If you're a Hispanic entrepreneur living in Laredo, Texas, chances are your business is thriving. 

The southern Texas city, which is on the north bank of the Rio Grande, has a population of just over 260,000, but it is a prominent hub for Hispanic entrepreneurs, in particular. That's according to a new report by WalletHub, a personal finance website, which recently compared more than 180 U.S. cities across two dimensions: Hispanic business-friendliness and Hispanic purchasing power. WalletHub evaluated those two factors based on 24 metrics, including the entrepreneurship rate, the median annual income, and the number of people with at least a bachelor's degree among the local Hispanic population.

Laredo was ranked first on WalletHub's list and touts one of the highest shares of Hispanic-owned businesses and the highest percentage of Hispanic residents. But it is hardly the only city that claims a fertile ground for Hispanic entrepreneurs. Pembroke Pines, Florida--which sits just 20 miles north of Miami--ranked second. Indeed, Florida and Texas overall ranked highly for Hispanic founders, accounting for 15 out of the 20 best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs, according to the report.

Last year, Inc. recognized hubs in both of these states as bustling ecosystems for startups in its Surge Cities list, an index that measured the metropolitan areas with the most economic momentum. Austin earned the top spot and three other cities in Texas (Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston) along with four from Florida (Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa) were included on the list.

The nearly 4.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. are vital to the country's economy and contribute more than $700 billion per year, according to a 2018 study by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. What's more, Hispanics are expected to make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population by 2050, according to U.S. Census.

To be sure, there are other states where Hispanic entrepreneurs have been thriving: cities in California and Arizona also appeared frequently on the list. What's more, there were outlier cities like Juneau, the capital of Alaska, which was ranked No. 6, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which was ranked No. 19. However, Hispanic entrepreneurs in Providence, Rhode Island, are less well off compared with those in other states making WalletHub's list. The New England enclave was last on the list. 

Published on: May 2, 2019