The Latino community is experiencing trying times, from harmful rhetoric resulting in an uptick in hate crimes and attacks against those who speak Spanish in public, to immigration raids and the separation of families, to the othering that results from failure to tell the positive stories of Latino contributions in the news media. We are feeling under attack because we are under attack. Many people have asked, “how can I help?!” There are many amazing organizations in El Paso and other cities across the country that are supporting families and helping communities rebuild from trauma and tragedy and are worthy of your contributions. Here is another way to support Latinos in your very own community.
There are an estimated 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses (LOBs) in the United States that contribute $700 billion into the U.S. economy annually. Latinos are driving new-business creation, starting businesses at two times the rate of other groups, while non-Hispanic white business creation has been in decline. Latino-owned businesses create jobs, meet customer needs—Latino and non-Latino customers alike—innovate in a wide array of industries, and generate wealth in the Latino community and beyond. Despite our many contributions, our businesses typically remain small. But there is something YOU can do about that.
At the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, we work with expert stakeholders to develop recommendations to increase the number of scaled LOBs and support the economic mobility of our communities. When Latino businesses do well, they create jobs, support other businesses, and increase the tax base. If LOBs grew at the same rate as non-Latino-owned businesses there would be an additional $1.47 trillion added to the U.S. economy, not only helping to lift up Latino communities but ALL communities.
On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the day before the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, we invite you to join communities nationwide in recognizing the significant economic contributions LOBs make and the positive impact they bring by celebrating the inaugural Support Latino Business Day. You can do this by going out and spending money at Latino-owned businesses. Are you thinking, ‘I’ve heard of something like this before?’ Yes! Small Business Saturday was launched in 2010 and has been estimated to generate $103 billion dollars in spending since its inception.
You can find a LOB in just about every major city, online marketplace and even big-box retailers. From your local taqueria like Burrito King in Madison, Nebraska to your fro-yo shop like Lina’s Frozen Treats and Café in Niles, Illinois, and brewery infusing Latino inspired flavors like BorderX Brewing in San Diego, California, there are a variety of LOBs you can support. Soñar! Foods makes a grain-free organic tortilla chip and also contributes 1% of its sales to support the mission of the Latino Community Foundation. Latinos not only do amazing things for your taste buds, we are also architects and public relations consultants, construction firms and waste management companies like Nation Waste in Houston, Texas. You can contract and source from a LOB for all of your business needs.
Want to make a difference? Be intentional about where you spend your money and who you are sourcing products and services from. Think of the difference you can make by diverting your dollars into the hands of people who can transform communities. So, on September 14th and every day, go out and support Latino Business.
To learn more about Support Latino Business Day, check out the official website at https://www.supportlatino.biz.