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Latinos Activate JOCO Provides Data on the Growing Latino Population in Johnston County

Representatives from Latinos Activate JOCO presented to the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently.


The organization shared data about the growing Latino community living in Johnston County


Latinos Activate JOCO is an organization of volunteers committed to serving and improving the quality of life for people of Latino descent living in Johnston County. They are dedicated to forecasting on advocacy, health, education, and awareness of issues for people of Latino descent. Their purpose is educational and charitable. 


Sergio Benitez, founder of the organization and Kelly Blanchard, treasurer, presented the following information:


According to the US Census 1.1 million Latinos live in North Carolina

Johnston County is home to 34,400 Latinos

6 in 10 Latinos living in North Carolina are US Born

1 in 3 Latinos are born in North Carolina

59.19% of Johnston County’s Latino population are US Born


As of 2020, Johnston County had the fourth-highest Hispanic population share in the

state, with 16% of its population identifying as Hispanic or Latino.


This growth is part of a wider trend in North Carolina, where less populated, rural

counties have seen a faster increase in the Latino population over the past three



In Johnston County , the ethnic composition of the Latino community includes Mexican

origin 9.4%, Puerto Rican 1.2%, Cuban 0.3%, Honduran, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and

other origins/ancestries 4.2%.


Many Latinos move to Johnston County to work.

67.6% of Latinos living in Johnston County participate in the workforce

63.9% Employment rate

5.3% Unemployment rate

31.9% Poverty rate among Latinos


Top Latino Professions


1. Management, business, science, and arts occupations

2. Service occupations

3. Sales and office occupations

4. Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

5. Production, transportation, and material moving occupations


We estimate that around 2,700 Latinos business could be operating in Johnston County



Informality and Size: Many Latino owned business are sole proprietorships and operate

informally, often not being registered with official business registries. This can make

them difficult to track and count in official statistics.


Limited Resources: Sole proprietors typically have limited access to capital and

resources compared to larger businesses. This can affect their growth and



Personal Liability: As sole proprietors, Latino business owners are personally liable for

all business debts and obligations, which can be a significant risk.


Lack of Formal Support Structures: Sole proprietors often lack the support structures

that larger businesses might have, such as legal and financial advisors, which can be a

barrier to navigating regulatory environments and accessing funding.


Flexibility and Adaptability: On the positive side, sole proprietorships can be more

flexible and adaptable, allowing owners to closely align the business with their

personal vision and community needs.


 Community Impact: Latino sole proprietors often play a vital role in their local

economies and communities, offering culturally relevant goods and services.


Access to Capital

Limited Financial Resources

Dependence on Personal Funds

 Awareness and Accessibility

Navigating Regulations

Complexity of Legal Requirements

Cost of Compliance

Frequent Changes in Regulations

Language and Cultural Barriers

Language Proficiency

Cultural Differences

Network Limitations

The lack of business network limiting access to information, resources, and opportunities.


Employment Challenges for Latinos


Educational Attainment

College attendance among Latinos is lower compared to other demographic groups.


Gender Disparity

Latinas have lower participation in the workforce.

Underrepresentation in High-Paying Sectors

Latinos are underrepresented in management, business, and financial occupations

Working Poverty

The Latinos working poverty rate was 5.6% in 2020, pointing to a need for more equitable

wages and benefits.


Our Initiatives to Overcome These Challenges

Entrepreneurship Programs
Help Latinos by connecting them with resources to start their own business.
Hosting workshops on raising capital, obtaining raw materials, customer acquisition, staff
growth, and marketing.

Partnership and Networking

Work with community partners to serve the Latino community.
Host networking events


Educational Workshops

SAT preparation


Home Buying

Financial Planning

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