Shop owner looking to his right

Paying it forward

To honor a businessman who encouraged others, this Utah center supports Hispanic-Latino and other minority business owners.

Entrepreneurs create jobs, spearhead innovation and drive large swathes of the economy. But becoming a successful entrepreneur can be a hit-or-miss proposition, fraught with daunting financial risks. That’s why the Suazo Business Center is committed to helping would-be founders from underserved communities navigate the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship. 

Gladys Gonzalez learned the value of such support when businessman and Utah state senator Pete Suazo helped her write a business plan to launch her newspaper Mundo Hispano in 1997. After Suazo’s death in 2001, Gonzalez spearheaded the creation of a center dedicated to empowering Hispanic-Latino and other minority business owners to honor his legacy. Since opening its doors in Salt Lake City in 2003, the Suazo Business Center has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs in building successful businesses. 

The Center offers multilingual training and counseling for entrepreneurs as they research, launch and grow their businesses. And the support isn’t just academic. The Center helps clients apply for small business loans and offers in-house microloans for those who may not qualify for traditional financing. The more than 9,000 clients who have received this invaluable assistance have been involved in the creation of roughly 3,200 small businesses, which have generated a total of $195 million in revenue.

Bank of America’s $10,000 grant to the Suazo Business Center is one of many investments in economic mobility for hundreds of communities across the country, part of a commitment to advance economic equality and social progress for all. This program is part of Bank of America’s five-year, $1.25 billion commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.