SAN ANTONIO – The COVID-19 pandemic has closed bars and restaurants. Cuts have been made to the number of patrons who can be inside the businesses. The same has been done to retail stores.
For several months, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been working behind the scenes, helping support its members.
“We have been advocating and requesting for ongoing and more direct relief here with our local leadership,” Marina Gonzales, the CEO and President of SAHCC said.
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has about 900 members and the majority of them are small businesses and non-profits and most of them have experienced at least a 20 percent decrease in revenue.
For this reason, the SAHCC has held countless virtual events and meetings educating them on financial help programs and helping their members build partnerships.
“How to navigate the process on how to apply for relief or making sure they have what is required to pivot current operational needs to keep their doors open,” Gonzales said.
Pivoting is exactly what the chamber has done. Before the pandemic, SAHCC would hold in person networking events for members to expand their businesses. Now the chamber holds virtual events to create partnerships for members to be able to keep their businesses open.
“Our job is to create platforms to do the warm handoffs and introductions to members that have a resource that another member needs,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said it’s going to take a joint effort between local leadership and the community to rally behind our local businesses to stay afloat through the pandemic. She hopes the community can come together to support them.
“Confidently get out there and safely get out there and support your favorite local coffee shop, you favorite local restaurant or you favorite local retail store, those are the ones suffering a lot,” Gonzales said.