Houston Hispanics’ economic power is on the rise
Hispanics in the Houston region have a spending power of $55 billion, which is projected to reach $78 billion by 2022, said Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The data point was one of many shared at the Chamber’s third annual Hispanic Impact Summit on Thursday evening at the Asia Society Texas Center. The event was meant to provide data to Houston’s entrepreneurial community regarding Hispanics’ economic contributions in the region, as well as the broader national impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“As Hispanics go, so does Houston,” Murillo said in a phone interview.
Houston-specific data was compiled through the Chamber and its research partners: Stanford Graduate School of Business, Telemundo, and the Houston Business Journal.
Among the notable findings is that Hispanics account for 25 percent of all auto sales in the Greater Houston region, while also out-purchasing other groups in luxury car sales by 12 percent.
Fifty-three percent of Hispanics own their own home in the Greater Houston region, a higher rate than comparable cities according to Murillo.
And in 2017, Hispanics comprised 38 percent of Houston’s small business ownership, a figure that doubled within five years prior. These enterprises cover a wide range of industries including professional services and hotel and restaurant ownership.
The rate of growth among the number of Houston-based small businesses owned by Hispanics is in-line with the repaid growth of Latino-owned firms across the U.S. according to the 2017 State of Latino Entrepreneurship report conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
According to the report, in 2017 Latino-owned firms accounted for 40 percent of all minority-owned firms in the U.S.
Yet Murillo and Stanford researchers concede there is a great need for more access to resources among Hispanic entrepreneurs.
For instance, the Stanford report found that national banks provide less loan funding to Latino-owned businesses relative to other demographic groups and the Small Business Administration provides the lowest loan funding for these enterprises.
To make local entrepreneurs aware of external resources available to them, the Chamber has been hosting evening workshops through its business institute, Murillo said. Business owners can network and learn from various experts on how to grow their business financially and strategically.
The Chamber has also recently invested in a new partnership with the KUBE-TV station to air new shows highlighting local success stories. This media investment follows a string of partnerships with CBS, CBS radio and Univision as the Chamber works to ensure it’s a local leader among Houston’s business community.
The Chamber even took the lead on filing an amicus brief against the state of Texas in defense of DACA earlier this summer, Murillo added.
“DACA and NAFTA are not Hispanic issues,” Murillo said, “They are issues that affect all our wallets.”