Area Hispanic-owned Businesses Awarded Grants

BY BRANDY TUZON BOYD
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Image of Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce logo.The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has awarded $10,000 in grants to Natomas-area businesses struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ten local Hispanic-owned businesses recently received the one-time, $1,000 grants thanks to a coordinated effort between the chamber and the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association.

That’s because the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association had “fresh information” when contacted by the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,  president Flavio Huizar said.

The neighborhood advocacy group had just been surveying Gardenland and Northgate businesses to identify which have been impacted by mandatory closures and other restrictions related to COVID-19.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is part of the Sacramento Inclusive Economic Development Collaborative — a cohort of Sacramento’s ethnic chambers, the Metro Chamber and seven Property and Business Improvement Districts. The group works to make sure the city’s historically diverse and under invested communities are not forgotten.

“We are working really hard to remind everyone that Sacramento is a big city. We love downtown, but things happen everywhere,” said Cathy Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Then COVID-19 hit and things became more extreme, everything was magnified.”

Areas such as the Gardenland and Northgate which already lacked resources are “now hurting more,” Rodriguez explained.

When Sacramento city leaders launched the Donate4Sacramento COVID-19 regional response fund, a portion of the $1.4 million money raised was designated to support small businesses.

Rodriguez said the Hispanic Chamber wanted to make sure businesses in under resourced areas, such as Gardenland and the Northgate corridor, were included. Since the area does not have a Property and Business Improvement District, or its own chamber, that’s where the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association’s business surveys came in handy.

“A lot of collaboration made this happen,” said Rodriguez. “If anything (the grants) give a little hope to people that say ‘we are thinking of you’.”

The chamber approved grants for the following businesses:

  • Amalia Gomez of 524 Mexican Restaurant
  • Mayra E. Rayon of Mega Success Insurance
  • Michelle Canepa ofLola’s Laundry
  • Alura Ramos of Los Cochanillos Restaurant
  • Helen Hernandez, a barber
  • Maria Rivera of Level Up Nutrition
  • Lucy Herrera of Lucy’s Hair Salon
  • Guadalupe Venegas of El Potrillo Western Wear
  • George Azar of La Mex Taqueria
  • Araceli Lopez of Nail the Lux

The grants, said Huizar, were a “huge blessing” for the business owners.

“Money is money and every dollar counts right now,” Huizar said. “Every one of them was very happy and very thankful that they were not forgotten.”

Added Luisa Fonseca, co-owner of 524 Mexican Restaurant, “Right now, everything helps.”

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