The Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce released its 17th annual DATOS report. According to the latest edition of “DATOS: The State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market”, about one third of the state’s more than 67,000 Hispanic-owned businesses were started by immigrants. The report also concluded that statewide, Latino consumers spend more than $43.3 billion a year on goods and services. Monica Villalobos, Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Ed Escobedo, a Board Member with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce discuss the latest report.
José Cárdenas: According to the latest edition of DATOS, The state of Arizona's Hispanic market, about one-third of the state's more than 67,000 Hispanic-owned businesses were started by immigrants. The report also concludes that statewide, Latino consumers spend more than $43.3 billion a year on goods and services. Here with me to talk more about the DATOS 2013 report are Monica Villalobos, Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Also here is Ed Escobedo, a Board Member with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Thank you both for joining us on "Horizonte." We were talking a little before the show started about how thick the information is this year. At least it seemed to me. Monica, let's start first with talking about how this particular report was prepared and how it might differ from what we have seen in the past?
Monica Villalobos: Sure. It is thicker because there is a great story to tell, and the way that we put this together, it's evolved in 17 years. It started as an academic reference, now it is more of a business tool. What we do is put together a group of subject matter experts from different fields, health care, retail, etc. And we're able to really compile the most comprehensive data in the marketplace and the most recent data as well. That is one of the things that's different. Also we're diving deeper in particular areas and categories. This year at the end we included a chapter on segmentation and acculturation. It is not here is all of this information, what do I do with it? We are giving you that next actionable step.
José Cárdenas: Monica referred to this as a tool. You are in business. In what way is it a tool that's of use to the business community?
Ed Escobedo: At the University of Phoenix, we a national strategy to reach the Latino market. We have a great deal of effort and resources into meeting the needs of the market nationally, as the record shows, there are 53 million Hispanics across the country, and 2 million in the state. One of the things that we have also used, the report as a tool to inform our efforts, is meeting the needs of small business owners. There are 63,000 or so Hispanic businesses starting up in the state. And we are looking at using the report and the insights from the report to help us build curriculum, not necessarily always around degrees and academic content, but also non-degree content, certificates, things that meet the needs of the small business owners of the state. And the DATOS report is a way to help us get those insights and help us build a strategy that meets the needs of the market.
José Cárdenas: Monica, The report is chalk full of information. A lot of charts and graphs. It is almost a shame to pick a few, but I do want to give people a sense for what's in here. We have a series I want to go through. Three of them. First has to do with the percentage of U.S. population that Hispanics represent. It is up on the screen. One third of the total U.S. population by 2060, and it is already a very significant number.
Monica Villalobos: Yes, it is. And I think it -- it is just indicative of what is already happening in our state. It is already one third; Hispanics are already one third of the state of Arizona. And it really speaks again, to not just minority majority cities or minority majority states, but minority majority country ultimately. When you look at the economic growth and where that is going to come from, it is going to come from the Hispanic community.
José Cárdenas: The next chart has to do with common perception that the growth in the Hispanic population in Arizona and elsewhere comes predominantly from immigration, but that's really not the case.
Monica Villalobos: There are actually more U.S. born Hispanics now. That was the case years ago, where the balance was more foreign-born Hispanics in the U.S. Now it is more of a 60/40 U.S. born Hispanics.
José Cárdenas: And what does that mean for the business community? What is the impact?
Monica Villalobos: From a consumer standpoint, I like to say if you are in business in the state of Arizona, you are Hispanic business whether you know it or not; simply by the demographics. Your consumers are Hispanic, employee-base is mostly Hispanic and now you got this growing vendor base, corporation, and they're entering the supply chain.
José Cárdenas: I would assume one other difference is that Hispanics born in the United States are more likely to be bilingual and later to subsequent generations, predominantly English speakers.
Monica Villalobos: I think that's true. I think they're comfortable in both languages at different levels. But it is a less issue of language and more of an issue of acculturation, formative years were spent, those kinds of things certainly make them more acculturated. It is not just a language issue anymore.
José Cárdenas: And our last chart has to do with something of great importance in both of your report and basically everything we see about in economic growth and that is Education, and in Arizona, we're already there in the K-12 system in terms of the number of students who are minority students.
Monica Villalobos: Yes, in 2012, we graduated more Hispanic seniors than any other group. And that obviously has implications for our College system as well.
José Cárdenas: And now they're the majority in the K-12 system.
Monica Villalobos: Correct.
José Cárdenas: And, so, given the concerns about the graduation rate, you indicated that we graduated more, but there are still concerns that the gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanics is widening. What impact does that have on business?
Monica Villalobos: The Hispanic drop out is down 15% lower than it has ever been. I think we have a more talented pool, more students going into colleges as well. We know that minority business owners, Hispanic business owners, are 50% more likely to have a college degree. From the K to 12 we see where our business owners are coming from and where our talent pool for the employee base is coming from as well.
José Cárdenas: That is probably a good question for you as well given the business you are in, education business. What do these numbers mean for you?
Ed Escobedo: Well, you know, I think, as I said, informing our strategy. The other thing I would say, one thing we look for is industry specific competencies. As an example of the 67,000 Hispanic owned businesses in the state, some of them might be retail businesses. And so we have a relationship with the National Retail Federation. And what we're doing is we're working with them in the work force development team to build programs specifically that are geared to retail business owners in the state. That makes up a portion of the mix of Hispanic businesses in the state. And, again, it is helping us sort of with industry skills and we're bringing certificates, we're bringing non-degree content that professional development and leadership development.
José Cárdenas: One last question it has to do with the fact that a third of the businesses are owned by Latinos. What difference does that make to the businesses in this report?
Ed Escobedo: We can talk about that. One thing we reflect on as a board, it's such an important and growing segment of our small business community and we definitely see the need for bringing skills to the Latino community. We do that through our work force development efforts out of the board. We have workshops we sponsor that are geared to building up mentorship and support for that segment of the population.
José Cárdenas: Thank you for joining us on "Horizonte." Congratulations on another great report. It just keeps getting better and better. I'm we will have you back next year to talk about next year's report. Thank you for joining us.
Ed Escobedo & Monica Villalobos: Thank you.
Monica Villalobos: Vice President, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce;Ed Escobedo: Board Member, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce