After years working for other firms, Chris Rourk decided to start a business of his own producing wireless jacks. But when the Latino entrepreneur approached banks for a loan, he was turned away. 

“It was almost impossible to get any sort of funding ... no matter what my credit status was,'’ says Rourk.

He used personal credit cards to launch his Miami-based company, VOLTA ion, in 2018, and Rourk found that many of his Latino customers had similar experiences when applying for loans. While there may have also been other factors, he believes lenders often set a higher bar for him because of his ethnicity. 

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'Almost impossible': Latinos open businesses faster than any other group but face hurdles