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We find ourselves at an economic crossroads.  The Hispanic population makes up close to 35% percent of Arizona’s population and statewide Latinos will spend an estimated $50 billion on goods and services in 2015.  While Hispanics make up a significant portion of the state’s voting bloc and represent a significant part of Arizona’s economic recovery, stubbornly high joblessness and economic insecurity continue to hurt our families.  Across Arizona, 13.4 percent of Hispanics are unemployed and nearly 39 percent live in poverty.

High unemployment and a lagging economic recovery are a result of bad policy decisions made in Washington that over regulate and overtax businesses, which impedes their ability to create jobs.  To turn the tide on this economic impasse, we need to come together to support candidates that offer pro-jobs and pro-growth policies.  

VotaAZ has put together an issues guide that explains the policies that need to be implemented to bolster our economy and grow jobs.  With the number of eligible Hispanic voters increasing, if we register to vote and understand the issues, we have a real chance to make a difference in November and build a future of economic security for our families.

Economic Recovery and Growth 

Our local businesses are the biggest drivers of economic growth.  The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States is expected to grow 41.8 percent in the next six years to 4.3 million, with total revenues surging 39 percent to more than $539 billion, according to new estimates by HispanTelligence.  In order to help these businesses thrive and grow and create jobs, policy makers need to take actions to open our market to increased trade with Mexico including implementing appropriate reform to immigration policies.  They must also eliminate regulations that reduce the competitiveness of businesses and promote our local industries. 

  • Take actions which leverage regional strengths, natural and human resources, and prioritize private primary sector industries – including, but not limited to Aerospace, Defense, Optics, Solar, Health and Biosciences.
  • Expand southern Arizona markets, strengthen international relations, emphasize Arizona-Mexico economic opportunities
  • Engage and participate in solutions which recognize and promote the importance of foreign and Mexican-born residents to the southern Arizona economy; including appropriate reform to immigration policies
  • Make decisions with a focus on accelerating the timing or benefits to business including implementation, action, and immediate and near-term benefits, and job creation
  • Eliminate and repeal regulations which create a non- competitive environment for business, or create barriers for investors. Remove obstacles for locally based business growth
  •  Support regional growth associated with future population increases expected along the Sun Corridor

Business Revenue Maximization and Expense/Cost Reduction

When policy makers think they know best and impose burdensome regulations and high taxes on businesses, economic growth is stifled and businesses’ ability to innovate and create jobs is impeded.  Joblessness runs high, because businesses do not have enough money to hire.  We need reform that eliminates tax and regulation practices that increase costs so that businesses can invest in the future and create jobs.  

  • Eliminate tax and regulatory practices which reduce gross revenues, adopt policies which incentivize gross revenue expansion.
  • Eliminate tax and regulatory practices which increase costs and reduce net revenues.
  • Consider the right roles and responsibilities of federal government, state government, employers, and individuals in healthcare, childcare, retirement, housing, transportation and other costs born in the workplace
  • Evaluate the priority government core services to the extent business is impacted

Quality Workforce, Job Training, Workforce Development

In order to find good wage jobs, we need education programs and workforce training that prepares graduates to compete in the global economy.  Currently, the rate of graduation for Hispanics from high school in Arizona lags behind at 69% and only about half of college freshman in four-year schools complete their degrees.  Improving standards to boost graduation rates to make more Hispanics competitive for high-wage jobs involves strategic investment in job training programs and education. 

  • Reinforce the standard and expectation of public K-12 education in producing prepared graduates ready for college, trade schools and the workplace
  • Strategically invest public funds in accountable job training and workforce development programs for youth and adults
  • Recognize the economic value of an international workforce and the importance of comprehensive immigration reform
  • Focus on the future and primary industry sectors

Public Private Partnerships and Procurement Practices

Small and minority owned businesses are the most significant drivers of economic growth across Arizona.  Supporting practices that give these businesses an equal playing field in bidding for and receiving awards is crucial to growth. 

  • Increase the utilization of the private sector and local businesses for efficient delivery of goods and services
  • Increase efficient use of taxpayer funds by appropriately identifying and transferring functions to the private sector Support strategic privatization.
  • Encourage technology transfers, incubator businesses, and spin-offs from State Universities to the private sector
  • Support equitable public procurement practices, such that small or minority owned businesses have deserved opportunities to bid and receive awards

Access to Capital

To grow and create jobs, our small and minority owned businesses need access to funds to innovate and grow.  Lawmakers need to support policy that opens doors to sources of capital. 

  • Encourage financial institutions to establish standards which will make small business loans available to stable borrowers
  • Encourage a business climate that is attractive to investors and investment capital.
  • Support the appropriate extension of taxpayer funded government grants and loans to the private sector
  • Reduce government regulation which front-loads costs on a project, when viable options exist

Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, Utilities

Taking advantage of our access to renewable energy and natural resources creates many opportunities for job creation. 

  • Expand the production, transport and use of renewable and solar energy
  • Reduce energy and utility costs associated with business
  • Support job creation which maximizes the efficient and appropriate use of our natural resources

Land and Infrastructure, Increased Capacity, Market Responsiveness

  • Maximize the economic productivity of the 15% private land in Pima County
  • Judiciously and cautiously apply eminent domain
  • Strategically invest in infrastructure which directly benefits the business sector, job creation and economic recovery
  • Eliminate conflicts in the regional allocation of resources essential to job creation, support pooling of all regional resources for the creation of jobs which benefit the region
  • Support increased financing options for community infrastructure
  • Respect and support “the market” and consumer preference of buyers, investors, and customers

To learn more about issues and engage, please contact our Tucson Hispanic Chamber Business Advocacy Committee at 520-620-0005.