New opportunities for Spanish-speaking business owners as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

New opportunities for Spanish-speaking business owners as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Main Photo

6 Sep 2023


63.7 million – that’s the Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2022, making it the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority at 19.1% of the total population. Washington state has more than 1 million Hispanic residents or about 13% of the state’s population. Drilling down even further, Skagit County’s Hispanic and Latino population is 19.9%.

Here’s another fact: Washington state has more than 36,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.

Multiply that entrepreneurial drive across the country and there’s great potential. According to a national McKinsey & Co. study from 2022: “If Latino businesses’ access to capital were improved, and their representation in growing sectors increased, they would contribute an additional $2.3 trillion in revenue to the economy and create 750,000 new employer firms, resulting in more than six million jobs.”

That’s a lot of untapped economic opportunity, notes EDASC CEO John Sternlicht.

"If we’re looking for the biggest impact from our programs, we should look to untapped sectors of the economy that bring new prosperity to under-resourced populations,” Sternlicht said. “By facilitating more successful business start-ups including doing what is needed specifically to support our Latino community, we can repeat the successful pattern of millions of immigrants in U.S. history in creating new generational wealth that benefits the entire economy.”

EDASC’s focus on equitable economic development includes programming for Skagit County’s Spanish-speaking population, and we are pleased to be introducing new offerings for the Latino business community. Read on to learn more:

New Latino Business Meetup

Bilingual Business Advisor Jorge Estefan invites Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs and business owners to the new Skagit Latino Business Community Meetup. The first monthly gathering takes place from 6-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 at COA Mexican Eatery in Mount Vernon.

Estefan says he hopes the group will foster collaboration within the Latino business community, and find positive ways to address linguistic, cultural and business-related challenges.

Community celebration El Grito

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts Sept. 15, EDASC will be participating in El Grito at Skagit Valley College. This event commemorates Mexican independence as well as the independence of other Latin American countries. El Grito, meaning “the scream,” is a traditional celebration of independence, and celebrants will give out a cheer for Mexican independence at the event, which will feature local food and merchandise vendors, a resource fair and performances.

Join the celebration at SVC’s Tollefson Plaza from 5-9 p.m.

Small Business Conference presented in Spanish and English

EDASC is partnering with the Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) to bring  its Small Business Conference to Skagit County. This conference connects businesses to state agencies, such as the Department of Revenue, Department of Commerce and Labor & Industries, and will be presented in English on Oct. 25, 4-7 p.m. and in Spanish on Oct. 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Both will take place at the WSU Extension office in Mount Vernon.

Local nonprofits geared toward serving small businesses will also be on hand to talk with participants.

Register for the English-language conference: Small Business Conference Skagit Tickets, Wed, Oct 25, 2023 at 4:00 PM | Eventbrite

Register for the Spanish-language conference: