Expanding The Power of U.S. Latinos

2018 News & Articles

  • 09/19/2018 9:51 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    President Trump's economy is the rising tide that is lifting all boats. This is especially true for Hispanics, who were among the biggest victims of the low-growth, high-regulation economy under President Obama.

    Last week, the Census Bureau announced new household income numbers, which showed that median income for Hispanic households grew by 3.7 percent, adjusted for inflation, last year. That’s more than double the increase seen by all households. More Hispanics moved into the upper-income brackets, and fewer remained in the lower ones. That’s welcome news as the nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.

    Contrast this to the Obama economy. It took until 2015 for Hispanic household incomes to finally get back to their 2006 levels. For the population as a whole, household incomes remained flat between 2010 and 2014, as President Obama rolled out one job-killing policy after the next.

    In addition to rising incomes, there are more job opportunities than ever today for Hispanics. This month, the Labor Department announced that the Hispanic unemployment rate remained at a record low — below 5 percent for the fifth consecutive month. This is less than half the unemployment rate that Hispanics faced as recently as President Obama’s second term. Median weekly earnings for full-time Hispanic employees have grown by 4.3 percent, adjusted for inflation, over the past two years.

    So why are Hispanics doing so well under the Trump economy?

    President Trump’s pro-growth policies have had a disproportionately positive impact on Hispanics because they are more entrepreneurial than the general population. Hispanics start businesses at a faster rate than any other ethnic group. Since 2007, the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown by nearly 50 percent, nearly double the rate of all other ethnic groups combined. By a far higher margin than the general public, Hispanics believe that you can get ahead by hard work, according to Pew polling.

    President Trump’s deregulation and pro-business policies have made it far easier to be entrepreneurial. Exhibit A are the tax cuts that took effect this year. They contain numerous provisions that specifically help entrepreneurs. These include a new 20 percent small business tax deduction that allow entrepreneurs to protect one-fifth of their earnings from taxes, funds that can be used to help their businesses survive and thrive. Most small businesses describe this provision as a “game changer,” according to a recent Bank of America survey.

    With Trump unleashing the economy’s animal spirits, entrepreneurs — led by Hispanics — are increasing the long-depressed small business start-up rate. These businesses are more likely to provide good job opportunities to Hispanic job seekers. In fact, one survey shows they plan to hire workers at twice the rate of their non-Hispanic counterparts.

    Hispanics also have benefited generally from the growing economy. For example, the number of full-time jobs is rapidly increasing at the expense of part-time jobs. This has helped Hispanics, who also disproportionately work in the service sector, to raise their incomes to a middle-class level because they are able to work more hours.

    Given this success, it’s no surprise that Hispanic approval of President Trump is rising. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll this summer, Trump’s approval among Hispanics jumped by 10 percentage points in one month.

    President Trump and Republicans can build on this support by continuing to focus on a uniting pro-growth, pro-opportunity message. Like most Americans, Hispanics care about the economy, education and jobs. Republicans shouldn’t get swayed by the siren song of pursuing divisive social issues that may drive up turnout in rural areas but will repel Hispanics and independents in the suburbs where voters will decide control of the House of Representatives.

    Electoral success will allow Trump to continue his policy agenda that is delivering historic economic benefits to Hispanics and all Americans.

    Alfredo Ortiz is the president and CEO of the Job Creators Network.

    Source: The Hill

  • 08/30/2018 2:21 PM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    No sector promises to turn early-stage financing into GDP growth like Latino-owned businesses (LOBs).

    Ana Bermudez, founder of TAGit, an app that allows you to buy the clothing featured on your favorite TV shows.

    They’re called LOBs for short, but they’re working on a fastball. Latino entrepreneurs are starting companies 50 times faster than any other demographic group and becoming a bigger part of the total U.S. consumer market every day. Already 17 percent of the U.S. population, the Latino community is predicted to grow to 30 percent by 2060, magnifying its effect on U.S. economic growth.

    According to a study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Latinos already owned 12 percent of all U.S. enterprises in 2012, with annual revenues of $661 billion. But the study’s poll of 1,800 Latino entrepreneurs concluded that LOBs are smaller and slower-growing than the national average. If they generated as much revenue as other U.S. businesses, the study concluded, they could add $1.4 trillion a year to the U.S. economy.

