Georgia Hispanic Chamber receives $500K in federal funds, resources to flourish for business owners

Verónica Maldonado-Torres is the President and CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which recently announced that they are recipients of $500,000 in Congressional Direct Spending funds meant to help to provide resources for Georgia Hispanic business owners. (Marlon Hyde/ WABE)

More support for Hispanic business owners is coming to local communities after the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that it is set to receive half a million dollars in federal funding.

The funding, made possible with the support in the U.S. Senate of U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock and U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, will allow the chamber to expand the support services of its Hispanic Business Center, allowing the organization to service economically distressed areas in rural and coastal cities.

“Chatham County, for example, has a 65% increase of our Hispanic community and rural areas such as Tift County, about 30% increase of the Hispanic population. So we know that this is a must,” said Verónica Maldonado-Torres, President of the Chamber.

For almost two decades now, the Center has provided educational programs, mentorship and workshops to help entrepreneurs in Georgia’s Hispanic and Latino communities grow. The programs and services, including monthly networking and workshop opportunities, are designed to meet the unique needs of each Hispanic small business owner at any stage of their business growth path.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says there are barriers for owners that impact business growth, including language, lack of access to proper funding, education and awareness of programs and services that support the community.

“We know that behind every small business owner, there’s a family, so that allows their wealth within the community to increase,” said Norma Zúñiga-Cardoza, manager of the Hispanic Business Center, which offers its resources in English and Spanish.

“It allows them to have health insurance for their kids to go to school… it helps our economy, and we all win at the end of the day.”