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Communities of color aim to make impact at Latino Small Business Conference

The entire conference was in Spanish
Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 14, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Elie Berchal is planning on opening her own restaurant in north Omaha. Berchal acknowledges her business in her passion but she admits resources are limited.

"Super difficult," Berchal said. "In my case, I gotta have my family and myself. It's been difficult to knock on doors and they either don't open and if they do open, they still don't resolve the issue."

Nebraska Business Development Center's Juan Sandoval outlines it: COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Hispanic businesses. Only 6.7% of businesses report profitability and growth.

"A lot of the businesses don't have the information and it has a wide impact. This was the idea of the conference - put the information out there, put the information in front of the people," Sandoval said.

Not supporting these businesses could leave a huge gap. If these employers closed their doors at the end of the year, it could result in a loss of more than two million jobs.

"Let's not look at Latino businesses alone. We have to look at them as part of the community, it's impacting the downtown buildings, to have kids in school, it generates sales tax," Sandoval said.

Berchal is grateful to have support on her side as a minority business owner.

"What they are talking about is real, educating, learning, advice, a mentor for me, it's incredible, it's of big help," Berchal said.

There is a Latino Small Business Program that offers skills in specific industries. Email sandra.barrera@unl.edu for more info. For a link to the Nebraska Business Development Center, click here.

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