10/27/07

Dramatic Growth of Latino Businesses on Long Island

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported 73,829 Latino businesses on Long Island with combined revenues of $5.7 billion.

Unfortunately, the government's report is based on '02 data. As such, it is useless as a measure of current activity. Too bad since timely data might help Long Islanders better understand and appreciate full contributions of its growing and most dynamic population: Los Latinos.

What is most useful is the report's finding that the growth rate for Latino businesses ('97-'02) within the NYC region was a spectacular 57 per cent. In contrast, the national rate was a modest ten per cent.

Now that's important data!

Why? Because it tells us that the Latino community is investing in the future, building assets, and setting a foundation for economic, social and political power right here on Long Island.

The Future

A rapidly expanding Latino population, combined with the shrinkage of the older and nonLatino/non-immigrant population, suggests continued Latino business growth. For example, HispanTelligence estimated a national Latino business growth rate of 7.6 percent through 2015. Applying that percentage growth to Long Island nets over 175,000 by 2015 and 250,000 by 2020. Additionally, revenues grow to over $20 billion by 2020.

An urgent question for policymakers is how to ensure that new Latino entrepreneurs (as well as enterprising immigrants, African Americans and others) are not handcuffed as a result of reactionary policies.

Related:

New York Leads Nation in Growth Rate of Hispanic-Owned Businesses
Long Island Is Entering A Period of Social And Economic Crisis
Our Economic Future: Minority Businesses Taking The Lead

Photos: Chris Castro's Solar Cafe in Brentwood; Hector Delgado's The Delgado Travel Agency of Jackson Heights
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