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Celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture is good for business and good for our community

photo of Hispanic Heritage month commentary authors
From left are Todd Sanders, president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Chamber; Carla Vargas Jasa, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way; and Monica Villalobos, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)

Hispanic heritage unfolds across Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Carla Vargas Jasa, Todd Sanders, and Monica Villalobos | Point of View

As we recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month, which formally begins Sept. 15, we know celebrating and embracing Hispanic heritage and culture in Arizona is good for local business and good for our community.

While Latinos contribute all year long, Hispanic Heritage month is a special recognition of the strong, consistent economic drivers within our community.

As our region’s fastest growing demographic group, the Hispanic population in Arizona continues to comprise a significant portion of the state’s population, making up a substantial consumer base and workforce that contributes more than $65 billion to the local economy.

Celebrating and uplifting our community’s cultural diversity can lead to several advantages for businesses, fostering positive relationships and contributing to economic growth.

By understanding cultural preferences, values, and traditions, businesses can tailor products, services, and marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage different audiences. This can result in increased sales, customer loyalty, and a competitive edge.

As strong advocates and community partners for diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, the Greater Phoenix Chamber, Valley of the Sun United Way, and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce stand in solidarity with companies, organizations, and community members who remain committed to creating systemic change that addresses the deeply ingrained racial inequities that remain a part of today’s society.

Elevating Hispanic heritage and culture helps businesses create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all customers. This cultural acknowledgment and advancement can lead to stronger customer and business relationships, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and a reputation for diversity and inclusion. Additionally, embracing Hispanic heritage can attract and retain a diverse talent pool, fostering innovation and creativity within the workforce. A culturally diverse team can bring different perspectives, skills, and ideas to the table, enhancing problem-solving and decision-making processes.

As our community continues to prioritize workforce development and talent retention, businesses that engage in educational initiatives related to Hispanic cultures, such as ElevateEdAZ and Connect to Work AZ, are contributing to community development and promoting cultural understanding. Collaborating with Hispanic-owned businesses and cultural organizations can create mutually beneficial partnerships. Cross-promotions, internships, and co-hosted events can expand business reach, employee skillsets and open new market opportunities.

The Valley is also fortunate to have the partnership and support of many nonprofit and advocacy organizations that are either led by Latino/a executives or whose missions are designed to advance Hispanic communities, ensuring equitable and thriving outcomes for all.

Hispanic heritage unfolds across Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Hispanic-led nonprofits also bring unique value and benefits to those they serve through high levels of trust as a result of established relationships built on shared cultural experiences and understanding, programs and services specifically tailored to the challenges and opportunities of Hispanic communities, and so much more.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber, Valley of the Sun United Way, and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are proud to live and support this important work each day as partners of so many dedicated nonprofit organizations that are working to advance Hispanic communities and create a more positive future for children, families, and individuals.

This includes collaborative initiatives like Pathways to Economic Opportunity, which is led by Valley of the Sun United Way, Pipeline AZ, Chicanos Por La Causa, and others to elevate professional development opportunities for young Black and Latina women, and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s recently awarded capital readiness grant that will help socially and economically distressed businesses prepare to access capital for growth. No matter where you are in the Valley, our community leads the way for more promising and brighter futures.

This month and every month, we embrace and honor Hispanic heritage and culture in Arizona! It is not only a way to recognize the state’s rich diversity but also a strategic move that can yield long-term benefits, including sustained customer loyalty, enhanced brand reputation, and increased market share, contributing to the overall growth and success of businesses in Arizona.

By recognizing the important value and contributions of different cultures and populations, businesses can contribute to the region’s overall economic and social well-being.

Editor’s Note: Carla Vargas Jasa is president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way; Todd Sanders is president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Chamber; and Monica Villalobos is president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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