in big ways.

By: Donna M Navedo Sexton
Manager-Corporate Communications

Exploring the Latino impact on U.S. businesses.

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Verizon supports small businesses in big ways.

Did you know that Latinos are starting businesses at a faster rate than the national average, growing 34 percent over the last 10 years? In 2018, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported that Latino entrepreneurs contributed more than $62.5 billion to the U.S. economy. With nearly 60 million Latinos living in the United States, it seems clear that the economic impact of the Latino community is significant.

How Verizon supports small businesses

Through Citizen Verizon, our plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, Verizon is committed to helping one million small businesses connect to resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030. One way we are doing this is through the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund, a partnership with the LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to provide grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses, particularly in historically underserved communities. LISC acts as a conduit between the resource providers and those who need the support. To date, this partnership has supported 777 small businesses with nearly $7.5 million invested, helping a diverse population of businesses see the growth potential in our communities.

Small Business - big impact

One great example of a Verizon-LISC grantee that has gone on to do great things is Tozuda, a small business based out of Philadelphia. Its founder and CEO, Jessie Garcia, was once a student-athlete who sustained multiple concussions that impacted her athletic career. Now an engineer, Garcia used her experience and knowledge to design a device that can be attached to helmets to help visually indicate if trauma received by an athlete might cause a concussion. The indicator, which is relatively small and inexpensive to produce, measures how much force an athlete sustains when hit.

In a recent CNBC interview, Jessie gives her family credit for her entrepreneurial spirit, noting that as the daughter of Cuban immigrants, “they instilled the belief in me that America was a place where anything is possible, and that building a business is the best way to provide stability for your family and community.” Innovative ideas like this are incredibly impactful to our community and exactly why Verizon supports small businesses.

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we encourage you to connect with local small businesses in your community and support those making a positive impact in our culture. If you know someone who owns or is starting a business, be sure to share our free online resources from the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program today.

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About the author:

Donna is part of the Corporate Employee Communications team, focused on our socially responsible business practices through Citizen Verizon's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives and the Women's CoLab.

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