California’s Sanchez Joins Sherrill on the CD11 Campaign Trail

Mario Anglada, the CEO of a Morristown health care business called Hoyhealth, says Latinos looking to start businesses still must deal with negative stereotypes.
And those are that just about all Hispanics are poor immigrants from impoverished nations. That perception makes getting bank loans difficult.
Anglada made the comments following a Tuesday morning roundtable in Morristown hosted by Mikie Sherrill, the Democratic congressional candidate in District 11. About a dozen Hispanic businessmen and women sat around a table at the High End Barber Shop and discussed common problems.
They were joined by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, a Democrat from California who is touring the country on behalf of Democratic candidates.
Sanchez agreed that we remain a nation where negative stereotypes about Hispanics exist.
The raw numbers seem positive, as there are about 116,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in New Jersey and data indicates they are growing faster than the national rate of business growth.
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, who was also on hand, said that 30 percent of the estimated 1,200 businesses in town are owned by Hispanics. Most are along Speedwell Avenue, which is the heart of the town’s Hispanic area.
That poses its own problems. There has been much redevelopment in Morristown under Dougherty’s tenure. But the mayor said it’s important going forward not to allow future redevelopment to push out Hispanic businesses.
That possibility aside, those sitting around the table said “access to capital”  is the main hurdle for Hispanics looking to start businesses. Anglada said the reality is that Hispanics need to have a business plan that is “25 percent better” than others.
Bob Medina, who ran an engineering firm and who is now a consultant, said the federal government can help. He said loans from the Small Business Administration need to be offered at lower rates.
Additionally, he said a current government practice of “bundling” contract offers inevitably favors large corporations at the expense of all small businesses.
Without access to capital, the group at the roundtable said many Hispanics start businesses by using savings or even getting cash advances on their credit cards.
This is hardly an easy problem to solve and certainly seems beyond the capabilities of a single member of Congress. Still, Sherrill stressed the importance of helping businesses in New Jersey by improving the state’s infrastructure in general and advancing the Gateway Tunnel project in particular.
She also took the obligatory swipe at Republican candidate Jay Webber, saying he has opposed state legislation aimed at making it easier for minority-owned businesses to obtain loans. Webber is a state assemblyman.
As for the greater issue – the fall election – Sanchez said her presence is a sign of its nationwide importance.
Sanchez said of Sherrill, “She’s (in) one of the races we’re most excited about.”

Webber Tuesday afternoon issued a statement.

“Mikie Sherrill doesn’t know the first thing about creating jobs or supporting small business owners,” he said. “The agenda and leadership she supports would weigh on the business owners like an anvil.  It was Mikie’s Democrats who stifled economic growth and access to capital for small businesses through over-regulation like Dodd-Frank.  And it’s Mikie and her party who would reverse course on the historic economic growth our nation is enjoying.”

Webber also noted that he was endorsed last week by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, adding that “Hispanic unemployment is at a historic low, wages are rising, and the confidence of our small business owners – no matter their ethnicity – is at an all-time high.”

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