    That’s a tough number to imagine, but here’s some sense of scale: It’s a stack of thousand-dollar bills 88 miles high. It’s about $4600 for every person in the U.S. It’s more than the GDP of every country in the world below the top ten.

    Bottom line: It would add almost eight percent to the $18 trillion U.S. economy.

    Getting LOBs up to speed won’t be easy. More than 35 percent of them are either static or growing slowly, according to the Stanford report. But nonprofit accelerators are doing all they can to change that, funding LOBs before they’re eligible for conventional financing and helping businesses that are already credit-worthy figure out how to get commercial loans. One of the largest of those nonprofits, Accion, is funded in part by by JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of their broader strategy around inclusive small business growth — a key element of the company’s model for impact.

    Banks and the U.S. Department of Treasury are not charities, so they support nonprofits like Accion because they know today’s startups will be tomorrow’s job creators, depositors, taxpayers, and, most important, the foundation for a stronger national economy, which lifts all boats.

    Classes at Stanford’s Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program give new and prospective business owners access to networks, technical expertise, the program’s extensive research.

    A Few Success Stories

    Like every other startup sector, the biggest challenge for most LOBs is access to capital. Of Latino entrepreneurs surveyed in the Stanford study, 70 percent reported that their funding came from personal savings, compared to 62 percent of non-Latino business owners. Only six percent received funding from commercial bank loans, compared to 11 percent of non-Latino business owners. For more context, consider this: Less than one percent of venture-backed startups are Latino-owned.

    Ana Bermudez is a case in point. She used all of her savings and retirement accounts to start TAGit, an app that allows you to buy the clothing featured on your favorite TV shows. At the point when most people turn to “family and friends financing”, Ana needed an alternative, and she turned to Accion for help.

    Accion actually started in Venezuela, and it now has operations in more than 30 countries. Their guidance to entrepreneurs on how to navigate the small-business environment begins with advice on micro-finance and how to get a loan. In Ana’s case, Accion managed to get her funding from the Eva Longoria Foundation.

    “Had it not been for Accion, I probably would have had to go back to work, which is a big no-no for entrepreneurs,” Ana says. ‘It paints a negative picture with investors.”

    Insights from the Study

    Only half of the LOBs surveyed by Stanford had secured outside funding.

    Source: Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative

    For Mende Cardona, Mende’s Groom Room would have remained a pipe dream had she not learned about financing options through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an organization that works closely with Accion. Working as a salon manager for a chain of dog groomers in El Centro, California, Mende wanted to start a pet-grooming business of her own, but she had no capital and wasn’t sure how to acquire funding. A friend suggested talking to SBDC, and she explained her idea. The team there was able to walk her through the costs of starting her own company and showed her how to develop a business plan that would get her the funding she needed. “It made all the difference,” she says. “I wouldn't have been able to do it if I didn't have that money.”

    The path to funding can be more complicated for entrepreneurs born outside of the U.S. “There are a lot of cultural differences,” Rodrigo Santoyo says through a translator. In 2004 Rodrigo and his brother Filiberto emigrated from Mexico to Denver, Colorado, and hoped to start a food-truck business. They weren’t aware how much a credit history would help, and they didn’t have one. “In Mexico, credit is used very little,” Rodrigo explains. When they applied for funding, their application was rejected.

    Insights from the Study

    Of the businesses surveyed in the Stanford study, more than 40 percent of non-citizen Latino business owners, all of whom are here legally, are rejected when they apply for their first business loans.

    Source: Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative

    Referred to Accion by the Mi Casa Resource Center, they learned how to start a credit history and then secure a loan. “We were able to find a lot of good people willing to help and provide education and resources for understanding how to manage your business and navigate the systems here,” Rodrigo says. When they received their loan to help them purchase their second food truck in 2016, Rodrigo and Filiberto hoped to eventually expand into a restaurant chain. Since then, they have opened two brick-and-mortar locations in 2017.

    Ana Bermudez, Mende Cardona, the Santoyos brothers, and their fellow small-business owners are the people who create almost two-thirds of all new jobs in America and almost half the private-sector output of the U.S. economy. That’s why organizations like Accion, the SBDC, and others get the support of government agencies and financial giants like JPMorgan Chase.

