As the U.S. presidential candidates make their way to this election’s finish line in November, people all over the world are paying close attention to what candidates and their supporters are saying. One supporter of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez, said on national television that if the problems with illegal immigration to the United States were not fixed, “you’re gonna have taco trucks on every corner.”
Gutierrez was referencing mass immigration and cultural proliferation by Mexicans, something he and his candidate consider to be negative. The comments prompted several twitter hashtags, including #TacoTruckOnEveryCorner and the more creatively titled #GuacTheVote.
While Gutierrez meant his comments as a dig at Mexican culture, his statement seemed to also dig at small business owners. However, small businesses, that include, but are not limited to taco trucks, make up 99.9 per cent of all businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, comprising 48 per cent of private sector employees.
In Canada, small businesses contribute an average of 30 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per province with businesses with anywhere from one to 500 employees forming over 90 per cent of the work force. These statistics seem to contradict Gutierrez’ assertion that a ‘taco truck on every corner’ would be bad for the United States.
Here in St. Catharines, the city has seen a revitalization including more than $1.6 billion of economic activity from public investments in recreation, culture and traditional infrastructure as well as private investment in commercial and residential development, and manufacturing.
With several new restaurants opening in the downtown core in the past few months, it would seem St. Catharines is well on its way to reaching that goal of a taco truck on every corner. Local businesses are providing variety to an otherwise stale market of chain restaurants and providing jobs to locals as well. So, what’s wrong with a taco truck on every corner? As far as small businesses go, absolutely nothing.