Laredo, Texas now officially has a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The southern Texas city has been working to open its local chapter since the start of the pandemic.
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A new Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently opened in Laredo, Texas.
According to Jesus Garza, president & CEO of the newly-founded organization, the chapter has been in the works for over two years.
“We saw a lot of good people losing their jobs. A lot of businesses were closing. We said we needed to reconnect them back to the community,” Garza told KGNS.tv.
He continued, “We found that there were more than 1,000 business owners that were closed, but that thousands of people or businesses are not part of any chamber or association. So, we’re providing them with an alternative to come and join us.”
The board is made up of local business owners from various different industries and backgrounds. Currently, there are 40 members.
According to recent U.S. Census data, nearly 96% of the population in Laredo is Hispanic.
Therefore, in Garza’s words, “it’s appropriate to have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce since it was lacking for a number of years.”
A 2019 WalletHub study ranked Laredo as the number one best city for Hispanic entrepreneurs. It ranked the highest of more than 180 cities, including 15 other Texan cities.
The study used 24 key indicators of business friendliness toward Hispanic entrepreneurs, including shares of Hispanic-owned businesses, growth of Hispanic business revenues over the last decade and number of significant startups per capita.
Laredo ranked at or near the top of the majority of those key indicators.
In 1915, the Laredo Chamber of Commerce was established and currently serves over 600 businesses across the region. It is the oldest business organization in the city.
As part of the new chamber, a further commitment will be made to help local Hispanic entrepreneurs and business owners launch and scale their businesses with a wide array of tools to also enhance job growth and the city’s overall economy.
Garza noted that the chamber is offering free classes for those who are interested in opening their own business. For more information on that prospect, you can email [email protected].
With more than 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S., this newest Hispanic chamber along with the more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide, Hispanic businesses are prime to continue seeing more growth and critical economic contributions for years and decades to come.