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The 2024 State of Small Business Recap

Optimism for Women and Minority Owned Business Resurfaces

Presented by Integrality, LLC, U.S. Small Business Administration, Ivy Strategy Consulting and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

2024 State of Small Business

Wednesday, January 17, 2024 the 2024 State of Small Business for Women and Minorities was moderated by Start.Pivot.Grow. Accelerator Founder, Cynthia Nevels, and hosted online featuring national small business and economic development leaders:

Alisa Sheard

WOSB Federal Contract Program Director

Deputy Director, Office of Government Contracting

Ms. Sheard is responsible for managing the Women Owned Small Business program. Her background in compliance, evaluating firms for contracting opportunities and advising firms on WOSB certification helps small businesses learn more about the billions of dollars available in government contracting.

Emily Ryder Perlmeter

Senior Advisor

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Emily Ryder Perlmeter is a senior advisor in Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She conducts research that sheds light on challenges faced by low- and moderate-income communities, as well as promising practices to build a more inclusive economy. Her areas of focus include consumer debt burdens and loan performance, affordable housing access and small business resilience, with an emphasis on women-owned firms and small business owners of color.

Saudia Davis

Ivy Strategy Consulting


As a formidable business leader, Saudia navigated the complexities of innovating, scaling, and steering a multimillion-dollar corporation to a successful exit. Today, she is a sought-after strategic advisor, guiding the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and their teams across various growth phases.

According to The 2024 Wells Fargo Impact of Women-Owned Businesses—an inaugural report, today 14 million women-owned businesses make up 39.1% of all US businesses—a 13.6% increase from 2019 to 2023—and they are coming out of the pandemic stronger than the 2008 financial crisis, especially those owned by women of color.

The Report showed despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought, Hispanic/Latino women experienced robust growth in terms of employment and revenues. They expanded their market reach beyond selling to consumers to selling to government, corporations, and nonprofits.1 The number of Hispanic/Latino women-owned businesses has grown to 2,009,000, representing 14.3% of all women-owned businesses. They represent 42.3% of all Hispanic/Latino businesses.

The panel shared statistical data, insight on national trends and resources to help minority and woman-owned businesses access opportunities to scale and grow their businesses.

Access remains a barrier in 2024. Emily Perlmeter's 2023 article showed,

Women in Texas who own small businesses struggle more than men to access loans, post-COVID data show, and the situation is worse for women of color. Analysis of data from the Federal Reserve System’s Small Business Credit Survey show the special circumstances for women-owned employer firms in Texas. Female small-business owners report more ambitious plans than their male counterparts to boost revenue and add employees. However, on average, women-owned firms report greater occurrence of financial challenges and less access to external financing.

However, SBA recently reported changes in the lending practices benefited more women. Loans to Black-owned businesses more than doubled, Loans to Latino-owned businesses reached a record-breaking high.

  • “The Biden administration has kept its promise to even the playing field for Black-owned businesses by way of access to necessary capital and other business resources. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has now surpassed the $1 billion mark in lending to Black-owned small businesses for the third year, doubling that of the 2020 fiscal year, CNBC reports.”

  • “The SBA’s commitment to offering government-backed loans, without predatory interest rates, to Black-owned businesses has resulted in unprecedented growth for the estimated 161,031 companies under the umbrella and the national economy. Across those businesses, CNBC reports that more than one million people are employed, and more than $183.3 billion is brought in annually.”

  • “The Biden administration has significantly expanded its loans to Latino-owned businesses, which face an uphill battle to obtain credit from traditional lenders.”

  • “The Small Business Administration (SBA) in fiscal 2023 backed 7,746 loans to Latino businesses, amounting more than $3 billion, according to official figures obtained by The Hill.”

  • “That’s up from an average of just more than 5,000 loans to Latino businesses over the previous five fiscal years, including a pandemic dip in 2020 when the SBA only backed 3,877 such loans.”

ARPA funding has been distributed to states to help fuel investment in small businesses. Texas is behind in the distribution of funds from the U.S. Treasury to banks but loan enrollment was scheduled to begin Monday, January 15, 2024.

Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDI), Very Small Businesses (VSB) or other business owners should contact their preferred lender to encourage their participation in TSBCI programs as a financial institution. Texas will administer two programs under TSBCI: a Capital Access Program (CAP) and a Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), which are open to eligible new and existing Texas businesses with 499 or fewer employees.

Panelists Perlmeter, Sheard and Davis provided resources that are designed to help entrepreneurs who are prepared and ready to elevate to the next level through business education programs and government certification and contracting opportunities.

SBA's Thrive Program is administered by each district office.

You can locate your nearest SBA District Office by visiting:

The SBA partners with WIPP to provide additional technical assistance and training in government contracting and scaling through its Challengeher program.

Learn more about the Goldman Sachs Womenomics Research and the One Million Black Women Program.

How to get connected if you are interested in doing business with the Dallas Fed:

Full video recording is available on demand. Click here to watch.



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