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Newly Formed GNHCC to Uplift Hispanic Owned Businesses

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to reach out to businesses

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Norwalk, CT | Added on April 01, 2015 At 06:00 PM

"Connecting with the growing hispanic community is vital in this global society and we are here to help."

The newly formed Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is on its way to making a positive impact for hispanic business owners within the city and beyond.

Members of the new chamber announced its formation Tuesday evening at the South Norwalk Community center. 

"We realized that there was a huge void in Norwalk to bring business owners together, to really be able to organize the Latino community," said GNHCC Interim Vice President Warren Pena. "This chamber is all about small businesses. The core of it is always going to be to make sure that we're educating, uplifting, the Latino community in Norwalk." 

"We feel that it's important to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of the Spanish business man and woman to the Norwalk area," said Mariella Castagnet. "It is clear that hispanics are the future of America's business community. We are seeing that hispanic businesses have a startup rate that is three times the national average and is growing."  

Members of GNHCC say over 300 businesses in Norwalk are owned or managed by hispanic individuals. The chamber will address issues important to the growth of businesses within the hispanic community. 

"While the chamber advocates for business owners who happen to be hispanic," said Castagnet. "We are first and foremost American businesses. Every tax bill we pay, every job we create, every product we manufacture and every service we provide goes to the benefit of the American economy." 

Chamber president Mariella Castagnet says the chamber is currently putting together a marketing plan.

"In a 2010 census, 20 percent of the Norwalk population were hispanic and we took it about 5 years ago," said Castagnet. "Hispanics want to live the American dream, they all want to have, their business, their life and at the end of the day, we're all Americans."  

The chamber will have its first networking event May 7th. Iterim president Warren Pena says the first event will focus on connecting and increasing the chamber's membership.   

"That's the intent of the organization, is for us to go out there and recruit or find out what is it that's out there, what businesses do latinos own and primarily to organize our community so that we can create a mechanism to continue to inform and educate hispanic business owners," said Pena. 


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