From September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month provided us with a united opportunity to celebrate the richness and diversity of the Hispanic-Latino community and recognize our collective journey to advance social and economic progress in New Mexico. This particular year, we recognize the resilience of small business owners affected by a global health crisis who continue to serve our community.
In New Mexico, there is an incredible story of growth, legacy, and success, with Hispanics representing the fastest growing sector of the economy. The economic power of Hispanics in New Mexico is also something to celebrate. A study commissioned and funded by Bank of America, and published by the Albuquerque Journal, found that New Mexico’s Hispanic GDP grew to $36 billion in 2018, the most recent data available, and is expected to continue rising in 2022 and beyond. Additionally, the study found that 68% of Hispanics in New Mexico work in the private sector, compared to 55% in other demographic groups. This is important for increasing the diversification of New Mexico’s economy, which contains a relatively large number of public jobs.
However, the past year has been challenging: 99% of Hispanic business owners say the pandemic has created additional pressure on their business, according to our recent focus on Hispanic business owners for 2021. The need to attract and retain quality workers during these trying times It goes unnoticed by Hispanic business owners: 84% say they have changed, or plan to change, their focus on employee well-being and benefits as a result of the pandemic, with many believing that a strong workforce contributes to their success. a job.
Despite these challenges, the prospects for Hispanic business are strong. Eighty-one percent of Hispanic business owners expect their income to increase next year, compared to 59% of non-Hispanic business owners, and economic optimism and employment plans are showing strong increases since last fall.
Hispanic business owners have also given back to their community, even when facing challenges. Community values are strong among Hispanic business owners, with our survey showing that 60% volunteer to help their local communities recover and thrive. On the other hand, 66% said they felt increased support during the pandemic from resources such as friends and family, online communities, community support, small business bankers, and small business advocacy groups. While these entrepreneurs are optimistic about the economy and their projected income for the coming year, these resources will remain valuable to any small business owner.
Hispanics and Hispanics make up nearly half of New Mexico’s population. As an integral part of our business community, there is no doubt that Hispanic entrepreneurs contribute to the success of the country and its economy. We know this because my company, Bank of America, serves 12 million Hispanic customers, a million of whom are also business owners working to make a lasting positive impact in their communities.
We strive to serve this important segment of society and in doing so we have found success with programs and practices that your business may also consider implementing. These include:
• Providing digital resources in Spanish to clients.
• Assign bilingual teams to the client
• Investing in research to understand the unique experiences of the Latino-Latin business community and to find ways to help them succeed. For example, we commissioned a landmark annual event for Hispanic business owners, providing insight into this segment of business owners.
• Invest in community programs and partners that serve the Hispanic business community. Business owners need to connect with potential community partners and resources that can help them achieve their goals. As a bank, we are proud to support local entrepreneurs and have partnered with Rio Grande Community Development Corp. , which helps grow small and micro businesses, as well as the Spanish Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
• Work with organizations that protect and promote the culture of the Hispanic community. For example, we provide grants to the National Hispanic Cultural Center to support its film program.
Supporting Hispanic 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, create jobs, and give back to our community.
The Executive Office is a guest column that provides advice, feedback, or information about the resources available to the New Mexico business community. To submit a column for consideration, please send an email [email protected]
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