OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) is all about supporting entrepreneurs.
"We promote businesses. We educate businesses and promote them across the state. We help them and give them resources for — not only to run their business but to be included in their own community,” said Board of Directors President Yesenia Peck.
She added Hispanic and Latino business owners are great at starting businesses because of necessity.
"It's a community where many people say we are entrepreneurs by nature, I say we are entrepreneurs by need because of the needs that we have. A special need that we have as immigrants and the dream is to open a business."
To realize that dream, Latinos often need assistance as starting or running a business in a different county can be difficult.
"We have different challenges; we have different needs. I always say this, if you are a parent, and let's say you have five kids, all of them have different needs and all of them have different challenges. And at the same time, different opportunities,” said Peck.
The NHCC hosts a monthly networking event at different businesses. It gives members an opportunity to network and for organizations to share resources and opportunities.
Diva Mejias, President of the NHCC, said especially during the pandemic, their work was crucial in helping Latino business owners move forward.
She said, "The biggest challenge that the Latino community has faced, especially during the COVID time, when they needed to get federal funding, is that not all small businesses have the structure and place in terms of bookkeeping or accounting or just the financial backgrounds that they needed to go to the large banks for funding."
The NHCC had to get creative during the pandemic to financially support the restaurants and shops that were ineligible for federal funding.
"We looked for private support because we want business. We don't want businesses to die. We want businesses to succeed. So that's why we provided around 120 businesses from the panhandle to Omaha, we provided $1,500 checks to each one of them,’ said Peck. "We don't want businesses to die...regardless of what group. They are moving the economy of our state and they are contributing like any other taxpayer, so we want to make sure they are still alive and still in business."
NHCC’s next monthly networking event will be held on Friday, June 25.