The NJ State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Proudly Defends Latino-Owned Businesses
Founded in 1989 and based in Rutherford, the nonprofit Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) is a proud advocate for the 120,000 Hispanic-owned businesses that contribute more than $20 billion in revenue to the economy of the Garden State.
“We currently have 4,000 members and were founded to promote the continued growth and development of Hispanic-owned businesses in New Jersey,” said Carlos Medina, president and CEO of SHCCNJ. “We work to provide technical assistance to small businesses, business associations and entrepreneurs, identify and communicate the needs of the Hispanic and general business community by strengthening relationships with the business sector and influence legislation, policies and programs that have a positive impact on the small business community. In addition to representing New Jersey with the 4.7 million member-strong Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., “we also strive to provide leadership and support for excellence in the educating future business leaders,” Medina said.
Based on the challenges faced by businesses (and especially small businesses in the service and hospitality sectors) during the pandemic, Medina said the chamber has pivoted quickly to provide relevant, timely and available to his constituents.
“Specifically, we hosted weekly “Chamber Talks” with guest speakers specializing in various industries and/or functions and worked with federal and state officials to advocate on behalf of our business owners and help them receive grants and loans and to access other resources,” Medina mentioned.
With data from the New Jersey Department of Health revealing that the Hispanic vaccination rate in New Jersey was just 12.4% as of early May 2021, the SHCCNJ developed a targeted bilingual campaign that ran in trade publications and notable community organizations designed to help boost vaccination rates. “Our goal was to provide business owners and executives with the guidance and resources needed to educate their customers about vaccine safety and the free availability of vaccines to everyone, regardless of legal status or health insurance,” explained Medina. “At the same time, free chamber-sponsored programs such as The Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training (HETP) and Latina Entrepreneurship Training Series (LETS) have provided business owners with access to valuable market research and support and to business plan/marketing tools as well as job aids. capital resources. And our network of CPAs and attorneys have been readily available to provide advice on government-funded loans such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), EIDL, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and debt relief. SBA debt.
Members were extremely grateful for the support they received from the SHCCNJ. Among them is Yanina Paz, co-owner of Kearny’s Paz Music Academy, a multi-generational business that serves families and communities with special needs in Hudson County by teaching music appreciation, theory and technique. Since learning about the Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program/Latina Entrepreneurship Training Series sponsored by the New Jersey State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Paz said the future looks bright for her business. 37 years. “The training we received opened doors to reinvent and adapt our business,” Paz said. “We have seen a 400% increase in enrollment since participating in the HETP/LETS training program, and it is wonderful to know that we can continue to count on their support and expertise as we grow and find new ways to serve the community. Small businesses like ours make such a difference here,” she said, “and everyone benefits when we work together.”
Create lasting success
Looking ahead, Medina said the SHCCNJ The team is more dedicated than ever to creating a sustainable path to economic recovery for their “familia” throughout New Jersey.
“With a Hispanic population of 21%, New Jersey is the fifth largest Latino economy in the nation and represents a powerful and influential economic community that continues to grow,” Medina said. Among other chamber activities, “we have developed and strengthened existing partnerships with organizations in many industries, including AT&T, Bank of America, PSEG, Wells Fargo, New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, New Jersey Economic Development Authority and many more. others to help secure the lanes. for our members to gain industry-recognized credentials, access to capital, entrepreneurship and skills training, and other resources and tools for business growth.
“We invite our members and business partners to work with us on a strategic call to action to dramatically increase sourcing opportunities and inclusion of Hispanic members on boards in 2022,” Medina added, noting the power of unity. “We are employers who create jobs that translate into tax revenue that supports federal, state and local services and social programs that our New Jersey employees and their families can rely on.
“Given that our numbers are significant in terms of our growing population and our growing impact on the revenue streams of large organizations,” Medina concluded, “the SHCCNJ is excited about the future and the opportunity to help pave the way for even more opportunities for small business owners, such as targeted multicultural marketing or healthcare services that authentically reflect our values, traditions and our culture.
The State of New Jersey Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SHCCNJ) is located at 1 Orient Way, Suite F, Box 290 in Rutherford, and can be reached by calling 201-935-0035 or visiting shccnj.org.
A long moment New Jersey Advance Media/Star-Ledger Contributor Susan Bloom is an award-winning writer based in New Jersey who covers topics ranging from health and lifestyle to business, food and more..
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Jersey’s Best. Subscribe here for in-depth access to everything that makes the Garden State great.