Jaime di Paulo, President and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The growth of the Latino market has become an important topic in public discourse. According to the Latino Donor Collaborative’s U.S. Latino GDP Report for 2020, if American Latinos were a country, our economy would rank as the eighth largest in the world, and it is getting bigger - the Latino economy is growing 70% faster than the rest of the U.S. These numbers may feel empowering, and with good reason - Latinos have for long been relegated to secondary status in the economy, often working difficult and unwanted jobs, and bringing in less income than the rest of the country - so experts and the media alike understandably celebrate the growth and increased economic weight of Latinos. But these numbers speak only to a growing market of consumers and producers and do not portray a growing class of owners - wealth creators able to turn that economic vitality into intergenerational stability.
Wealth is important because it is the key that unlocks upward mobility and generational growth. The foundation of wealth is what more established communities are able to leverage for obtaining credit, and paying it off. Sending kids to college, starting a business, and even building political influence, are all privileges of a strong middle class built on generations of wealth creation.