If U.S. Latinos were an independent country, their gross domestic product would rank fifth in the world, surpassing those of the United Kingdom, India and France, according to a report released Thursday at the L'ATTITUDE conference hosted in San Diego.
The economic output of Latinos in 2020 was $2.8 trillion, up from $2.1 trillion in 2015 and $1.7 trillion in 2010, according to a report by the Latino Donor Collaborative in partnership with Wells Fargo. LDC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group focused on reshaping perceptions of U.S. Latinos through data and economic research.
On Thursday at the conference, the Latino Donor Collaborative in partnership with Wells Fargo released its GDP report which shows how the U.S. Latino community is fueling the American economy. The NBCU News Group is the event's official media partner which runs through the weekend.
"My parents always told me the harder I work, the bigger the reward, and I've kinda taken that to heart," said Jennifer Cardona.
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What started as a fun hobby at home with her kids turned into a thriving small business along Logan Avenue for Cardona who is the owner of 'Thirty Flirty' a boutique gift shop in Barrio Logan. Her business idea came to her during the pandemic, a time when others either lost their jobs or quit working.
"It makes me very proud to be Mexicana because for me, my parents, and my husband we never stopped working," said Cardona. "Yes, there was a pandemic but we still had to pay our bills and keep growing."
That sentiment is echoed by the Latino Donor Collaborative, while their report found that the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on Latinos personally and financially, the report also shows that Latino economic output went from being equivalent to the world's eighth-largest GDP at the start of 2020 to the 5th largest when the year ended.
"Latinos are the most resilient part of our economy because they're what I call the patriots during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were hurt, there were deaths, there were illnesses to las familias and they came back and they kept our economy moving," said Sol Trujillo.
Trujillo is the co-founder of the L'ATTITUDE, the conference is geared toward Latino business professionals, this year one of their high-profile speakers includes former President Barack Obama.
Trujillo shares how Latinos are creating more companies than any other part of our economy as their report found that Latinos created 80% of all net new businesses and 50% of all net new employer-based businesses. Meaning Latinos are not just building businesses, but hiring people.
"They're entrepreneurs, they are taking risks willing and they'll do what it needs to take to create wealth for their family and also serve customers," said Trujillo.
Back inside Cardona’s shop, she says she’s proud of her small part in this big economy.
"Whatever I don’t create I purchase from another woman-owned business so that is me giving back to the woman that doesn’t own a store to put their items in and we are growing together, so it's like me helping them grow and them helping me grow," said Cardona.
A cycle she and many other Latinas want to see flourish.
On Friday night members of the L'ATTITUDE conference plans to visit shops along Barrio Logan. Then on Sunday, the 44th president will be interviewed in person at 11 a.m. at the bayfront Manchester Grand Hyatt part of the conference.