A new survey for Hispanic Heritage Month found that 94% of Hispanic business owners would welcome guidance about how to make their businesses more resilient to current economic pressures. At the same time, 44% are struggling to find the right partners to enhance their business risk management strategies.

For financial advisors, this represents a huge opportunity, according to the survey's authors.

The bilingual survey of 671 businesses with 500 or fewer employees was conducted last summer by Nationwide, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Reimagine Main Street, a project of the Public Private Strategies Institute.

Hispanic-owned businesses contribute more than $800 billion to the U.S. economy every year, according to the study. The impact of these businesses is only growing as Hispanic entrepreneurs start new businesses at three times the rate of the general population.

“Our survey data highlights an opportunity for [advisors] to build or strengthen relationships with this group,” Juan José Perez, president of corporate solutions at Nationwide, said in a press release.

Specifically, Perez suggested a number of priorities for this community.

First, liquidity is a key concern. The survey found that 56% of Hispanic-owned businesses have no cash reserves.

“A great way for an advisor or financial professional to help business owners right now is to develop a strategy for securing capital when they need it to either invest in their business or keep the lights on the next time sales hit an unexpected slowdown,” said Perez.

A second challenge is hiring. As many as 70% of Hispanic businesses are actively trying to grow their workforce, yet 55% offer no benefits to employees (45% of all business owners surveyed do offer benefits).

“One of the best ways to guard against the risks threatening a business’s ability to attract and retain the best talent is by enhancing benefit offerings,” said Perez. “Advisors and financial professionals are in a great position to bring these [recruiting and benefits] resources to the table.”

A third issue is reducing expenses.

“We see an emphasis on cost cutting as a major theme in our data,” Perez said.

Overall, business owners have been shaken by recent events like the pandemic, supply chain problems, and inflation. That’s why 88% of Hispanic businesses are proactively preparing for future shocks, which is 17 percentage points higher than for most business owners surveyed.

But they need guidance on how best to prepare, how to become more resilient to economic shocks, said Perez. “Advisors and financial professionals can enhance the value they bring to clients by driving conversations about steps” to improve resiliency, he said, particularly those that “involve no financial cost but can pay huge dividends for the business owner.”


Nevertheless, the majority of respondents (69%) were optimistic about the future, far surpassing the 56% of their general-market counterparts who feel that way.

In other findings, the study showed how badly this population is underserved. Only 29% of participants said they had worked with a financial professional to update their business investment strategy, only 26% worked with an insurance professional to make sure their coverage was up to date, only 18% worked with a technology professional to update their cybersecurity and only 14% worked with an advisor to plan for business disruptions.

“Advisors and financial professionals are in a perfect position to help business owner clients identify gaps in their plan for business resilience,” said Perez.