Hispanic-Owned Businesses Are on the Rise in Virginia, But More Can Be Done

Oct 11, 2019

Credit MBandman / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/mbandman/23033039562

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses is increasing in Virginia. Although, it’s still not keeping pace with population trends.

When officials at the Census Bureau conducted a recent Survey of Entrepreneurs, they found the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in Virginia was on the rise. During a three-year period, the number rose 13%.

Michel Zajur at the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says immigrants often form an important part of the business community in Virginia. 

“Part of being a business owner is you take chances, and immigrants are more likely to start a business a lot of times,” Zajur says.

Virginia now has more than 6,000 Hispanic-owned businesses, according to the Census. That’s about 4% of the overall number, even though the Hispanic population in Virginia is about 10%.

Jon Liss at Virginia New Majority says part of that is timing. 

“The relatively low proportion compared to the overall amount of small businesses in the state is also reflective of a relatively young and newer population that has maybe been here 30 years or less,” explains Liss.

One other thing complicating the situation for Hispanic-owned businesses, Liss adds, is the uncertainty surrounding temporary protected status, which is currently being challenged in the courts.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.