California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hosts Statewide Convention in Indian Wells
The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted its 42nd annual statewide convention this past weekend in Indian Wells.
The organization is the largest regional minority business association in the U.S and works with over 120 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce groups across California.
Julian Canete is the President of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; he told me, "Knowledge is probably the basis of everything we do, and I think the biggest thing we do here at the convention is share knowledge and make sure people are getting good knowledge."
He spoke of some of the resources the conference provides, including workshops on small business and community growth and assisting business owners in applying for a California Relief Grant.
The grant assistance is an ongoing collaboration they have with the state to help California business owners receive Covid-19 financial relief. Canete said, "Our role is to outreach and educate them on the grant program, get them to apply, and give them any technical assistance that they may need to get those grants."
Frank Montes is a Fontana resident and business owner and was the past Chairman of the California Hispanic Chamber. I asked him what concerned Inland Empire business owners the most during the pandemic, and he said, "From speaking to most small businesses and owners, they were not really concerned about themselves, they were concerned about their employees."
He added that one of the most significant issues business owners have faced during Covid-19 was the lack of information on receiving assistance loans and grants, particularly ones from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Montes said, "True information, not just hey it's coming, it's here, it should be soon. That doesn't work for small businesses; we need to know now, we need to know what we're going to do with our employees, we need to know how we're going to pay our bills, we need to know how we're going; to feed our families."
After a year and a half of the pandemic, Montes says he still knows many business owners that have been unable to receive any financial help and hopes that will come soon.