LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Hundreds of Latino business leaders from around the country are in Las Vegas for the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s National Convention. Their goal is to exchange ideas and help each other bounce back from the pandemic.
It’s the first time in 48 years the group has held its national convention in Las Vegas. They are connecting small businesses to tools and resources to bounce back.
Nevada has the sixth-highest number of Latinos among all U.S. states, according to the U.S. Latin Chamber of Commerce. Their message this year: Latinos are ready to do business in the midst of the pandemic.
For the last six years, the Saldivar family has been living out the American dream, owning their own business. But the Colombian restaurant near Spring Mountain and Jones, like so many other small businesses, was hit hard during the pandemic.
“We struggled at the beginning, but we managed to stand above the surface,” said Daniel Saldivar, the owner of Aracely’s Sazon. “We are still here and our loyal clients helped us out a lot.”
Like many, the Saldivar family focused on social media.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president Ramiro Cavazos says Latino businesses have been most affected by the pandemic because they have been on the front line.
“They are more direct services within their business,” said Cavazos. “We are one out of every five people living in this country, 5-million Latino and Latino-owned businesses, and we have a $2.2-trillion impact. On our own, the 65 million Latinos in this country are the 7th-largest economy in the world.”
Cavazos said Latinos are a very resilient community because many small businesses were already struggling to get access to capital and loans before the pandemic. But he’s confident businesses will bounce back.