Governor Newsom Highlights Entrepreneurship Initiative Investments While Visiting Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses

Governor Newsom and small business owners discuss the importance of SEED micro grants

SEED is a $ 30 million initiative to support entrepreneurship for Californians facing significant employment barriers

California’s support for immigrants is bolstered by further proposed investments for a strong economy that embraces diversity and opportunities for all

HUNTINGTON PARK – Following meetings with world leaders at the Summit of the Americas, Governor Gavin Newsom, along with California Labor Secretary Natalie Palugyai, today visited Sazon Bar & Grill, an immigrant-owned restaurant in Huntington Park that has received financial support from the Social Entrepreneurs Initiative for Economic Development (SEED). SEED is a $ 30 million initiative to support entrepreneurship and work cooperatives as a path of opportunity for Californians who face significant employment barriers due to limited knowledge of English or immigration status.

“The California Dream should be available to all Californians, regardless of immigration status or background,” Governor Newsom said. “Zacil and Coco are proof that the Dream is alive and well in the State of California. We know that immigrants and their children are an integral part of California’s identity and bring new talent and ideas to our economy. This is why we have invested $ 30 million in our SEED initiative and are proposing further investments to support an economy with inclusive opportunities for all ”.

Governor Newsom visits small business owners supported by the state’s social entrepreneurs initiative for economic development

Sazon Bar & Grill is a traditional Mexican street food restaurant owned by Zacil Pech and his mother Maria “Coco” Del Socorro Vazquez, an immigrant and single mother. After opening in 2021, they received a SEED grant and will celebrate their first anniversary on 10 July.

“As the daughter of immigrants and California’s first Latin Secretary of Labor, I know firsthand that immigrants shape our cultural identity and economic growth in powerful ways,” said Natalie Palugyai, Secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. “Immigrants make up a third of the California workforce, and opportunities such as SEED grants reflect the immense value we place in providing this community and workforce with pathways to economic success.”

California is ranked as the most diverse state in the nation, with immigrants accounting for nearly 27% of the population and a third of the entire workforce. California is home to 829,369 immigrant entrepreneurs and 25 Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or children of immigrants, according to data from the American Immigration Council. Immigrants strengthen the state’s workforce in all industries, from Fortune 500 companies to neighborhood micro-businesses.

In 2020, Governor Newsom proposed a one-time $ 10 million grant to create SEED, which was continued with a $ 20 million investment in 2021. SEED provides micro-grants, business training and technical assistance to support the starting or maintaining a small business. SEED also supports the creation and sustainability of employee-owned enterprises and cooperatives, including support for the conversion of small businesses to employee ownership.

SEED is administered in partnership with nonprofit CBOs that help disadvantaged communities in culturally and linguistically effective ways. The initiative assists people with limited English skills, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, as well as non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Last year, Governor Newsom implemented the nation’s largest small business aid program, investing $ 4 billion in direct grants and $ 6.2 billion in California business tax cuts. In this year’s state budget, Governor Newsom proposes further investment in inclusive opportunities through:

  • California Welfare Economics: $ 1.46 billion to maximize a diverse and culturally competent workforce, improve job quality, increase career opportunities and promote health equity, to help meet existing and future needs for a healthy California for all.
  • Small Business Support: $ 650 million in grants and tax relief to small businesses suffering from the pandemic, including an additional $ 150 million for the COVID-19 Small Business Grant program and $ 60 million to help start-ups with success and create a more diverse and locally based state economy.
  • Integrated Education and Training: $ 60 million over three years to expand English Language Learner pilot projects into integrated education and training programs, combining contextualized English language instruction with professional skills training for the required occupations.
  • Workforce literacy: $ 20 million to expand workplace literacy training in contextualized English, digital skills and technical skills training. This will create more skilled workforce and provide pathways to higher wages and better jobs for immigrants.
  • California Youth Leadership Program Linguistic Justice Pathway: $ 10 million to expand career pathways for community learning and earning change for community college students, including young immigrants, through the California Youth Leadership Corps, a new state-level partnership between the work, the Community Learning Partnership, select California community colleges, local nonprofit organizations and community partners.
  • Export Training Network: $ 2 million to support the statewide expansion of the Export Training Network, within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), which develops curricula and curricula for disadvantaged entrepreneurs, including immigrant entrepreneurs and small business operators.
  • Quick Start Guide and Navigation Guides for Businesses: $ 600,000 to expand the number and availability of Business Quick Guides and develop navigation guides related to the professional licensing process for immigrants, with additional translations for these online resources and services.
  • Contributions for local government: $ 8.7 million in competitive grants to local governments to help immigrant populations navigate state and local services, including the workforce and support for entrepreneurship.
  • Position focused on immigrants: Funding is underway for a position at the Governor’s Office of Economic and Business Development (GO-Biz) to support coordinating immigrant integration across the state.


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