Over 15 years ago, a group of Hispanic State Chambers of Commerce came together. The group referred to itself as the Coalition of Hispanic State Chambers. The first project that the coalition worked on, was the chamber executive leadership academy. The leadership training was funded by Walmart and produced by the University of Chicago. The academy served as a vehicle to help build capacity in the Hispanic Chamber executive community. This successful venture lead to several other successful projects.

Years later the group formalized and created the National Association of State Latino Chambers of Commerce (NASLCC). The leadership of the NASLCC recognized the vacuum of leadership at the national level on issues impacting Latino/a businesses. From procurement to access to capital to a national lobby. The Hispanic business community and its issues have been mostly kept out of the national debate.

Below are a few facts and statistics that speak to the importance of the Hispanic Business Community, it’s contributions and the need for a powerful lobby.

“The number of U.S. businesses owned by Hispanics grew by more than 1 million firms, or 46.3 percent, from 2.3 million to 3.3 million from 2007 to 2012. In contrast, the total number of all U.S. firms increased 2.0 percent during the same period, from 27.1 million to 27.6 million.  U.S. Census

Hispanics owned 12.0 percent of all businesses in 2012, up from 8.3 percent five years earlier.

The rate of increase in receipts for Hispanic-owned firms also outpaced that of all firms.

Hispanic-owned firms totaled $473.6 billion in receipts in 2012, an increase of 35.1 percent from $350.7 billion in 2007. In contrast, receipts for all firms grew 11.7 percent during the same period, from $30.0 trillion in 2007 to $33.5 trillion in 2012.

Additionally, slightly under half of Hispanic-owned firms (approximately 1.5 million, or 44.5 percent) in 2012 were owned by women.”

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