Every day for the past 47 years, my mother-in-law, who my kids and I love to call Nana, wakes up, has her required cup of cafecito and gets ready to go to work. She’s a hairstylist and the owner of Carmen’s Beauty Salon in Imperial Beach, California, and she wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. She’s seen her regulars for decades, cutting and styling their hair through weddings, graduations and more.
My mother-in-law giving my son a trim at her salon.
But in 2020, being a hairstylist—or any type of business owner—is tough. She is just one of the more than 30 million small business owners across the country who are struggling with the impact from the global pandemic. In many cases they are also trying to juggle other responsibilities like distance learning, taking care of sick or elderly family members and simply making ends meet. People like my Nana have been top of mind for me as we all cope with our current reality.
As we kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate Latino culture, regardless of who you are or how you identify—whether it’s Hispanic, Latinx, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Black, Brazilian, Latino or any other way. I also can't help but try to buscarle, which means to find a way around a problem or challenge, how to help small businesses like my Nana’s hair salon. And I'm glad to say Google is finding a way, too.
Today, we’re announcing a $3 million Google.org grant to the Hispanics in Philanthropy PowerUp Fund, to directly support hundreds of Latino-owned small businesses with access to capital and the training they need to successfully recover and continue to grow. This grant builds on Google’s $180 million commitment to support minority- and women-led small businesses across the country through the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org Grants Program.
We’re also providing free tools and training to help any Latino-owned businesses adapt and grow through Grow with Google’s "Paso a Paso" workshops and online training programs. Businesses can sign up for our new Google Ads workshop in Spanish, a special panel featuring resilient Latino entrepreneurs via OnAir En Español and continue their digital marketing training with Primer app minicourses in English or Spanish. We’re expanding our Digital Coaches program and kicking off a partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce so Latino-owned businesses can get more localized support in their communities.
Beyond helping small businesses, we have lots more in store during Hispanic Heritage Month at Google. I encourage you to explore our updated Latino Cultures in the U.S. collection within Google Arts & Culture, where J. Balvin can share with you the untold story behind Fernando Botero’s “July 20th." Also, be on the lookout for our collaboration with Pop-Up Magazine, where we’ll celebrate Latinos across the country through virtual storytelling and art.You'll also see us spotlighting Latino businesses around the country in our new "Buscándole" national campaign encouraging people to support neighborhood businesses. And today's Doodle features Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican American civil rights pioneer who was a small business owner herself. Combined, we hope all these efforts can not only celebrate the Latino community during Hispanic Heritage Month, but also help members of our community thrive for the long term.