Covid Will Not Kill Hispanic Economic Success
Almost one year ago, I wrote about Hispanics being essential to the well-being of the U.S. economy. This economic essentiality has cost our community dearly and yet the resiliency shown by Latinos is what makes us an unequivocal economic growth engine in this country.
This clearly comes through in a recent attitudinal study from Nielsen, which shows that despite all medical data that shows Hispanic persons are 2 – 3 times more at risk of Covid-related hospitalizations and death than their White, non-Hispanic counterparts, these Latino consumers are among the most optimistic and eager to spend.
Latinos hit hard by Covid-19
Latino workers are overrepresented in industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic which has led to US Hispanics facing especially large losses in employment, particularly among Latinas in the service industry. Hispanics are 1.7 times more likely to contract Covid-19 than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, 4.1 times more likely to be hospitalized from Covid-19 and 2.8 times more likely to die from Covid-19.
Latinos have also been disproportionately harmed by the economic fallout. They accounted for 23% of the initial job loss due to the pandemic while making up only 16% of the civilian working population. Hispanic women have also seen disproportionate economic impacts. For example, in December 2020 women accounted for 100% of U.S. job losses, with Hispanic women alone accounting for 45% of that job loss.
Covid’s Impact on Latino-owned businesses
The virus has also affected Hispanic businesses excessively. According to a recent report by McKinsey, the five business sectors most affected by Covid-19-related shutdowns (leisure and hospitality, retail, transportation, construction, and ‘other’) generate almost 50% of the revenues of all Hispanic-owned businesses. 65% of Latinos work in these sectors.
The McKinsey report goes on to state the vital importance that the Latino community’s well-being represents to the country’s long-term economic recovery. The factors that distinguish the US Hispanic community – its relative youth and above-average rates of entrepreneurship – can contribute to a more equitable post-pandemic recovery and growth due to the impact that Hispanic-owned businesses have on the national economy.
Moreover, Hispanic-owned businesses are a major economic driver of the U.S. economy. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was home to nearly 4 million Latino-owned firms. In fact, Hispanic-owned businesses grew 20% from 2012 to 2017—far above the 12% average growth rate of U.S. firms.
Hispanic optimism will drive consumer recovery
The same belief that fuels Latino entrepreneurship is what underscores Hispanic optimism about their post-Covid economic recovery. Despite all setbacks, Hispanics are more likely to believe that they will be able to get back to their day-to-day life within three months and are more likely to plan to make major purchases, such as a vehicle or a house, in the next 12 months. Active Hispanic consumer participation is not only key to a healthy economy but will also ensure our industry’s continued growth.
It is this optimism that characterizes immigrant communities, which drives the Hispanic ambition to succeed. Latino determination and willingness to take on any adversity in order to succeed will continue to fuel our community’s comeback from the Covid pandemic and emerge stronger than ever.
Patricia Testa- Managing Partner – D2H Partners, LLC – 2021