Paso Robles News|Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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Association supports businesses that serve the Hispanic community 

Students dance a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Paso Robles. Photo by Romi Ramiera

Students dance a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Paso Robles. Photo by Romi Ramiera

The Hispanic Business Association in the North County is made up of businesses owned by Hispanics or are businesses that serve the Hispanic community, which is large in th North County, particularly Paso Robles. Sue Hubbard started the Hispanic Business Association in early 2011. The organization’s first meeting was held in April 2011 after Hubbard counted 35 hispanic businesses in the North County and had five people, including Hubbard, in attendance.

“I originally was going to be part of the Business Networking International or the chamber or commerce,” Hubbard said, adding that the cost of either is out of reach of many of the businesses. “I found that a lot of hispanic businesses didn’t have it in their budgets. A lot of hispanic businesses just think differently. We decided we would just form our own organization.”

So they did.

The Hispanic Business Association meets once a month in Paso Robles. Photo by Romi Ramierz

The Hispanic Business Association meets once a month in Paso Robles. Photo by Romi Ramierz

Hubbard said they had booths at the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Paso Robles and at the Community Health Centers health fair to outreach to potential members. The organization has a meeting every month, as well as a speaker who addresses issues that affect hispanic people and businesses. Throughout the year, the association also fundraises for scholarships for youth. While the scholarships are merit driven, the focus is on hispanic youth.

“We’re trying to get more of the Latinos in the North County and the periphery involved [in the organization and community],” Hubbard said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 4, the business association is hosting a forum on immigration that will be open to the public as well as to the organization’s members from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Paso Robles High School in Room 503. On Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Paso Robles Inn. The party — costumes are optional — will honor three people who have served the Hispanic community: Henry Elisarraraz from the Cinco de Mayo group, Dr. Warren Frankel and Linda Quesenberry from the Hispanic Business Association. The event will also raise money for youth scholarships. A Mardi Gras march will start on the corner of Spring and 11th streets at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Richard Benitez at 805-238-2735 or Maria Elena Garcia at 805-835-7900.

Membership is open to any Hispanic business owner or a business that serves the Hispanic community. The cost is $75 a year.

“I would like to get more wineries and vineyards involved because there are a lot of farm workers [in the area],” Hubbard said.

Recently members pools their resources to feed 50 families in the area. Hubbard said the organization’s members do a variety of activities from forums and education to fundraisers for youth scholarships and helping out others. For more information on the organization, contact Romi Rameriz at romi_ramirez2@yahoo.com.

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