Recently, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held a symposium titled, Transforming Arizona’s Economy. The presenting sponsor was Salt River Project. The event was held to honor the increases in Latino buying power, small businesses, registered voters, and the community’s overall influence on the state’s economy. One interesting finding from DATOS: Focus on the Hispanic Market, the report being released in conjunction with the event, is the fact that Latinos now account for the largest number of high school graduates in the state.
What’s more, annual Hispanic buying power in Arizona has reached an estimated $40 billion and could top $50 billion by 2015 (the nationwide figure is $1.2 trillion). Latino-owned businesses in Arizona account for at least $9.75 billion in gross receipts and about 11% of all businesses statewide. A town hall interview with U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona was also included. I believe that this all shows that, while headlines have been covering the immigration battle in Arizona for the last few years, Latinos have quietly become a demographic, political, and economic force in the state. Events like this serve to recognize their contributions to Arizona.