The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) understands that business organizations and leaders have a critical role in keeping customers, employees, and small business owners –the backbone of our communities– safe.
Tragedies caused by gun violence, such as those highlighted in the press these past days in Chicago’s Hispanic neighborhoods, have been occurring for some time and, sadly, by all accounts, will continue to happen. Every violent event has an indelible, devastating impact on all of us.
No business, no matter its size, is immune to gun violence. To solve this serious problem -which has many edges– it is our responsibility to work with all stakeholders who have that duty.
No one can solve this problem alone. We must collectively work on a comprehensive reform that guarantees safer communities for all.
We have always believed that economic growth is fundamental to creating more opportunities for all. Funding is not reaching fairly and equitably to all communities on the southwest side of Chicago, where Hispanics –the most numerous minorities in the city– are concentrated.
The impact of gun violence is widespread across the country: 90 percent of adults or someone they care about had experienced it in their lifetime.
Gun violence is taking a physical, emotional, and economic toll on our cities.
Gun violence costs our economy billions of dollars each year, including $49 billion annually in victims’ lost wages and productivity.
Gun violence also has a local impact: Latino communities that experience gun violence are less likely to be centers of economic growth and commerce and face lower property values, fewer business start-ups, and job losses. By a study, the increase in gun homicides reduced home value appreciation by 4% in some areas of Chicago.
Each gun homicide results in the closure of at least two retail and service establishments per year.
Our communities believe that businesses and business leaders have a responsibility to speak out on political and social issues, including gun safety.
It is time for action. It’s time for all of us to come together. It’s time to think about the responsibility each of us has every time there is a victim of gun violence.
The IHCC wants to help implement responsible and concrete measures to reduce gun violence.
We need to reduce access to firearms for young people and people at risk of harming themselves or others.
We need to ensure that there is adequate oversight over the sales of guns and ammunition.
We need to engage small business owners in finding innovative, different, and more efficient solutions for steady, equitable, and fair economic growth.