Hispanic Business: The Power of a Culture.
Over 100 Gather in Bridgeton, NJ to Discuss “Hispanic Business: The Power of a Culture.”
Bridgeton Chamber Executive Board Members and Co-Chairs of the Hispanic Business Committee, Minerva Alvarado (SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties) and Jonathan Cummings, (Revive South Jersey, Inc.) with members of the committee, Ileana Serrano (Burgos Serrano Insurance Solutions), Jasmine Velazquez (El Manantial Restaurant, Woodbury) and Colleen Ayala (SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties), assembled an impressive list of leaders from around the region: The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, Cumberland County Commissioners, Cumberland County Government, Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly, Millville Mayor Michael Santiago, Bridgeton Main Street Association, Bridgeton Public Schools, Rowan College of South Jersey, Rutgers University, Workforce Development Cumberland, Cape May & Salem County, The Salvation Army Bridgeton Corps, and three partnering chambers of commerce: Greater Millville, Salem County and Southern New Jersey.
The Bridgeton Area Chamber of Commerce (“BACC”) and representatives of partnering chambers of commerce met to discuss “Hispanic Business: The Power of a Culture.” Over 80 business and community professionals gathered at the Alms Center in Bridgeton and over 20 more on Zoom at the Chamber’s June meeting. The keynote speakers were invited to start the conversation about the potential of Hispanic business owners in the area and how to maximize their positive impact to the local economy, including a revitalization plan for Downtown Bridgeton.
Luis De La Hoz, Vice President of Community Lending at Valley Bank and Chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (the largest chamber in the state of New Jersey), traveled over two hours to attend in-person. He led the conversation with, “There are over 61 million Hispanic Americans in the United States. Hispanics are the principal driver of the nation’s demographic growth. Hispanic entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment of business owners and today, Hispanic entrepreneurs own one out of every seven small businesses in the United States.” He added, “It is very important to follow through with community outreach to build relationships in Hispanic business communities - because when you connect to the heart of a community like Downtown Bridgeton, the potential for maximizing economic growth in and around the City is a boost that positively affects everyone.”
Next to speak was Ray Lamboy, President and CEO of the Latin American Economic Development Association (“LAEDA”). Mr. Lamboy said, “Thank you to the Bridgeton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan and Minerva for creating an opportunity for us to have this crucial conversation to work with the Hispanic business community. It was great meeting so many business professionals together with the same goals for Hispanic businesses.” Mr. Lamboy stated LAEDA’s commitment includes working with local and potential business owners to provide business training and information for available resources. Mr. Lamboy has already begun working with Jonathan Cummings, Executive Director of Revive South Jersey. Mr. Cummings said, “It was exciting to see the greater South Jersey community come together in support of Hispanic businesses and the promise they hold for our communities into the future. We look forward to working together with all in attendance here today to continue the conversation and create opportunities to help our business owners and communities succeed."
The Meeting Sponsors were Century Savings Bank and Revive South Jersey. As David Hemple, CEO of Century Savings Bank stated, “We are committed to the success of Hispanic businesses in our communities and offer our support here today and going forward.” Jonathan Cummings, Executive Director of Revive South Jersey said, “As an example of our commitment to support local businesses, the meal provided to us today was prepared by Los Molcajetes Mexican Restaurant here in Bridgeton.” Minerva Alvarado added, “Everyone here gave their thumbs up when asked about their meal - the food was a hit. Many thanks to Karen, Maria, Angel and their staff at Los Molcajetes for preparing delicious food for over 80 in-person attendees!”
The next Call to Action will be scheduled promptly in order to start the community outreach in the Downtown Bridgeton Area. The Hispanic Business Committee is also planning an event in September to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. For more information about the Bridgeton Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Business Committee, please visit baccnj.com or call the chamber office, 856-455-1312.
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties serves Cape May, Ocean City, the Wildwoods and surrounding communities in Cape May County. We also serve Bridgeton, Millville, Vineland and surrounding communities in Cumberland County. We are committed to serving our communities and volunteering for local non-profit organizations that advocate to help all local businesses to help them thrive and continue to grow.