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Mutually Inclusive
A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Grand Rapids Ranks 113th for Latino Entrepeneneurs

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Wallet Hub ranked Grand Rapids near the bottom of a list of 150-US-Cities based on how good they are for Hispanic Entrepreneurs. Here is Wallet Hub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

“We looked at 19 different metrics, weighted and ranked them accordingly, and they all fell into one of two categories, which were either Hispanic-Business friendliness or Hispanic purchasing power.”

But what specifically are some of those metrics?

“One is just the share of businesses are owned by Hispanics.”

This resonates with Jorge Gonzalez, Director of the Hispanic Chamber of West Michigan, who says understanding the business environment is a cultural challenge.

“You know, with so much red tape, so many permits that you may need, so many things that you have to do legally, you may have no idea how to go about it. So, therefore, you may open up your shop and six months later you may have to shut it down.”

So what is the Hispanic Chamber planning to do to make Grand Rapids more friendly to Hispanic businesses?

“The Chamber is seriously considering opening an incubation program for Hispanic businesses to foster that friendliness and support for Latino entrepreneurs.”

According to Wallet Hub, that’s actually a pretty good idea. Again, Jill Gonzalez:

“That is really something that Grand Rapids should be looking into. Again, these Hispanic-only incubators that focus on this population specifically.”

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