Business and the Mexican-American Community

by Frederick Sturdivant



Business has made a major effort in recent months to meet the challenges posed by the urban crisis, but the major thrust has been to design programs of action aimed at the Negro community. Largely ignored has been the plight of the Mexican-American community, the second largest minority group in the United States. This article is based on a study of the characteristics and practices of low-income Mexican-American consumers in East Los Angeles and of the retail enterprises serving that community. While the challenges facing business in meeting the demands of the Mexican-American population are great, outstanding opportunities exist for improving the distribution of goods and services to this important segment of the market. The American business community generally has shown a growing awareness of the problems of poverty, minority group estrangement, and civil disorder. Business firms have become involved in programs to train and hire unemployed Negroes in urban slums. The riots in cities throughout the nation were clearly a major stimulus for these action programs.

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