Kroger's shopping bags Reuters

Companies are investing in Latino entrepreneurs and businesses as their importance to the American economy continues to metastasize.

Recently, Kroger, an American retailer mainly found in the Midwest, announced that it donated $1 million to Hispanic organizations that are "empowering and advancing the Hispanic community, families and entrepreneurism." Recipients of Kroger's donation include the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Hispanic Federation and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Educational Fund.

And earlier this year, Charter Communications, an internet provider and mass media company, committed $3.2 million in capital to provide loans to Latino-owned businesses in financially underserviced communities in California, Texas, Ohio, and Florida.

"We launched the Racial Equity Fund in 2020 to catalyze innovative approaches that help create stronger communities," said Keith Dailey, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs and president of The Kroger Co. Foundation. "These recent grant recipients reflect a group of dedicated organizations that are committed to creating lasting change in the Hispanic community. We look forward to seeing each organization continue to transform the communities they serve."

According to the Stanford School of Business, Latinos are creating companies at a faster rate than any other demographic in the U.S. Along with the new businesses come new jobs and revenues that impact the larger community.

Despite their success, Latino-owned businesses still face many impediments preventing them from reaching their full potential.

According to Professor Dr. Jerry Porras, Latino businesses receive fewer loans than white-owned businesses, and they receive fewer and smaller contracts from corporations and governments than white-owned companies. In 2022, Latino-owned businesses that applied for loans and had more revenue, less debt and similar credit to white-owned businesses were denied more frequently for loans over $50,000. Because of the limited access to capital, Latino-owned businesses generate less revenue than non-Latino businesses.

According to Porras, if the 4.3 million Latino-owned businesses averaged the same amount of revenue as white-owned businessess they would create $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy.

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