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Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
GPHCC President and CEO Jennifer Rodriguez offers opening remarks for the annual State of Hispanic Business event on October 29. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

The state of Hispanic business in the U.S.

The Hispanic Chamber showed its commitment to helping U.S. Latino businesses and the Latino community grow and maximize influence by releasing its 2020 Small…

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Since 2012, Hispanics have outpaced all other demographic groups in startup businesses in the United States, while comprising 40% of all minority-owned businesses.

However, despite this dynamic, Latino-owned businesses tend to not only start smaller than their counterparts, but also remain smaller. 

It costs the community approximately $1.3 trillion when Latino businesses do not grow.

“We need Latino-owned businesses to scale up if we are to maximize job creation and wealth in our community,” said Lou Rodriguez, chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

With the financial growth and scaling of Hispanic businesses expected to accelerate throughout the next decade, it presents opportunities for Hispanic business owners to succeed, and also for communities to build wealth. 

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is committed to developing, promoting, and advocating for Hispanic businesses in the Greater Philadelphia region, but also encouraging the advancement and economic growth of the wider U.S. Hispanic community.

“We deeply believe that the success of the local and regional economy is inextricably linked to the success of Hispanics,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, president & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

Currently, Philadelphia holds the unfortunate distinction of being the poorest large city in the country, with a 26% poverty rate. The Hispanic community in the city, however, make up 38% of that poverty rate, the highest of any group.

It’s long been stated that the long-term solution may lie in education and family-sustaining jobs.

“Solving for education is challenging. It requires massive resources and is politically challenging,” said Rodriguez.

“Solving for jobs, however, is far more elusive because jobs cannot be created on demand,” she added.  

The most effective way to tackle this issue has proven to be through entrepreneurship.

The more than 4 million Latino-owned businesses in the country generated over $700 billion to the economy in the past year.

“The fact is, small businesses continue to be the greatest source of employment in our economy,” said Rodriguez. 

“If job creation is one of the keys to lifting our city out of poverty, and if small businesses are the engine of growth of our economy, why are we not hyper-focused on helping small businesses succeed?”

To advance this very question and help ensure the growth of Hispanic businesses and the Hispanic community, the Hispanic Chamber created the Latino Small Business Agenda for 2020. 

The Hispanic Chamber has identified the following as priorities:

  • Advocating for a Welcoming Business Environment
  • Helping Latino-Owned Businesses Adopt Best Practices
  • Supporting the Access, Management and Control of Capital
  • Supporting Businesses in the Recruitment and Retention of a High-Quality Workforce
  • Building the Social Capital of GPHCC’s Network
  • Supporting Technology & Infrastructure Investments
  • Encouraging International Trade & Commerce
  • Supporting Immigration Reform 

“At GPHCC, we are committed to closing the opportunity gap that Hispanics entrepreneurs face and to reducing the structural poverty that hampers the growth and development of our city,” said Rodriguez.

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