According to a new PNC Bank survey issued on 09.10.2012, nine out of 10 Hispanic business owners are optimistic about their prospects over the next two years but concerns about the U.S. economy have led the majority to focus on conserving cash and managing expenses more carefully.

“Hispanic business owners are taking a conservative approach to managing their business as they hunker down in the current economy,” said Jesus Munoz, vice president of Business Banking. “Small businesses are sensitive to economic cycles so it is important for them to manage productivity, expenses and cash flow through the inevitable up and down cycles.”

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PNC Bank announced these findings as part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) across the markets it serves.

Other key findings of the survey include:

Family is Key to Success

  • Family Affair: the majority of Hispanic Business owners have their family involved in business operations (60 percent), and nearly half (45 percent) intend to keep the business in the family when they retire.
  • Moral Support: When starting their businesses, owners considered encouragement from friends and family (46 percent) as important as having a strong group of customers (45 percent).
  • My Own Two Cents: Nearly three in 10 (28 percent) use personal savings or personal credit cards as their primary funding sources for their business. Only four percent rely on family money.
  • Following a Dream: “Passion for the business” (48 percent) is the top driver for staying in business followed by “personal satisfaction from the business” (33 percent). Financial success ranks third (29 percent), followed by obligation to family (28 percent).

Hispanic Owners are Highly Acculturated

Much like other ethnic groups, Hispanic business owners are increasingly acculturated to the U.S. way of life, especially as it pertains to success. Among other findings, the study revealed that:

  • Most are U.S.-born: More than half of Hispanic business owners (55 percent) were born in the U.S., and for those business owners born outside the U.S., they have lived in the country for an average of 35.4 years.
  • English is Important: Most Hispanic owners are seeking to hire English-speaking employees, with 85 percent saying speaking English is important, compared to only about one-third (36 percent) who feel it is important to speak Spanish.
  • Politically Astute: Hispanic business owners have concerns over key public policy issues, with the majority saying they expect a negative impact on their business in the next year from taxes (60 percent) and the federal deficit (52 percent), followed by four in 10 focused on healthcare changes (42 percent).

PNC’s Munoz, who has worked extensively with Hispanic business owners over two decades, cites the advantages of acculturation and the importance of business education.

“For Hispanic business owners, adapting to the U.S. business climate is an important first step toward success,” Munoz said.  “However, it is often the education and insight gained from banks and other business partners that enable an owner to continue making the right decisions to help grow their business going forward.”

ABOUT PNC BANK: PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).  PNC ( is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.
SURVEY METHODOLOGY: Artemis Strategy Group conducted a telephone survey among 523 Hispanic or Latino business owners or senior decision makers of Hispanic-owned small and middle-market businesses (annual revenue $100K to less than $10 million) from May 18 to June 12, 2012.  The survey was offered in both Spanish and English. The national results are based on 402 qualifying interviews conducted across the continental U.S. Sample was drawn from Dun & Bradstreet files to include a representative sampling of businesses by region and industry.  Public administration, governmental agencies, schools, hospitals and non-classified establishments were excluded. Due to rounding and don’t know/refused responses, percentages may not add to 100 percent. The margin of error for a sample of 402 respondents is plus or minus 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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