Las Vegas is a strong and diverse community and it’s important that we continue to come together to help build a future where there are no barriers for success. One of the ways we can do that is by helping to build Hispanic-Latino wealth in Las Vegas. At Bank of America, that’s how we strive to do our part and make an impact.
The numbers are clear: The 2020 Census revealed that the Hispanic-Latino population in the United States rose to 62.1 million, making up 18.7 percent of the total U.S. population and accounting for slightly more than half (51.1 percent) of the population growth between 2010 and 2020. In Clark County, the group makes up 32.3 percent of the population. Hispanic-Latinos now open more small businesses than any other group in the country and are also the fastest-growing demographic of small business owners across the nation. It is therefore not surprising that Hispanic-Latino economic power continues to rise year after year. The Census also revealed there are approximately 7,625 minority-owned businesses in Clark County.
INVESTING IN BUSINESS
Investing in Hispanic-Latino wealth means supporting entrepreneurs so they are set up for success. Early-stage funding is critical for the growth of new business, especially when Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs are still faced with gaps in financial literacy and business education, funding and networking opportunities. According to data from Crunchbase, Latino-founded startups accounted for only 2.1 percent of venture investments in the U.S. last year.
As part of our commitment to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity, we have dedicated $350 million in minority- and women-led companies through capital investment by mission-focused venture funds. Of the funds we have in our portfolio, one in every four are led by Hispanic-Latino managers, providing capital that will help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their businesses, create jobs and improve financial stability.
An important element to creating opportunities for Hispanic-Latinos to be successful and build wealth, whether as a business owner or employee, is ensuring young people recognize higher education as a pathway to achieve success. That means partnering with colleges and universities and investing in job creation and skills-building, and support services to do so. In Southern Nevada we do this by supporting groups like the Fulfillment Fund of Las Vegas, which inspires first-generation students and removes barriers to post-secondary access and graduation. When we invest in students, we are investing in future professionals and business leaders who will build Hispanic-Latino wealth and contribute to Las Vegas’ economy and culture. This is something we can celebrate together for years to come.
INVESTING IN SUSTAINABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP
Sustainable homeownership provides a lasting investment for future generations and cycles capital back into the community. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals recently released data showing an increase in Latino homeownership, from 47.5 percent percent in 2019 to 48.4 percent in 2021, the highest level since the mid-2000s.
Through the Community Homeownership Commitment, which provides education and solutions to make homeownership more affordable, including low down payment loans and closing cost grants, individuals and families in Las Vegas can receive up to $17,500 for their down payment, letting them take their savings and turn them into lasting legacies. In addition, Chicanos Por La Causa Nevada (CPLC Nevada), is also a great resource as they have programs providing up to $14,999 to first-time homebuyers through the city of North Las Vegas Homebuyer Assistance Program.
The bank also invests in local nonprofits committed to making housing affordable and homeownership accessible, such as Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, Inc., which combats racial disparities in housing and helps low-to-moderate-income individuals and families with affordable rental housing, down payment assistance, financial literacy, counseling and homebuyer education. Building Hispanic-Latino home equity increases the amount of capital families can use now or in the future helping build our Las Vegas economy.
During the past decade, the rate of Hispanic-Latino economic development has far outpaced rates among non-Hispanics. Supporting and honoring our Hispanic-Latino customers is not just a monthlong initiative, it is a long-term, generational investment in America and we are proud to be investing in a stronger economy for Las Vegas now and for years to come.
Jennifer Shydler (CPFA, CFP, CRPC and senior vice president, Wealth Management advisor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch) and Omar Molina (financial advisor and Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement Chair at Bank of America Merrill Lynch).