    As for Stanford’s estimate of the LOBs’ $1.4 trillion potential--that was in 2012. In today’s dollars that would be about $70 billion more, or $1.47 trillion. That’s all the money the federal government collected in taxes during the first half of this year, which was a new record.

    In other words, closing the opportunity gap for Latino business owners and adding another $1.47 trillion to the U.S. GDP would be enough to buy everybody a nice little tax cut or a lot more services. Either way, that’s a home run.

    A crucial component of JPMorgan Chase’s model for impact – a data-driven, strategic focus on key drivers of inclusive growth – is a focus on providing minority-owned small businesses with access to capital and resources. Through Small Business Forward, a $75 million, multi-year global initiative, JPMorgan Chase is connecting underserved small businesses with the capital, targeted assistance and support networks to help them grow faster, create jobs and strengthen local economies. The company’s strategy is focused on three key areas: (1) diversifying high-growth sectors; (2) expanding entrepreneurial opportunities in neighborhoods; and (3) expanding access to flexible capital. Over the last two years, JPMorgan Chase has committed $38 million to more than 50 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) like Accion that are helping minority- and community-based small business owners become engines of job growth and economic vitality in the neighborhoods they serve.

    Source: The Atlantic

  • 08/28/2018 4:25 PM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, DC – The Latino Coalition (TLC), the leading, national non-partisan advocacy organization representing Hispanic businesses and consumers, released the following statement regarding the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement:

    "The recently announced United States-Mexico Trade Agreement is a major victory for the Trump Administration and a crucial step towards bettering relations with our neighbors in the south,” said TLC Chairman and former U.S. SBA Administrator Hector Barreto. “Delivering on his promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Trump is seeking free and fair trade for the United States, while giving Mexico financial stability and establishing new labor standards for their workers. The Latino Coalition applauds this accord as a critically important trade development, which will boost economic prosperity and grow the global economy.”

    ABOUT THE LATINO COALITION- The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies and solutions relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization with offices in California, Washington, DC and Guadalajara, Mexico. Established to address and engage on key issues that that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States, TLC’s agenda is to create and promote initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance and empower overall business, economic and social development for Latinos.

  • 08/24/2018 9:58 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Empresarios hispanoamericanos, en Estados Unidos, aseguran que existen mayores posibilidades de emprendimiento y negocios para su comunidad en el país.

    Source: VOA 

  • 08/21/2018 10:57 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Hector Barreto, chairman of The Latino Coalition, said on Tuesday that Democrats and Republicans have used immigration as a divisive political issue heading into the November midterm elections.

    "Both parties have used this issue as a wedge issue," Barreto, a Republican, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

    "They've demagogued this issue," he added. "There's plenty of examples."

    "During the last administration, when they could have solved the problem without any Republican votes, they blinked and they didn't do it," Barreto said. "So, you know, we think that both parties are responsible, but I think people are fed up with this issue, and they really do want a solution, but neither side is going to get everything that they want."

    The Latino Coalition is a nonpartisan group that promotes the business interests of Hispanics.

    Barreto's comments come as President Trump is looking to shine even more of a spotlight on the issue of immigration ahead of the midterms.

    "I think we're going to have much more of a red wave than what you're going to see as a phony blue wave," Trump said at the White House on Monday. "Blue wave means crime, it means open borders. Not good."

    Trump faced backlash earlier this year for his zero-tolerance immigration policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant families at the U.S. southern border. He later signed an executive order in June ending the practice.

    But Trump is still focusing on border security ahead of the midterms.

    Trump last month threatened to shut down the government if Democrats did not vote in the coming months to fund the border wall that was a central part of his 2016 campaign.

    "I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!" Trump tweeted.

    Senate Republican leaders, meanwhile, are looking to pass immigration legislation that could appeal to independent and swing voters heading into the midterm elections.

    "I think the president has some good ideas, and he's put those forward, but he can't do it unilaterally," Barreto said. "He's got to have partners in both parties that will work with him."

    Barreto said that post-midterms might offer an opportunity for movement on legislation.

