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Hispanic owned businesses on the rise
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
The growth of the Hispanic population is well documented in Southeast Texas and across the state.
But, here's a number that might surprise you, those involved in development in the City of Beaumont say Hispanic families own one of every 20 businesses in Beaumont.
The Latino population has more than doubled since 2000.
The number of Hispanics moving to the area is bringing more revenue and more economic development to the city.
Fransisco Javier Ceja Valencia runs the new Salsita's Restaurant at College and 8th streets.
"It's all family run, we've been here in the Golden Triangle for about 5 years," Ceja Valencia says in Spanish.
This Salsitas location opened only about six months ago.
"Since before April, people started coming in, asking when we were opening and we were barely in the remodeling stages," Ceja Valencia said.
City leaders say tremendous growth in the Hispanic community is fueling the increase in businesses.
"There's actually a 76 percent increase in percentages of the Hispanic population in Beaumont so fairly dramatic, and even more so in the State of Texas and the nation as a whole," Chris Boone, community development director for the city of Beaumont said.
A large part of the Hispanic population is in the area known as the avenues.
If growth continues at the same rate, city officials project Beaumont's population could be 25 percent in less than 20 years.
"Yes, it's nothing but Hispanics around here, not really sure on the statistics, but there's lots of Hispanics," Ceja Valencia said.
A community embracing not only Hispanic people... But the culture.
"It's not easy, my family has done things right, they've kept working to get better every time and God willing, there's a lot in store for the future," Ceja Valencia said.
This is the 45th year the country has celebrated September and October as Hispanic Heritage Month.