September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month in America. Our diverse nation – its past, present, and future – has been shaped and is enriched by the presence of many influential Hispanic Americans. We are proud to celebrate and recognize those who come from or are descendants of people from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
There is a reason that the theme of this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month is “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress to America.” Hispanic Americans not only infuse diversity and culture to our communities, but they positively impact our economic bottom line. According to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, there are five million Hispanic-owned businesses across the country. Combined, these businesses contribute more than $800 billion to the American economy each year. And, a study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business shows that Latino entrepreneurs make up the fastest-growing segment of the startup economy – estimating that if these businesses grow as fast as the U.S. average, they could add $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy by 2050.
As we recognize the Hispanic Americans who are our neighbors, colleagues, and friends through a celebration of their food, art, and culture, we also must support them in the workplace. This includes patronizing their businesses year-round, making it a priority to ensure that their voices are being heard in their communities and in the workplace, and providing Hispanic American business leaders with opportunities that will help them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.
About Hispanic American Heritage Month
The observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, becoming law in August of that year.
September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day, or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.