Leading SA: San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce interim CEO on business outlook in 2024

JR Trevino: We’re hoping that 2024 provides some respite for inflation, interest rates

SAN ANTONIO – This year has not been easy for small businesses around the country and around San Antonio with rising costs come new obstacles.

That is why the interim CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, JR Trevino, joined Leading SA Sunday morning to talk about a variety of issues.

“The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the nation’s oldest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We’re coming up on our 95th year of service to San Antonio and the region. And really, Max, we are an organization that is a resource for Hispanic businesses, but also small businesses. We have five main pillars which are small business, economic development, international trade, leadership, and workforce education. So anything that we can do within those to make San Antonio a better place for small businesses. The reality is, as business goes, as the community goes,” Trevino said.

One of the first points of discussion was the recent city council approval of the CPS rate hikes.

“Our approval, if you will, is saying, look, we understand this and anything that you can do to minimize this in the future, we appreciate. Energy is essential to continued success. When JCB (Manufacturing) came to San Antonio, they sat down with CPS and they wanted to make sure that they had the capacity to fulfill that for business. And so it’s critical that they have what they need to be successful so our community can be successful,” Trevino said.

The rising costs are not limited to CPS, as the economic climate is tough for small businesses.

“So I think we’re all feeling a little bit of the pain. And the reality is small businesses don’t have that gap that some of the bigger businesses do to cut. You know, they’re already running lean operations. So it’s a little bit harder for them. But at the end of the day, small businesses are going to go on. Right. And so they will find a way to persevere and with us at their side, we’re providing resources everywhere we can to make their time in business be as lucrative and successful as possible,” Trevino said.

And Trevino added that in 2023, rising costs were a huge issue.

“Inflation. Inflation is making it across the board. The interest rate is one of the things that businesses need access to capital. And with interest rates being as high as they are, it’s costing more to borrow money and less money for operation Money to grow. And so it’s a little bit of a sting, especially when we were a little bit lucky and we had interest rates below for so long. So the hope is that we’ll get a little bit of profit there so that businesses can access their capital and a little bit lower interest rate,” Trevino said.

As the year winds down, optimism for 2024 is revving up.

“The reality is that we’re hopeful, you know, small businesses will persevere. And everything that we’re looking at, all the indicators are saying the interest rate should come down as inflation should come back a little bit. And any little bit of help that we can get for our members is something that anybody would appreciate,” Trevino said.


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About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.