Colorado-based Chio Scott is the first of many Business Access Advisors to come as part of the expansion of Access Commitment® to the Hispanic market
Born and raised in Peru, Chio Scott knows what it’s like to be new to the U.S. and having to forge a new career path. She also knows how difficult that can be while having to navigate a new banking system.
“When I came here, I never believed in credit. I was taught that it’s not a good thing to have and you need to just work hard and pay for things with your own money,” Scott said. “The same is true for so many Hispanic business owners. I’m passionate about working with my community because I can help someone understand the basics of banking and what’s needed to qualify for better and bigger things.”
Scott’s role as a U.S. Bank Business Access Advisor (BAA) is focused on helping Hispanic business owners grow their respective businesses, becoming the first U.S. Bank BAA specializing in the Hispanic market. The BAA program began in 2021 as part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment®, a long-term framework with multiple initiatives, including Business Access, focused on building wealth and helping to close the racial wealth gap. BAAs are responsible for addressing the three most prominent gaps that limit business growth and employment opportunities: information, connections and capital.
U.S. Bank started with a focus on the Black community as that is where the gap is the largest but recently expanded Access Commitment to the Hispanic market. The expansion of the BAA program is the first of several initiatives to help Hispanic families build generational wealth.
“The racial wealth gap is real, and it takes one look at the small business community to see a microcosm of the broader issue,” said Queanne Smith, Small Business Diverse Segments Leader for U.S. Bank. “Minority-owned small businesses have historically struggled to access capital, impeding their ability to grow with their business counterparts. The addition of Chio is just the beginning of our expansion into supporting the Hispanic community.”
“Minority-owned small businesses have historically struggled to access capital, impeding their ability to grow with their business counterparts. The addition of Chio is just the beginning of our expansion into supporting the Hispanic community.”
Queanne Smith, Small Business Diverse Segments Leader for U.S. Bank
Scott emigrated from Peru to the U.S. in 2007 and eventually began an unexpected career in banking. Working her way up as a Small Business Specialist with U.S. Bank, Scott quickly jumped on the opportunity to explore an expanded role as a BAA and conduit to local Hispanic businesses in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I know the struggles that Hispanic business owners face, and I want to be a part of the solution for them,” Scott said. “I can now commit myself to an underserved market that largely doesn’t have access to the right resources, and that starts with financial education. The clients I work with know how to run their businesses, building on a foundation of hard work. But it’s things like building credit and cash flow that unfortunately get skipped over, and that’s where I step in.”
A common issue with Hispanic business owners is a lack of trust with the banking system, which is something Scott herself experienced upon moving to the U.S. The solution can be as simple as financial literacy, and providing that information in someone’s native tongue, she said.
“I am able to share my own story about my journey to the U.S., how I learned the basics of banking and how to start, run and grow a business. Those shared experiences build trust which allows me to serve my customers more effectively.”
Scott is involved with the Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber, where she can further engrain herself with the Hispanic business community and find new avenues to reach potential clients. Participating in and leading workshops at businesses that reach the same audience builds the trust that so many business owners struggle with, she said. And when it comes to the most important quality needed to build that trust, Scott’s approach is simple: Listen.
“It’s critical for my peers, partners and team members to be active listeners, regardless of the background of the client in front of you,” Scott said. “You don't have to completely understand their culture, but you can listen. If a customer feels that you listened to them, trust me, they are loyal to you forever.”
Recently, U.S. Bank launched Asistente Inteligente, the first-ever Spanish-speaking voice assistant for banking. With it, so many of the bank’s Spanish-speaking customers will finally be able to speak for themselves when it comes to banking. U.S. Bank plans to provide more products and services that are translated into Spanish with more Access Commitment initiatives to serve the Hispanic market.
This Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Bank reflects on its commitment to supporting the Hispanic community by leveling the playing field and allowing them to build their own legacy through financial wellness. For Scott, it’s a time to acknowledge the good times and the hard times, through the lens of her community and culture.
“Hispanic Heritage Month reminds us to just be humble, to remember where we came from and what unites us, while reflecting on our values,” Scott said. “It’s embracing your struggles and challenges because there is someone else in the community sharing that experience. We need lift each other up and embrace our culture through these common experiences and be a support system that strengthens us all.”
To reach Scott and learn more about how she can help your business grow, visit: https://appt-scheduler.usbank.com/service.
We are making it easier and simpler for our Spanish-speaking customers to bank digitally.
The initiative, launched in 2021 as part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment, has already served more than 1,000 businesses in 2022.
Investments U.S. Bank has made in support of Black-owned businesses includes the creation of business access advisors, who can expand networking and business development opportunities for Black business owners.
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