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City sees shift in Latino Market

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Lynn City Hall.

BY GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — The explosive increase of the Latino population and its influence is not a trend, but the future of the country.

In Greater Boston, a Top 25 Latino market, the number of Hispanics is expected to grow to more than one million by 2020, and nearly a third of Lynn’s population is Latino, a figure that will be much higher when new U.S. Census data is released.

But most of America’s Fortune 500 companies still have no marketing plan on how to attract the Latino consumer in the U.S.

These are some of the statistics presented by Alberto Vasallo III, president and CEO of El Mundo Boston, a Spanish newspaper. Also representing the culture shift was Elvis Jocol Lara, the newspaper’s director of digital media. More than 45 percent of Millennials in Massachusetts are Latino, Vasallo said.

To shift towards younger Latinos, the paper conducts its events in English, including its presentation to the Lynn Rotary Club on Thursday. Many Latinos growing up in the U.S. learn English as their first language, Vasallo said, something that his publication is aware of and accommodates.

Businesses don’t have to change their working model to account for the Latino boom, but just have to shift how they draw customers, Vasallo said.

One quote that really grabbed the newspaper mogul’s attention comes from Nina G. Vaca, the CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources and former chairwoman of the board of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

“If you’re not related to a Latino, you soon will be.”

Teresa Sarno, chairwoman of the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said the event showed how quickly the Hispanic population is growing, along with their buying power, something the chamber needs to support.

Frances Martinez, executive director and CEO of the North Shore Latino Business Association, said it’s important for people to get details about how the Latino population is growing. One example of the shift, she said, is that her association now owns its own space, after five years as an organization.

“It gives us a stronger foundation,” Martinez said. “It shows that we’re here to stay.”


Gayla Cawley can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

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