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Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce highlights small businesses during Hispanic Heritage Month

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - During Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 until Oct. 15, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is highlighting the culture, work and growth of Hispanic and Latino communities in the Richmond area.

Michel Zajur, founder and president of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the philosophy for the organization started with his family’s restaurant.

“When I came here many years ago from Mexico, there was no resources. I’m very thankful to an uncle that lived here in the United States that helped my parents establish their first business and really help them,” he said. “That’s what the chamber is about. It’s important that we help people up the ladder. It’s important that we give back.”

Zajur said this inspiration continues with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as they see the Hispanic population growing in the Richmond area.

“The Hispanic community is in every thread of our economy, especially the growing population here in Virginia,” he said.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Zajur said they commemorate this time with several in-person and online events.

Zajur also said they are spotlighting restaurants during their event called, “Restaurante Week,” which will highlight small restaurants sharing their culture and traditions throughout the community.

Zajur also said this is time to also rally support behind these businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic left many closing their doors.

The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is lending a helping hand to businesses by providing them the resources they need to stay in business.

“We helped start 33 businesses during COVID and helped lots and lots get loans,” he said. “Some of the stuff we do is walking them through the processes of how they can stay in business. A lot of businesses we help go online. A lot of businesses have not made that pivot point to market their business or sell online.”

Lalo’s Cocina will be one of the many restaurants the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be spotlighting during their “Restaurante Week.”

Jacqueline Macias, one of the managers of Lalo’s Cocina, said the community has helped them keep their doors open throughout the pandemic.

“Other than just learning about our heritage, they learn about somebody who is Hispanic who is being raised here as well,” she said.

To learn more about the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and their Hispanic Heritage Month events, click here.

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