The Hispanic community has grown and provided New Jersey with one a powerful Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as Chairman of the New Jersey Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Carlos Medina told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider.
With 1.6 million residents, about 20 percent of the population in New Jersey made up the Hispanic community, between 70,000 Hispanic owned businesses run within the state. Many of those businesses go unrecognized.
“Of those 1.6 million, there’s about 70,000 Hispanic owned businesses and I feel that census number is probably off by 10 to 20,000,” Medina said. “So there could be as many as 90,000 Hispanic owned businesses.”
While some of the numbers on Hispanic owned businesses may be off, it may be due to some of the business owners being in the state illegally.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports immigration reform and feels that the state needs it.
“It’s desperately needed. We support it, I support it personally,” said Medina.
Medina says immigration reform could help many of the business owners spend extra money on their business and help develop roots for businesses to grow. It would also elevate the fear of investing money and possibly having to leave the country for any of the owners.
Many Hispanic businesses have been a part of the state for many years including Goya Foods and North East Construction. As part of the New Jersey Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Medina would like to have the number of businesses grow and help build a voice on why to move to New Jersey.
As Hispanic Heritage Month continues, Medina says that he would like all contributions made by the Hispanic community to be recognized.
“I want non-Hispanics just to appreciate all that Hispanics have done for the United States, have done for New Jersey and continue to do every day,” said Medina.