Banking on Communication

Houston, TX - Only US city ranked in top 20 
Fastest Growing, Highest Economic Performance
Index for Global Metropolitan Areas (2011)
[Brookings, Moody's Analytics, Oxford Economics, US Census]

Capitalizing on local communication resources

200+ Houston Languages
- Houston Language Bank Team,
July 2013

Cost-efficient universal communication of essential public information fuels economic development. It strengthens economic development among new immigrant language groups, broadly contributing to the region's tax base. 

21st Century communication efficiencies reduce information delivery costs, as well as staff time for public sector entities.  Smarter planning for public sector communication budgets will realize long term cost efficiencies, now and in the out years.

Among all US Cities, Houston is most uniquely and competitively positioned to reap exceptional benefits from the economic energy of its immigrant entrepreneurs and consumers.  Information empowers economic activity.  Universal access to vital public information for all Southeast Texans is the region's organic edge to drive even higher economic performance in the global marketplace.

"Access to nearly $1 Billion in federal funding over the next 10 years" for Houston.
-  Margaret Wallace Brown, COH Dept. of Planning & Development
 - "Houston Counts" Report 2011

Capturing the return of federal dollars due the City

- Glenda Joe, Houston Language Bank - October 2013

Houston's 2010 Census campaign reduced the City's chronic undercount of immigrants by executing In-Language Access communication strategies.

The US Conference of Mayors estimated a $2,000 loss of federal funds per person per annum for every person undercounted.  The Brooking Institute estimated the per annum / per capita costs at $2,900.  Those estimates average $2,450 per capita, totaling a per capita decennial loss of $24,500 in federal funds.

Assuming Houston's 6% increase (125K) in census response rate in 2010, the City projects added "access to nearly $1 Billion in federal funding over the next 10 years.  Conservative population growth estimates for 2020 adds another 150K in population.  If historical trends hold, a majority of those added to the City population will be immigrant residents.  Capturing the return of federal dollars due the City for the 2020 Census will require sophisticated in-language communication experience embedded over time in partnership between the City, nonprofits and the private sector.

$3.68 Billion is the conservative projected estimate for recapture or potential loss of federal dollars due COH, depending on the City's success in integrating effective in-language communication strategies going forward.

Study Shows Immigrants 'Real Engine' for Growth

By Edward Iwata, USA TODAY February 2007

Houston. Perhaps best known for its energy and oil industry, Houston has a teeming economy of tens of thousands of immigrant entrepreneurs, from Mexico, Vietnam, China, Nigeria and other countries.

Little known outside Texas, Houston boasts a suburban Asian business district of strip malls, shopping centers and offices along Bellaire Boulevard. A real estate developer and Vietnamese immigrant from the area, Hubert Vo, is a Texas state lawmaker.
Why the surge in immigrant entrepreneurs?  Many come from strong merchant cultures — such as Syria, Iran, Greece, South Korea, Israel and Brazil — that have existed for centuries, according to Bowles.

"A lot of immigrants are the cream of the crop," Bowles says. "They have highly developed skills, a work ethic, good education, business backgrounds," he says. "They took big risks and sacrificed a lot to get here, and they put that same spirit into their companies."
Even with the economic progress, however, Bowles says, many immigrants lack language skills, access to financing and knowledge of the U.S. legal system and business regulations. Cities, especially those with lagging economies, need to do more to pump up their often-hidden immigrant economies, he says..


American Immigration Council - Immigration Policy Center 
August 2013


"Houston, recently deemed the “most diverse city in the United States,” contains examples of immigrant entrepreneurship and small businesses revitalizing urban and suburban neighborhoods. Along west Houston’s Bellaire Boulevard, ...a suburban Asian immigrant business district."

New Americans in Texas

source: Immigration Policy Center

REPORT:  Immigrants' Economic Strength Increases

The Texas Tribune May 2013

The purchasing power of Hispanics and Asians in Texas ...
increased to $265 billion in 2012, an increase of $55 billion from 2010.


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