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Rochester ranks low for Hispanic business friendliness

A new report from WalletHub has Rochester ranked last for its Hispanic unemployment rate and near the bottom of the list overall in its 2019’s Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs. Rochester ranked 177th of 182 metro areas nationwide.

“This does not bode well for the Rochester economy. Hispanics create businesses at 15 times the national rate, so other cities around the country are getting a tremendous economic boost from this community,” said Julio Vazquez, senior director of the Ibero American Action League Inc. Investors program. “Rochester is missing out on this economic engine.”

The Ibero Investors program has lent more than $30 million since its launch in 1979.

WalletHub used a data set comprising 24 key metrics ranging from Hispanic entrepreneurship rate to median annual income of Hispanics to share of Hispanics with at least a bachelor’s degree. WalletHub gave Hispanic business-friendliness 60 points toward weighted average and Hispanic purchasing power 40 points.

Laredo, Texas, ranked at the top of the list, while Providence, R.I., ranked at the bottom. Buffalo ranked just ahead of Rochester at 173rd.

“The ability for Hispanic entrepreneurs to start businesses directly impacts the creation of jobs in the community,” Vazquez said. Vazquez also leads Ibero’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program, which is a partnership between KeyBank’s Boost & Build program, Urban League of Rochester and Ibero American Action League.

The group will host bilingual business startup classes beginning on May 13. The program will cover business plan writing, understanding customers and competition, financing, cash flow, marketing, taxes and other aspects of running a small business.

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