In the wake of the passage of 1996’s Proposition 209, a number of L.A. Hispanic organizations have formed a new task force to promote the interests of Latino-owned businesses in a post-affirmative action world.
The new organization the “Task Force for Latinos in Southern California’s Economy” includes members of the Latin Business Association, the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA and Hispanic Business magazine.
The organization will unveil new data on the role of Hispanic-owned businesses in the California economy June 12, when the Latin Business Association holds its day-long Hispanic Economic Summit at the L.A. Convention Center.
The report will be the first in a series of studies designed “to help policymakers, corporations and entrepreneurs better understand the Hispanic marketplace,” said Frank Moran, president of the LBA and one of the task force’s founders.
Proposition 209, approved by voters last year, bars state and local government from giving preference to minorities in hiring and contracts.
At the same time, Moran said, private corporations are increasingly scaling back their voluntary minority outreach programs for budget considerations making it more critical for the Hispanic community to promote its own business interests.
One way of doing that is to highlight the contributions of Latino consumers and business-owners to the California economy contributions which tend to be overshadowed by concerns over issues such as illegal immigration, he added.
Moran said he hopes the task force will make opinion- and policymakers aware of facts such as the following:
– Between 1987 and 1992, the number of Latino-owned businesses in L.A. County rose by 93 percent;
– Three-fourths of those firms have four or fewer employees;
– In 1997, there are 210,000 Latino-owned firms in L.A. County twice as many as in Dade County, Fla.
“For non-Hispanics, this task force will give insight into the Hispanic market from a Hispanic point-of-view,” Moran said. “Far too often the mistake of corporations is to convert their English language marketing efforts into Spanish and consider the job done.”