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U.S. Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Gathers in Utah

U.S. Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Gathers in Utah

Posted by Liliana Castaño on September 25, 2014

A tiny fraction of the 54 million Latinos in the U.S. are in Utah, yet U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Javier Palomarez said the state is the perfect place for the Latino business group to hold its annual convention this week.

"We are going into places we have been thought to not heretofore have existed,” said Palomarez, who said his organization has previously taken the conference to cities like Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami, which he described as hotbeds for the Hispanic community and enterprises.

Utah is representative of how the Latino population has spread in recent decades. While just .7 percent of all U.S. Latinos live in Utah, they make up about 13 percent of the state’s population of 2.9 million. In 2010, the state had the 12th largest Hispanic population share, according to Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project.

The purchasing power of the state’s Latinos totaled $6.4 billion, according to an almanac for the state produced by the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute. In Utah, there are more than 100,000 Hispanic-owned firms, said Palomarez.

Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the Small Business Administration, are among the speakers at the conference.

The statement the chamber hopes to make is backed by Hispanic-owned businesses that continue to grow and now number close to 3.3 million with revenue at $486 billion, an $18 billion increase over the past year, Palomarez said.

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