GQCHCC: Promoting Latino entrepreneurship

Hispanic Heritage Month

Latino business owners have been able to tap into the resources available from the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for 10 years now.

Quad Cities native Bob Ontiveros helped launch the local chapter.

The Hispanic Chamber brings together people of all backgrounds and professions to promote entrepreneurship.

Local 4’s Andrea Medina explains its impact in this Hispanic Heritage report.

“We are actually the only Hispanic Chamber to serve the Quad Cities, said GQCHCC Executive Director Zenaida Landeros. “We’re the only Chamber in the State of Iowa.”

Raising the profile of local entrepreneurs.

“We’re here to support and promote businesses, not just Hispanic business but businesses any background,” said Landeros.

And providing year-round services, education and awareness to succeed.

The Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has supported the economic development of more than 180 businesses in the last 10 years.

Everything from brick and morter storefronts. To incubators at the Mercado on 5th.

“Just within Mercado on 5th,” she said. “14 to 17 businesses that have started within the last few years,” Landeros said.

After a decade of helping businesses flourish, The Chamber celebrated a huge milestone too. They recently moved to a new space in Moline.

“We’re not only in the heart of the Quad Cities, but also in the heart of the Floreciente neighborhood. Which is densely populated with Latino Americans,” said Landeros.

With this move, board directors hope to establish itself as the premier organization where business leaders can thrive.

“We really wanted to focus on becoming more of a resource for our community and one of the reasons we moved to the new location was precisely to be in the center of the Quad Cities,” said Landeros.

Leading them down this path is Zenaida Landeros.

“A native of Moline,” she said. “And it’s pretty amazing to be able to work with the community that you grew up in.”

As the first Latina executive director, she’s ready to continue raising the bar.

“As Small Chamber of the Year we were actually the only chamber in the entire nation to have that title two times,” Landeros said.

And challenging themselves to offer the very best in programming and events.

“We have the Multicultural Speaker Series, the networking mixers, the Empowering Latinos Leadership Alliance,” she said. “And then as well as partnerships with local business service providers.”

That’s all while incorporating their Hispanic cultural identity.

“It’s beautiful to witness how the city of Moline and our entire Quad Cities community comes together for National Hispanic Heritage Month,” Landeros said.

In the last couple of years, The Hispanic Chamber has persistently…

“Connected with all of our government leaders and they will be sending out proclamations throughout the entire month of September 15 through October 15,” Landeros said.

That’s to ensure the contributions of Hispanic Americans in the Quad Cities are celebrated.

“This is very important to take that time to bring awareness to what Hispanics have done for this nation and for this community,” said Landeros.

Of those achievements, a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce study reports, Latinos are becoming a powerful force in bringing more dollars, business growth and population.

“It’s expected to grow even more by 2050. I believe 53% of the population in the US. So we do see that reflected here in the Quad Cities, especially in Moline and Davenport,” Landeros said.

With those rising numbers, The Chamber’s focus is continuing their dedication of increasing the economic advancement of Latino and non-Latino owned businesses on both sides of the river.

“We got experts to help train our businesses and support them in Marketing or starting a business,” she said. “We’re here to promote you as much as we possibly can.”

Landeros says, they’re here to serve as a resource to build a better booming community everyone can benefit from.

“We really want to focus on that and then being able to celebrate this significant milestones for businesses,” said Landeros.

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