Latinos lead charge of new small businesses in Minnesota (Audio)
Enrique Aguilar recently opened a new accounting business, hoping the coming tax season will be the key to his startup’s success.
After a career working as an accountant for other firms, Aguilar, 61, has another reason to be optimistic. In the 14 years that he’s lived in southwest Minnesota, he’s watched Worthington’s Latino population grow to some 4,500 residents now, more than a third of the town’s population.
“Many people know me in the town,” said Aguilar, who was born in Mexico City. “So, I hope they can look for me this tax season.”
He is among about 1,000 new Latino business owners in the last several years, a boost to the state’s economy. The number of Latino owned-businesses in Minnesota has grown by one quarter in just five years, according to Census figures. That’s nearly double the rate of overall business growth in the state.
Fueling the business growth is a strong rise in the state’s Latino population, which has grown by about three quarters over the last decade to 250,000. More than 65 percent of Latinos live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, but other areas of the state have fast-growing populations.
Many of the new arrivals are changing the face of business in the state, said University of Minnesota Public Affairs professor Katherine Fennelly. She said some immigrants jump immediately into business, while others take years accumulating partners and financing before starting their companies.
Either way, Fennelly said there’s a clear pattern.
Read the full story at Minnesota Public Radio