SHCCNJ Fosters and Promotes Opportunities for New Jersey’s 100,000+ Hispanic-Owned Small Businesses
The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ (SHCCNJ) has been a proponent of New Jersey’s Hispanic-owned businesses for more than three decades. From left: SHCCNJ Chairman Luis De La Hoz, SHCCNJ Operations Manager Aixa Lopez, P.E., and SHCCNJ President and CEO Carlos Medina.
TRENTON, N.J. (September 24, 2020) – The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) sees Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic-Americans, as the perfect time to spotlight resources for the more than 100,000 Hispanic-owned small businesses that call New Jersey home. Collectively, these businesses contribute more than $20 billion to the state’s economy annually. Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15.
SHCCNJ has been a proponent of New Jersey’s Hispanic-owned businesses for more than three decades. The Chamber is dedicated to promoting the continued growth and development of New Jersey business by working with the public and private sectors to identify and expand opportunities for its members, advocating for them in the political process, and promoting trade for the New Jersey business community.
When COVID-19 hit, SHCCNJ quickly mobilized its vast network to support Hispanic-owned small businesses throughout the state. Shortly after Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in March, SHCCNJ members helped hundreds of business owners apply for financing through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans programs, as well as funding from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant and Loans programs. SHCCNJ was also one of four organizations selected by the NJEDA to offer support services to businesses seeking federal financial assistance through Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.
“At SHCCNJ, we see ourselves as one big ‘familia’, or family, and that strong sense of community has never been more important than it is now as our members continue to face challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said SHCCNJ President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carlos Medina. “We are very appreciative of our longstanding partnership with the NJEDA, the resources it provides, and the open line of communication we have with its leadership. This support has been extremely critical to so many of our members.”
Earlier this year, SHCCNJ held its inaugural Latina Entrepreneurship Training Series (LETS), a free, virtual workshop for female entrepreneurs who wanted to learn about topics such as leadership & empowerment, business scale-up, financial management, and strategic marketing pillars. The training is a complement to SHCCNJ’s existing Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program (HETP), which provides culturally and linguistically appropriate business education and mentorship services for free to Hispanic small business owners. Taught by bilingual subject-matter experts with real world experience and successful track records in their respective fields, HETP equips participants with the resources and know-how to start and/or expand their businesses.
“With its highly talented workforce and its centralized location along the Northeast Corridor, New Jersey is the perfect place for our members to establish their businesses,” said SHCCNJ Chairman Luis O. De La Hoz. “We created LETS and HETP to help our members compete not just here in the Garden State but in the global marketplace as well.”
As the heads of the SHCCNJ, Medina and De La Hoz have a strong pulse on the Hispanic business community and know the value of connecting the Chamber’s members with networking, mentorship, and educational opportunities necessary to flourish in the state. SHCCNJ also offers its members access to legislators and industry leaders through a series of Chamber Talks, community events, and semi-monthly newsletters.
Medina, who sits on the Board of Directors for Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey, noted the importance of working with companies of all sizes to add diversity to their Board of Directors or C-suite executives. This is a sentiment that NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan echoed.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate one of New Jersey’s greatest assets – its diversity,” Sullivan said. “A stronger, fairer economy starts with including diverse voices in conversations where decisions are being made. Carlos and Luis have been passionate advocates for our efforts to drive opportunities for historically underrepresented communities. Our partnership with the Hispanic Chamber is essential to advancing initiatives focused on inclusion and equity as we confront the challenges created by COVID-19.”
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.
To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.gov and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.