CHICAGO (CBS) — They make up a big chunk of the Chicago population and getting bigger all the time.
According to the U.S. Census, there were 784,000 Hispanics in Chicago, which is nearly 29 percent of the population here. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker found out more and more are going into business for themselves.
The introduction video for the Chicago Fire was produced a small Chicago firm located in the River North community and owned by Mexican-American, Patricia Aguilar.
Aguilar shows off her work at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention where eager owners look for new clients.
“This has been tremendous. To be exposed to Fortune 500 companies in one location is absolutely mind boggling,” said Aguilar.
Aguilar is among the 6,000 business leaders and owners attending the conference. Most represent small businesses from Hispanic communities around the country including Chicago. What they’ve learned this year is that they’re multiplying faster than any other group in America.
“Hispanic firms are being started at a rate three to one compared to general public,” said Javier Palomarez, CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce .
Palomarez attributes the growth to immigrants trying to achieve the American Dream and passing the entrepreneurial spirit to their children.
“My brother has his own business, my other brother has his own business, my cousin has her own business,” said Aguilar
At a rate of three to one national leaders say Hispanic businesses will contribute 465 BILLION dollars to the nation’s economy.