The San Francisco-based start-up Square will celebrate the recent launch of its new Spanish-speaking point of sale and business tools tonight at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.
“The Mission is a hotspot for Hispanic businesses,” said Square spokesperson Ricardo Reyes. The start-up has recently partnered up with some big retailers such as Whole Foods, but they have also kept their eyes on small businesses, and especially on the growing Latino market.
Square knows that there is money to be made here: according to a company survey, 16.5 percent of California businesses are Latino-owned, a number that Square expects to increase within the next years. Although the number of Latino residents dropped to 38 percent in the 2010 Census, the Mission District remains the neighborhood with the highest concentration of Latinos and Latino small businesses.
“Studies show that Hispanics start more businesses than everyone else in the U.S.,” Reyes said. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics launched about 20 percent of all new businesses in 2013.
The Latino entrepreneurial spirit seems to especially thrive in San Francisco and in the Mission particularly. Square said that it has processed $1.5 million in San Francisco Latino small business revenue, a lot of which can be attributed to the Mission District.
In view of Square’s for-now-delayed, but still possible IPO, the company might be looking to boost its eventual evaluation by extending business with Latino business owners. The company has already been touring other Latino hotspots such as Miami, Houston and Los Angeles for promotion.
Founded in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Kim McKelvey, Square offers a credit and debit card reader (and the accompanying software) for mobile devices. The reader and software are free, but Square collects a transaction fee of 2.75 percent for every swipe. Other apps including one from PayPal are also competing in this market.
Mission Cultural Center: 2868 Mission St.
Special Guests: Carlos Silva – Maddie’s Mud, Jose Lujan – Pedro’s Moving Services, Elvira Flores – Xodi Jewelry
6 – 8p.m.