How Hispanic businesses and communities are pushing through this pandemic

Tony Talks   Posted by Tony Vargas · June 30, 2020

Diva tonytalks

Tony Talks is a semi-regular series of virtual events, where I discuss recent events and news with other leaders in our community.

On this week’s edition of Tony Talks, I was joined by Diva Mejias, President of the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NHCC), to talk about how COVID-19 has impacted Hispanic businesses and how communities are coming together to support each other through observing social distancing and other safety measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

You can watch the full talk by clicking the link below. Some key takeaways --

  1. Many small businesses cannot close down and be financially stable enough to reopen later and some businesses have changed how they operate and what services they offer. Diva talked about what NHCC is doing to support businesses during this difficult time: “Business models will need to change because we have now learned what we can live without and what is essential. That’s one reason why the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, alongside community allies, created the South Omaha Disaster Fund, so that businesses could be provided with financial resources they need to get back on their feet.”
  2. We can’t afford to just support businesses and not individuals. Diva and I talked about the need for all of us to work together, todos juntos, to support each other and our community, while taking the appropriate safety precautions so that we get through this, but come out as a stronger community, because we go through it together. As Diva said, “As long as small businesses thrive, then we thrive, as a community, together.”
  3. The severity of and ability to recover from this pandemic is dependent on our community’s response and approach. It will take time, patience, and diligence about our own personal health and safety from each of us.

We don’t know what the future holds or how long we will be dealing with a high number of active COVID cases and the aftermath to families, employers, and our economy. We have to do as much as we can to support our community of local businesses now.

One last thing, on Thursday, July 2, the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will announce a new grant for small businesses, the Hope Grant. Eligibility information and applications will be posted later this month. More information on the NHCC website here.

I ask my friends and family to please, please, wear a mask, continue to social distance, and wash your hands frequently. If you have symptoms, no tienes que esperar. Go get tested, now.

Todos Juntos. Siempre.


Fun Fact: Diva and I are both from Queens, NYC! She relocated to Nebraska for work many years ago and I moved here when Lauren was accepted to Creighton Law School.

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