Cecilia and I participated in the Legislative Summit again this year to speak to our elected officials about a number of priorities for our member businesses. Specifically, we spoke about the challenges small businesses face with access to capital, the economic importance of our Southern Arizona military bases, procurement opportunities for Arizona businesses, and resources needed to help grow our businesses. During our 3 day trip, we had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Schwiekert, Gosar, Franks and Congresswoman Sinema. Several of the members serve on key committees to Southern Arizona such as the Armed Services and the Finance committee. We thanked them for their support of recent bills by Congresswoman Martha McSally that related to the issues we spoke about. In addition, we spent time with Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Jeff Flake and his Chief of Staff. Senator Flake’s recent work on border banking issues, temporary worker visas and staffing at the Ports of Entry were highlighted and applauded by our chamber during the trip. We also thanked him for his support and encouragement of his Republican peers for the appointment of the U.S Mexico Ambassador – a key position to our region.
The United States Hispanic Chamber continues to grow in prominence at the national level. Not only is the Hispanic population growing rapidly in Arizona, but Hispanics are the youngest major racial or ethnic group in the United States. About one-third of the nation’s Hispanic population is younger than 18, and about a quarter of all Hispanics are Millennials, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Altogether, nearly six-in-ten Hispanics are Millennials or younger. This impacts our future workforce dramatically and certainly influences policy makers. Hispanic chambers throughout the nation are regularly sought out for their opinion on key legislation by their elected leaders.
Our Sierra Vista Hispanic Chamber has recently celebrated one year in the community and is affiliated with our Tucson Hispanic Chamber, Ambos Nogales Hispanic Chamber and Douglas Hispanic Chamber. We’ve opened an office in Ventana Park II and are adding members weekly to our over 1800 members in Arizona and Sonora. Our Board of Directors, led by Chairwoman Cecilia Mata of Sierra Vista continues to prioritize our legislative principles and the role our chamber can play in advocating for our business community in Arizona. Learn more about the United States Hispanic Chamber at www.ushcc.com or about the Sierra Vista Hispanic Chamber at www.SierraVistaHispanicChamber.org.