Dear Members & Friends of Camino Financial,
As we digest the difficult news of racial inequality and social unrest in the U.S., we stand appalled against the brutal acts committed towards George Floyd and many others like him, whose stories have been lost in the shadows of injustice.
Our heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and the thousands of well-intentioned, peaceful protestors who are rightfully disgruntled by the systemic racism inherent in our country—an injustice that certainly goes beyond the death of George Floyd.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, we’ve seen racism polarized across our system as many black and brown communities have struggled to access relief funds or healthcare to withstand and survive this health crisis.
We are equally pained to witness minority small business owners take a 1-2 punch that could knock them out:
First, the hook to the face, as small businesses try to survive the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Forbes reports over 50% of Black- and Latinx-owned businesses expect to close their doors within the next 6 months if COVID-19 conditions remain the same.
Second, the jab to the gut, as we see small businesses become the innocent bystanders of protests-turned-riots, leading to the destruction of property and the delayed re-opening of the U.S. economy.
Our businesses are down for the count, now it’s up to us to pick them up and prepare them for another battle.
We often say IT TAKES A COMMUNITY TO BUILD A BUSINESS. As a community, we need to lift our small business owners, not only to survive but thrive. If we empower small businesses to succeed, they, in turn, will uplift our communities with them.
We are convinced minority business owners are the best vessel to drive racial and ethnic inclusivity across corporate and government systems.
Inherently our business owners are self-selected leaders, who actively serve our communities on a daily basis. Furthermore, they have entrenched networks with suppliers, customers, government workers, and political representatives — all of which can be activated to drive positive change for an inclusive “new normal”.
For this reason, we encourage our community to leverage small business owners as willing partners to help eliminate systemic and racial injustice. Let’s begin the dialogue on how we can work together to continue our fight against racism, while also eliminating the risk of collateral damage.
At Camino Financial, our motto is Juntos Adelante, which translates to “Together Moving Forward”. Now, more than ever before, we must bound together in pursuit of our common and just cause.
We invite you to listen to episode 2 of our podcast, Fundamental Fairness, where we tackle this issue with Henri Pierre-Jaques, co-founder and managing partner at Harlem Capital:
Sean & Kenny Salas,
Co-Founders of Camino Financial