Data and technology to the service of Latino entrepreneurs.

The Latino Business Policy Institute was established by the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2021 with the purpose of championing for new policies and legislation on all levels of government that will benefit the future of Latino businesses in Illinois. To accomplish this mission, the Institute’s focus will be on conducting research and generating data —with the collaboration of partnering universities— to better understand the state of the Latino business today and identify the real needs of Hispanic-owned businesses. 

No other Hispanic organization can bring together a platform where decision-makers discuss Hispanic businesses. In addition to counting with the support of prestigious universities, IHCC has a solid network of government officials, decision-makers, procurement information, and, more importantly, Hispanic-owned businesses. IHCC also houses multiple business assistance programs from local to federal funding from which it can obtain important data, financial analytics, job creation data by sector and the size of business, and specific information on access to capital through government contracts.

The Institute’s goals for 2022-2023:
  1. Edify and explain to elected and appointed officials about the value and job creation potential of Hispanic-owned businesses.
  2. Leverage its knowledge and research findings through op-eds to persuade influencers to adopt policies and legislation that will benefit Latino businesses and consequently Illinois’ economy.
  3. Serve as a clearinghouse of information so that crucial Hispanic business leaders can be appointed to influential boards and commissions.
  4. Serve as a scorecard and advocacy tool to ensure Latino leaders are positioned to compete fairly for contracting opportunities supporting the economic value of Hispanic-owned businesses and the Hispanic community, supported by data and financial analytics.
  5. Track the number of state policies influenced by a Hispanic business agenda.
  6. Observe and document the number of Hispanic-owned businesses represented on state boards and commissions.
  7. Collect data on the impact of the COVID-19 crises and the effectiveness of federal programs’ small business support.
  8. Analyze the impact of Hispanic businesses on job creation and the Illinois economy.
  9. Conduct an in-depth market analysis of Latino-owned businesses through data analysis collaborating with world-class universities and research institutes. This analysis will ultimately help strategize how to keep open and scale up Hispanic businesses leading the way to smarter decision making and better

The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program invited the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as the anchor to initiate an executive level working group that acts as a volunteer, functioning unit and oversight organization throughout the City Learning and Action Lab implementation.

The 12-month Learning and Action Lab program is designed to maximize opportunities for shared learning, building trust and collaboration, and enhancing opportunities for each participating city to advance specific local actions and connect with funders and policymakers to accelerate their concerted Latino business economic agenda. During the initial six months of the Action Lab, the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce integrated a cohort of high-level Latino business leaders in the Midwest. The business leader group was incorporated into the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Steering Committee (EESC). As a result of the Policy Summit, organized by the AILAS program, held in Washington DC, the EESC decided to adopt the creation of the Latino Business Policy Institute as the top priority to overcome the challenges the Latino Business community faces.

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