Latino buying power in Federal Way | Guest column
August 11, 2009 · Updated 11:00 AM
By Teniel Sabin, Federal Way's Hispanic Community Liaison
Hispanic consumers will help the economy even in hard times.
The Latino population is the largest minority in the United States. It is also the largest minority community in Federal Way. And it is growing.
During difficult times, many worry that an increase in the Hispanic population means a larger strain on our economy. Many recent studies suggest that this is a myth and that Hispanic population actually boosts the economy.
The Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Scarborough Hispanic marketing study and Larson Northwest Hispanic Market Report found the following information:
• From 1990 to 2005, Hispanic purchasing power grew 365.5 percent in Washington state.
• In 2006, Latino families spent $9.5 billion in Washington state, including $510 million in groceries, $208 million in food establishments and $102 million on clothing.
• Hispanic buying power is growing at a rate of 8.2 percent per year in the U.S.
• Hispanic families tend to be larger and so their purchasing needs are much higher.
• Hispanics have been recognized as valuable and loyal customers.
• Most retailers have already caught on to Hispanic buying power. Large chains access this tremendous market by advertising in Spanish radio, newspaper and television, and hiring bilingual employees. Home Depot estimates that Hispanic households spend approximately $30 billion nationwide on home improvement per year.
How does this compare to the non-Hispanic market? Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart, believes that the future looks brighter for the Hispanic market despite economic troubles.
“From 1990 to 2011, if the trend continues, Hispanic buying power will have grown by more than 450 percent. That’s compared to a growth rate of only 176 percent for non-Hispanic buying power over the same time period,” he said.
Let us also not forget small business. Hispanic ownership is also higher than any other minority group in the U.S. and has grown 10 percent per year since 1979. In Federal Way alone, there are almost 100 Hispanic-owned businesses.
One can hope that this information has shown that every part of our community is necessary and there is no need to discount the value of any group. While it is natural for us to grumble and to look for someone to blame during hard economic times, it is more productive to look for solutions and work together to implement them.
Teniel Sabin is the Hispanic Community Liaison for the City Of Federal Way. Contact: (253) 835-2613 for English or (253) 835-2606 for Spanish, or e-mail email@example.com.