    "Hopefully, after the midterms, they can get to work on that because they always run into these election cycles -- 'no, it's too close to the presidential, it's too close to the midterm.' So you're only going to have a short window after the midterm to hopefully get some legislation," he said.

    — Julia Manchester

    Source: The Hill

  • 08/20/2018 9:27 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)


    Are Dems underestimating support for Trump among Latinos?

    A new report says Democrats are not seeing a boost in Latino support ahead of midterms as Hispanic unemployment hits another record low under the president.

    Hispanic Americans are rapidly becoming the embodiment of a new political narrative – one that isn’t being written by politicians, and isn’t pegged to the unnecessarily divisive issue of immigration.

    The developing narrative of the Latino community is one about economic opportunity. This young, growing, entrepreneurial demographic is today’s most vivid example of what can happen when government creates the right environment for entrepreneurs and workers to do what they do best.

    The benefits of an improved economic environment, created through lower taxes and regulatory relief, are reflected in both the Hispanic unemployment rate – which has reached an all-time low and is going lower – and in the ten percent rise in Hispanics’ approval rating of President Trump.

    For too long, Hispanics have been treated in the political arena as monolithic – as if they are a single-issue group that must be placated in a certain way in order to harvest a winning percentage of their considerable voting numbers. It was easy to characterize and target the community in this way when Latinos were visibly suffering, growing in numbers but not in socio-economic power.

    Today, Hispanics are on the rise in every way. They start businesses at a faster rate than any other demographic group, they have high employment and they are actively improving the economic and social outlook for their children.

    It is past time for politicians to view this important group accordingly. For perspective, they ought to consider a recent Economist/YouGov poll indicating that a minority of Latinos support Obama-administration-era “catch and release” immigration policies, and a majority – by a two-to-one margin! – believe that immigration enforcement isn’t strict enough.

    Hispanic Americans are an economically vibrant, ambitious community with a variety of views on the issues of the day. This fact requires politicians to appeal to Hispanics in a new way – with an emphasis on economic opportunity.

    This may require a new mindset for many leaders, where they begin to think of Hispanic Americans as simply “Americans” – interested in starting a business, finding a job, climbing the social and economic ladders of opportunity and creating a better future for their families.

    My father – a legal Mexican immigrant whose entrepreneurial spirit and tireless work ethic drove him to achieve the American dream of citizenship, business ownership and community leadership – used to say that, in politics, there are “no permanent adversaries, only permanent interests.”

    The Trump administration is proving that a healthy environment for starting and growing the independent businesses that create jobs is a permanent interest of the Hispanic community. A dedication to creating that environment is a political characteristic that is deeply appealing to a critical mass of Latinos. Those who want to be elected or re-elected this November must take note and change the way they interact with this important, growing community.

    Hector Barreto is the chairman of The Latino Coalition and the former U.S. Small Business Administrator.

    Source: FoxNews

  • 08/13/2018 2:24 PM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Some groups are troubled by Kavanaugh's record on immigration and women's reproductive rights, while conservatives see him as a solid jurist.

    by Raul A. Reyes / Aug.13.2018 / 12:33 PM ET

    -Pres. Donald Trump and his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh talk during an announcement event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018.JIM BOURG / Reuters

    With Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh set for Sept. 4, Latino advocacy groups are voicing support, opposition and concerns regarding his Supreme Court nomination. Some Hispanic organizations view Kavanaugh, 53, as a judge with a troubling record on issues like immigration and women’s reproductive rights, while others praise him as a solid jurist with strong credentials.

    A July Quinnipiac poll found that Hispanics were divided about Kavanaugh’s nomination; 38 percent of Latinos said that the Senate should not confirm him, while 37 percent said that the Senate should confirm him. One-quarter of Latinos said they didn’t know. In the coming weeks, groups like Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary intend to engage the Latino community about what is at stake with President Donald Trump’s second nominee for the high court.

    “Any nominee put forward by Trump begins with suspicion over his head, because this president is plainly anti-Latino and racist, and has pursued policies and used rhetoric that reflects that,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of Maldef (the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund).

    While Maldef has not yet taken an official position on Kavanaugh’s nomination, Saenz outlined several concerns. “There are troubling indications, in some of his decisions, that Kavanaugh does not appreciate the continuing context of racial discrimination in the country, and therefore could view civil rights issues from a skewed perspective that is not accurately informed.”

