Business is Booming in the Hispanic Community

July 17, 2003 - Posted at: 9:14 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- The city of Jonesboro is becoming a hub of opportunity for Hispanic Americans. If you're driving in around town, it's very likely you'll see a Hispanic restaurant on every other block.

Felix Cruz is the latest Mexican immigrant to pursue an entrepreneurial spirit in Jonesboro. He calls his restaurant, Los Dos Vaqueros .

"I've been open for seven days already, and the first people came, and they keep coming, and coming, and coming," said Cruz.

Henry Torres, a business professor at Arkansas State University, believes even though unemployment levels are on the rise across the country, working conditions are just right in Region 8, especially for Hispanics.

"I would say in the last 2 to 3 years, Jonesboro, or Northeast Arkansas, has been labeled a paradise for Hispanics," said Torres. "The economy is just booming here in Jonesboro, with all the construction, new housing, and factories, it's just attracting Hispanic people to come to work."

In the next 5 to 10 years, Torres expects a lot of Hispanic leaders will want to participate in the local chamber and become community leaders.