Hispanic Community Talks Economic Growth In Oklahoma City


Thursday, October 14th 2021, 11:08 pm
By: Feliz Romero


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A population boom that's feeding our economy -- that's the takeaway by the leaders in the Hispanic community from the latest census numbers.

The Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber said it has helped countless Latino business owners open their doors.

 “People have to understand that the Latino community by the year 2050 will be the majority,” David Castillo, the CEO of the Chamber said.

“Trust me I believe it…and I mean you know we are here to work hard and help everyone out,” said Roberto Zapata, the co-owner of the Mexican restaurant El Potosino.

New numbers from the U.S Census show tremendous growth in the past ten years. 

“We estimate over 500,000 Hispanics in Oklahoma. Nineteen percent almost 20% of people in Oklahoma County are Hispanic so that is 1 in 5 people,” Castillo said.

The Hispanic Chamber CEO attributes the growth to the low cost of living and opportunities for economic development.

“There were 10,000 Hispanic businesses in the last census we have almost 20,000 now,” he said.

“When we first moved to this location, 80-90% told us not to come here. It was really lonely like really empty,” Zapata said.

Ten years ago, he and his family went out on a limb and opened El Potosino in the Historic Capitol Hill district.

He said the business development has not only helped the community but his business stay open.

“My dad was like, ‘You know what, we know what we have and we know it’s going to work’ and then we see the process over the year and we just love it,” Zapata said.

This Hispanic Chamber has several classes and resources for Latino business owners. They encourage anyone who is interested to take advantage.