Mass Latino Chamber of Commerce hosts financial literacy for entrepreneurs

Hope was the admission ticket to this seminar about how to start and manage a business in Massachusetts.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hope was the admission ticket to this seminar about how to start and manage a business in Massachusetts.

“Being Hispanic, it’s kind of hard or kind of difficult to believe you can achieve, but you first have to start with believing in yourself,” said Elena Acevedo, an independent executive of a beauty care corporation living and working in Springfield. She recalled an interesting fact she learned at the seminar. She said many Hispanic men and women have several names. If they use those different names on credit reports, they may negatively affect their credit scores.

For the past decade, the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce has offered classes on financial literacy, marketing and legal issues behind owning a business several times a year. The Small Business Administration taught a group of prospective barbershop owners, landscapers and funeral directors about the resources available to them when it comes to applying for loans and making the right business plan.

“From a financial perspective, the Latino community is not prospering to the same degree that other communities are, so workshops like this today that can help people start a business and improve their lives is critically important,” Oreste Varela told 22News. He is the Springfield Branch Manager of the Small Business Administration in Massachusetts.

Small businesses are extremely important to Massachusetts’ economy. In fact, the SBA said there are more than 615,000 small businesses in Massachusetts, representing about 97 percent of our employers in the Commonwealth.

It was a time for these driven individuals to learn and network among the Hispanic community.

“It’s just basically to learn more about the business end of it, make sure that we’re in business more than a year and just the financial in and outs that we don’t know,” said Jason Torres of Springfield who recently started a marketing firm with a friend.

In today’s competitive jobs market, resources and networking are crucial in helping make anyone’s business dreams come true.

The next chamber seminar will be April 11th at the Springfield Training Center: 1655 Main St., Suite 203, Springfield.

The SBA just launched a Spanish version of its website this week.

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