    There is controversy surrounding Kavanaugh because hundreds of thousands of documents from his tenure in the George W. Bush White House may not be released until October. Saenz believes that the public has a right to see these papers before any confirmation vote. Viewing a Supreme Court nominee’s full record is essential, he noted, because justices serve a lifetime term.

    Latino advocates said that issues like health care, affirmative action, criminal justice and the Census all matter when evaluating a potential Supreme Court justice. Immigration cases testing the constitutionality of DACA and family detention could come before the court in the near future as well. Given the growth of the Hispanic population, many voting and civil rights cases in the future will likely center on Latinos.

    Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a legal advocacy group, pointed to the ongoing Robert Mueller investigation into possible collusion by members of the president’s campaign staff.

    “While the president himself may not be targeted, the way Trump has attacked law enforcement agencies and the disdain he has shown for the judiciary, make me suspect he picked a nominee who would decide the question of an indictment of a president in his favor,” said Cartagena.

    He said Kavanaugh’s past decisions indicate that he is often in favor of broad discretion and immunity for actions taken by police on the job, and that he usually rules against workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights.

    As a judge on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh dissented from a decision in Garza v. Hargan (2017) that allowed an undocumented minor in immigration detention to obtain an abortion. In 2012, he voted to uphold a South Carolina Voter ID law. In 2011, he dissented from a decision that upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

    In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cartagena wrote, “The president’s selection of Judge Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy may well destroy many of the civil rights victories that have been won in the last half a century.” Based on a review of Kavanaugh’s record, LatinoJustice PRLDEF does not support his nomination.

    But conservative Latino groups are lining up behind Kavanaugh. They say that he can be trusted to set aside any personal biases, show respect for precedent and fairly apply the law.

    “We believe that Kavanaugh will be a staunch defender of constitutional liberties, will keep government power in check and will not create new laws based on political pressure,” said Daniel Garza, president of the Libre Initiative.

    Garza is not troubled by the lack of access to Kavanaugh’s White House records. “He’s going through the same process as other nominees, and senators will have the chance to talk to him one on one.” Nor is Garza concerned by the prospect of Kavanaugh being part of a court that strikes down the Affordable Care Act. “Millions of Latinos want to weaken or eliminate Obamacare; I know that because we are trying to do that.”

    There will be plenty of opportunities for the public to get to know Kavanaugh, Garza explained, and to make their own judgment about him.

    The Latino Coalition, a group that promotes the business interests of the Hispanic community, has urged the Senate to quickly confirm Kavanaugh. “When you look at his track record, education and temperament, he is qualified to be an effective Supreme Court justice,” said chairman Hector Barreto.

    To Barreto, Kavanaugh’s confirmation process will be a good opportunity for Hispanics to see how the process works and to learn about Trump’s nominee. He views Kavanaugh favorably because he has connections to current justices. “He clerked for Justice Kennedy, went to school with Gorsuch and did projects with Kagan. So there is some collegiality already present, which is a good thing.”

    Kavanaugh has also drawn praise from conservative Latinos for his character and volunteer work.

    José Calderón , president of the Hispanic Federation, sees myriad reasons to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination: the fact that the confirmation process is being, in his view, rushed instead of deliberative; that Kavanaugh would be replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was often a swing vote on the court; and that he finds many of Kavanaugh’s positions to be extreme.

    “This is not just about Trump,” Calderón emphasized. “We would oppose this nomination if it came from Obama. It is about everything at stake for us as a community, especially the role that the Supreme Court has traditionally played in protecting the rights of all Americans.”

    Calderón is undeterred by some observers who say that, given the political makeup in the Senate, Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a foregone conclusion. “As advocates, as members of a community that faces incredible challenges, we won’t operate in self-defeatism,” he said. “We believe that people have the power to affect things, and that informed citizens can make a difference.”

    “We don’t have the luxury of giving up and staying home, caving to what others may call political reality,” he added. “The social justice movement has always been about long odds.”

    Raul A. Reyes is an NBC Latino contributor. Follow him on Twitter at @RaulAReyes, and on Instagram at @raulareyes1.

    Source: NBC News

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