Dear IHCC Community,
I am thrilled to share with you the progress the IHCC has made in advocating for Latino economic development. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with senators, congressmen, and congresswomen in Washington, D.C., to discuss how they plan to support our agenda in the coming years.
IHCC’s vision for 2023 and beyond includes building a bilingual and culturally-sensitive business assistance ecosystem accessible to all Latino small business owners and entrepreneurs in Northeast Illinois, integrating Latino small businesses into corporate supply chains, and fostering partnerships among Latino businesses to close the economic circle.
Our recent meetings with government leaders aimed to continue supporting Latino economic development, including access to capital and resources to help small businesses recover from the pandemic.
During these visits, I met with Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois, congresswoman Lauren Underwood, and congressman Jesus (Chuy) García, with whom I discussed the critical need for continued input for Latino economic development in the future. I also highlighted the IHCC’s efforts in 2022, which resulted in $81 million in financial assistance to Latino-owned businesses.
In my meeting with Senators Hickenlooper and Lujan, I highlighted the need to support Latino-owned businesses nationwide, including those in Chicago. We also talked with Commissioner Gonzalez-Colon about the challenges and obstacles that the Puerto Ricans face in the city and ways to offer assistance. As a significant part of the Latino community in Chicago, we are committed to standing up for their economic development and success.
I had the opportunity to meet with Mark Madrid and discussed the future of the SBA Pilot Community Navigator program, and the Director, Marisa Alcantar, shared that this program has provided minority-owned businesses with critical funding, counseling, and support. We are committed to ensuring that these programs continue to reinforce our community in the future.
We are proud to have engaged in these discussions with our elected officials. At IHCC, we believe that by working together, we can create a thriving and sustainable Latino business community that benefits everyone.
We would also like to extend our gratitude to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the other 250 chambers of the US for their unwavering support in helping us achieve our mission.
Jaime di Paulo, IHCC President & CEO