ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – There’s no doubt Abilene is known for its small businesses. Marshall Morris, Executive Vice President of First Financial Bank said now is the perfect time to start a business. According to the U.S. Census, almost 26% of the population in Taylor County is Hispanic, so having Hispanic-owned businesses is essential to have in the key city.

“Hispanic-owned businesses are the fastest growing business demographic in the U.S. so Texas is a great place to own a small business,” said Morris.

Owning a small business comes with its challenges. Morris said the hardest part is acquiring enough funds to open a new business or to grow one. To help with this, First Financial Bank has resources to connect business owners with anything they may need.

Lupe Cardoza opened her restaurant El Pulgarcito about nine years ago. Over the years, she was able to branch out and open a second restaurant. She added that major challenges of owning a business is acquiring enough funds to open and working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of the places require time and money to thrive and that’s why many businesses fail,” shared Cardoza. “Sell or don’t sell – one has to be here to wait for the customer, and with the hand and force of God, everything can be done. And that was my dream to do something in life here.”

Despite this, she was able to power through and encourages those thinking of opening a business to take the leap of faith.

“For the Latinos who want to open a business, I invite them to give themselves the opportunity that everything can be done. But you have to have that disposition of hard work,” said Cardoza.

Cardoza said because of that hard work, she has had immense support from the entire Abilene community since she opened her business.