Oklahoma City is home to an estimated 100,000 Hispanic residents, which is double the community’s size just 10 years ago.
David Castillo, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says the Hispanic community’s growth is transforming its role in the local economy.
“We are starting to see the [Hispanic] community evolve,” Castillo said. “Before what we had was landscapers working for other companies, many Hispanics working for roofing companies and in construction trade, stuff like that. Now they are becoming owners [of their own businesses] and that is the next step. We feel like the Latino community is starting to take the next step.”
Castillo and the Hispanic chamber celebrated the opening of a new office last week in south Oklahoma City, the hub of the city’s Latino community.
“The best part [of the new building] is the presence is right in the middle of the community,” Castillo said.
The Hispanic chamber works with many Latino businesses and offers business training services, including free seminars each Tuesday on permits, licenses and financing.