Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: More Latinos opening businesses in Houston
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Hispanics make up a large section of the population of Houston, and there's a new push to get more Hispanic owned businesses in Texas.
There are already 80,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in our area, and that number is expected to keep rising.
Venezuelan native Escarle Silva owns Alira Spa in Montrose. It's one of Houston's newest Latino-run businesses.
"At first I came up with owning my own business, then coming up with the idea of what to do," Silva said. "I discovered you have to do something that you love to be able to be successful."
Latinos like Silva are gaining momentum as small business leaders in Houston.
"Especially within the last two years, the Hispanic community is on a surge. Everyone is interested in marketing, selling to and buying from Latinos," Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Laura Murillo said.
Houston's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the largest of 200 Hispanic chambers in the country. With over 5,000 members, it has both experienced and fostered exponential growth.
"I opened my restaurant in 1989," Irma Galvan said.
Galvan has witnessed that growth since launching her restaurant in the Warehouse District more than 20 years ago.
"The people now have more opportunities than I did when I first started," Galvan said.
They're opportunities that in turn contribute to our economy and create jobs.
"It's really the American story -- a nation of immigrants, people who come here and seek opportunity and freedom and know that their hard work and sacrifice is going to pay off," Texas Sen. John Cornyn said.
Inspired by her counterparts like Galvan, Silva hopes that it will.
"Coming all together with the different restaurants, spa, jewelry and makeup. We want to do something good for the city where live, where we call now home," Silva said.
To give you an idea of how much the Hispanic chamber has grown, they've gone from 500 members to 5,000 members in 35 years.
Dr. Murillo attributes that growth to an attractive economy and encouraging supporters who help them to sustain their small businesses.
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