Industry Perspective: Celebrating the Hispanic Business Community and Its Legacy in Tucson | Business


Celebrating the richness and diversity of the Hispanic-Latino community and recognizing our collective journey towards social and economic progress is not limited to National Hispanic Heritage Month, especially when it comes to the prospects for small Hispanic businesses at scale. national. This year in particular, we recognize the resilience of small business owners affected by a global health crisis who continue to serve our community of Tucson.

The past year has been tough: 99% of Hispanic entrepreneurs say the pandemic has created additional stress in running their business, according to our recently released 2021 Hispanic Business Owners Spotlight. The need for reliable employees in these stressful times is not lost on Spanish-Latino business owners – 84% say they have changed, or plan to change, their approach to employee well-being and benefits. employees in the aftermath of the pandemic, as many believe their ability to attract and retain quality employees has a direct impact on the success of their business.

Despite these challenges, the Spanish-Latino business outlook is strong. Eighty-one percent of Hispanic-Latino business owners expect their income to increase over the next year, compared to 59% of non-Hispanic-Latino business owners, and economic optimism and hiring plans have shown strong increases since last fall. In fact, the Latino community is booming. According to a study by the Center for Economic Research & Forecasting at the Lutheran University of California, which estimated the gross domestic product of Latinos in the United States, Arizona’s Hispanic-Latino GDP was $ 91.9 billion in 2018, higher than the total economic output of the state. from New Hampshire.

Hispanic business owners supported their community even when faced with challenges. Community values ​​are strong among Hispanic business owners, as our survey showed that many say they have felt an increase in family and community support in the past 12 months, and 60% have volunteered to help their local communities. to recover and thrive.

In Tucson, where the Hispanic-Latino population represents 44% of our extended community and is an integral part of our business community, there is no doubt that Hispanic-Latino business owners contribute to the success of our local economy.

At Bank of America, we serve 12 million Hispanic-Latino customers, one million of whom are also business owners who strive to make a lasting positive impact in their communities. By providing digital resources in Spanish, hiring bilingual customer-facing teams, and investing in research like our annual Hispanic Business Owner Spotlight to better understand the unique experiences of these entrepreneurs, we are especially good at it. positioned to help our customers and our Hispanic community continue to be successful.

We also invest in local programs and partners, such as Chicanos Por La Causa, Pima Community College, and the Primavera Foundation, all of which address a myriad of underlying issues facing Hispanic individuals, families and businesses. latinos. To help Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs and other under-represented entrepreneurs gain better access to capital, Bank of America provided $ 350 million in capital to minority-focused funds like Vamos Ventures and L’Attitude Ventures, who then invest growth capital in minority-run businesses.

Supporting Hispanic-Latino businesses not only helps nurture the rich diversity of our community, but more importantly, it helps strengthen our local economy as these businesses continue to grow, creating job opportunities and business owners. give back to our community.

Ensuring the long-term success of Hispanic entrepreneurs in Tucson continues to be a priority for Bank of America today and beyond.

Christine Abdullah is the Director of Small Business Advisory at Bank of America.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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