In the Town of Hempstead, boarded up downtown storefronts are reopening as bodegas, hair salons and ethnic restaurants.
It’s a scene being played out throughout Long Island. As younger Long Islanders flee for what they perceive to be a better way of life, Latino entrepreneurs are lifting an otherwise stagnant regional economy.
From 2000 to 2006, Latinos have been the fastest growing demographic on Long Island. According to the Long Island Index, the Latino population on Long Island grew 25 percent, from comprising 10.3 percent of the total population in 2000 to 12.6 percent in 2006. There are now about 450,000 Latino immigrants living on Long Island.
LIBN: The changing face of Long Island