UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business association created in 1989 to promote and advocate for Hispanic business enterprizes.

“We have over two hundred members and then in addition to that, we have a number of business partners,” said Mark Moreno, Executive Director, MHCC.

MHCC considers themselves a resource to these businesses.

“Everything from helping to start up a small business, the market research, business plans that need to be developed, through what it looks like to grow your business, to scale up after you’ve been in business for a number of years,” said Moreno.

Moreno took over this leadership role with the organization in January of 2020. Just before the coronavirus pandemic was in full force.

“In Michigan, being a minority entity as the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce diverse business owners have suffered greatly with the pandemic,” said Moreno. “Statistics show that for people of color they were hit very hard with COVID. From a financial standpoint, many business owners, restaurants and storefronts just were not able to get the relief that were afforded to some of the larger companies.”

One of his goals in this role is to expand their outreach, like to the Upper Peninsula.

“Looking to encounter Hispanic business owners particularly in the month of September because from the middle of September to the middle of October, our nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Moreno. “There is a lot to be celebrated a lot to be thankful for. Hispanic immigrants like from Latin America, from Spain, there is a lot history in terms of what Hispanic immigrants have provided to our country, to our state of Michigan in particular as well, right? And so from the cultures, different cultures as we bring in from different countries from around the world, the melting pot that we are, we look to celebrate that cultural history.”

To learn more about the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, click here.