Nov 19, 2018 | Chairman's Message

Dear members and friends,


As we approach the last months of a very busy and productive year I want to make sure you save the date and attend two very important MDHCC signature events.

First, our 19th Annual Minority Legislative Reception will take place on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza. We have expanded and improved our format. The first-ever Pre-Reception Legislative Advocacy Training, which is open to a limited number of participants from 4-6pm, will prepare attendees to advocate for their businesses and communities. The Legislative Reception will follow at 7pm and bring together a large group of leaders within the minority business community to productively strengthen relationships with our legislators and Governor to improve the business climate in the region.

Second, we are very happy to announce that, due to public demand, we will be holding our 2019 Business Awards Holiday Gala at the Belvedere Hotel in downtown Baltimore again! The gala will take place on January 24th from 7-11 p.m. and will include hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer all night long, and a delicious 3-course dinner. Early bird tickets are on sale now for a limited time, so get your tickets now before we sell out and take advantage of the savings.

Despite the negative and vitriolic tone by some against immigrants, we know from Pew Research Center data that The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world (about 40 million of us were born in another country). Most of us (76%) are here legally, and 27% are legal permanent residents. Although immigrants were three times as likely as the U.S. born to have not completed high school (29% vs 9%), immigrants were just as likely as the U.S. born to have a college degree or more, 32% and 30% respectively.

Most importantly, immigrants make up 17% of the U.S. civilian labor force, are projected to drive future growth in the U.S. working-age population through 2035, and 25% of first-generation immigrants from 2007-2012 were responsible for creating 25% of new firms (40% in some states!). Our contributions to this nation are evident in many facets, but particularly in the economic sector, as new and young businesses create nearly all of the net new jobs in the U.S. economy each year.

As it relates to Hispanics, the average annual revenue of Latino-owned business increased from $258,702 in 2016-17 to $327,189 in 2017-18, an increase of 26.5%, according to a new study of more than 28,000 businesses conducted by Biz2Credit.

Several studies report that Immigrants are almost twice as likely to start businesses in the United States. So, is it smart to restrict and diminish the number of immigrants from coming and to the U.S., especially when the data suggest the profound impact that we have in our national economy (and beyond)? The answer is a resounding no. Half of the U.S. billion-dollar startups have immigrant founders. Without immigrants our economy, and all of us, lose.

So, do your research, know the numbers, and know the impact we make in our nation. Immigrants do not take jobs away from anyone. We create them.

Please have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and an amazing holiday season; and don’t forget to register for our events early!


Jorge Eduardo Castillo
Chairman & President
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce