Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

How can the HBIF help my business?

HBIF can help the business owner(s) with one-on-one consulting, minority certification processes, business orientation and workshops, entrepreneurial grants and loan facilitation.

At what point in my business should I contact HBIF?

The sooner the better! If you haven’t begun or registered it yet, HBIF can provide you with tips to start your business in the right direction. HBIF can help entrepreneurs during the start-up phase, to analyze your business idea before you act on it. And if you already own a business, HBIF can help you grow and strengthen your company to increase your success.

What is the difference between a loan and an HBIF entrepreneurial grant? Can you get both?

HBIF assists the entrepreneur in the process of applying for loans (commercial, SBA or microloans) from other sources. If procured, loans are money that must eventually be paid back to the lender, usually with interest costs. HBIF entrepreneurial grants are free of cost, do not have to be repaid, and are subcontracted business development projects awarded to entrepreneurs and paid by HBIF. They include business and marketing plans, legal and accounting structure assessments, corporate branding and Web page creation, QuickBooks® dedicated consulting, export assistance and loan application preparation. HBIF can assist clients with both services.

Do I have to pay for services at HBIF?

All HBIF services are free.

Where does HBIF offer services?

HBIF has offices in the Tampa Bay area, in Orlando and Kissimmee, and in South Florida.

What is the first step to obtain assistance from HBIF?

The first step to get help if you do not have an established business or if your business is less than one year old is to attend an HBIF orientation, titled “Successful Strategies for New Businesses.” This seminar covers basic information, such as legal and tax structure options, licenses and permits, state regulations, and financing options. All seminars are offered in Spanish, free of charge, and open to the public.

If you already have an established business and are looking to strengthen or expand it, you can schedule a one-on-one appointment with our consultants, who assist entrepreneurs in identifying the short and long-term needs and opportunities for their business.

What makes HBIF unique?

The HBIF services model is unique and integral. All of our services have been designed over more than 20 years and specifically for the Hispanic entrepreneur. They are therefore available in Spanish. Our services are available to our clients for free, thanks to contributions from individual and corporate donors, government grants and fundraising events. Clients can receive assistance from HBIF business development consultants, subcontracted professionals in different fields, workshop presenters and who are subject matter experts, and community volunteers from different sectors and industries who play key roles throughout our organization.

What are donations used for at HBIF?

Donations support all HBIF services—from educational programs to consulting and entrepreneurial grants—so that more Hispanic entrepreneurs can achieve their business ownership dream, succeed as small business owners, and create jobs in the community.

If I wish to contribute to the HBIF mission, how much should I donate?

Thank you for your support! You can donate as much as you would like. There are three options to make financial contributions toward HBIF programs: provide an individual or corporate donation in the amount desired; support our special events by attending or becoming an event sponsor; or take advantage of an annual sponsorship level and its many benefits. Please contact the local HBIF office for more information.