ORLANDO, Fla. — St. Cloud has seen a 67% increase in population over the past decade with the largest increase being the Hispanic and Latino demographic, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
In 2021, U.S. Census data shows Latinos made up 41.3% of the population in St. Cloud, and 45.6% in 2022 — a 27% increase from 2010 data.
Dirk Webb, President of the St. Cloud Greater Osceola Chamber of Commerce, said the Hispanic business community is also growing economic force in St. Cloud.
“What we’ve seen overall is a huge explosion here in St. Cloud, but the Hispanic community has especially been prominent,” Webb said.
The Chamber of Commerce has been a resource and support for Hispanic business owners, like Nondier Arboleda and Andres Villegas.
The two cousins from Medellin, Columbia, picked St. Cloud as their new home to push a new business venture in town — Orange Fresh Cleaning Services.
“Cleaning the Chamber of Commerce Building was our first contract,” Arboleda said.
Villegas speaks limited English, but recounts his own experience of one of his priorities when he arrived in St. Cloud.
“As Latinos coming to integrate with the community, we’ve done it through hard work and dedication. But the most important has been the Chamber. They’ve been the best card of presentation in front of the St. Cloud community,” he said.
Both cousins said joining the Chamber gave them a leg up in flourishing their own cleaning company, and they’ve personally seen St. Cloud grow.
“It’s a city that will continue growing, and there are opportunities for everyone,” said Villegas. “We’re the prime example that you can make it.”