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The $700 billion Hispanic business market in the U.S. is now at the tipping point

The $700 billion Hispanic business market in the U.S. is now at the tipping point

  • As gridlock over another round of stimulus for small business in Washington continues, 5 million Latinos are at risk of bankruptcy, a new study reveals on Sunday.
  • Pre-pandemic they were the fastest-growing cohort on Main Street and contributed 4% to U.S. GDP.
  • Latino companies that applied for the Paycheck Protection Program have seen a 21% drop in revenue since February while their costs for PPE and other safety measures rise.



a group of people walking on a city street: Small businesses line Bagley Avenue in the Mexicantown neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, Michigan.


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Small businesses line Bagley Avenue in the Mexicantown neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, Michigan.

As gridlock over another round of stimulus for small business in Washington continues, 5 million Latinos are at risk of bankruptcy, a new study reveals on Monday. Pre-pandemic they were the fastest-growing cohort on Main Street and contributed 4% to U.S. GDP. Their demise portends a troubling trend that can upend communities across America.

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Statistics reveal the story. Latino companies that applied for the Paycheck Protection Program saw a 21% drop in revenue from February through September while their costs for PPE and other safety measures rose and continue to remain high. Additionally, they retrofitted their businesses to deal with the pandemic, which resulted in a huge amount of expenditure that exceeded their revenue in the summer. They spent a lot to stay open and ended with a negative 11% margin.They are now cash flow negative and are on the brink of going out of business, the annual Latino Small Business Biz2Credit survey reveals.

Times were particularly hard for companies in the Northeast and Midwest, but as the coronavirus spread across the country, other areas have suffered, as well. The Biz2Credit research found that non-Latino businesses also have struggled, although their revenue remains slightly above break even.

For the study, Biz2Credit analyzed the financial performance of 35,000 companies, including 3,000 Hispanic-owned

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IBM advanced Project Debater effort with Key Point Analysis

IBM advanced Project Debater effort with Key Point Analysis

IBM has developed a natural language processing advance via its Project Debater effort called Key Point Analysis that aims to use artificial intelligence to sum up crowd-sourced arguments.

The technology, led by IBM Research, is being showcased on Bloomberg TV’s “That’s Debatable” show. The show aired Friday and featured a debate on wealth distribution with US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Manhattan Institute’s Allison Schrager.

Noam Slonim, lead researcher for IBM’s Project Debater effort, said the goal of Key Point Analysis is to “enable AI systems to manage the human language.” “There’s a significant opportunity for using national language processing,” he said.

Primers: What is AI? | What is machine learning? | What is deep learning? | What is artificial general intelligence?    

In the debut episode of “That’s Debatable,” IBM used Key Point Analysis to distill points for a debate on wealth redistribution. About 3,500 arguments were submitted on whether it is time to redistribute wealth and IBM is collecting thoughts on future debates, IBM’s technology found that 56% of the arguments were for redistribution, but 44% were against. Of that 44% against redistribution, 15% cited the moral hazards of discouraging hard work. Without the AI distilling those arguments, it’s unlikely that point would have been surfaced in a debate.

The breakdown of submissions went like this:

  • 3508 submissions
  • 1600 usable arguments
  • 20 final key points
  • 2 coherent narratives for each side.

Slonim explained that IBM’s Key Point Analysis is designed to reveal key points, generate a bullet summary and create quantitative numbers to review and a narrative. “It puts short comments into a summary that can guide decisionmakers and establish a communication channel between decisionmakers and those impacted,” he said.

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IBM

IBM Watson Chief Architect Dakshi

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