Partnerships increase member benefits for both organizations
Atascadero – The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will merge with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. The Hispanic Business Association began when Sue Hubbard of Farmers Insurance in Atascadero realized the need to collaborate with other Hispanic businesswomen who expressed the unique needs of being a minority business owner.
“Partnering with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce is the logical next step,” Hubbard said. “This merger will provide greater benefits to members of the Hispanic Business Association and provide an opportunity for the Chamber of Commerce to expand its role in this underserved segment of the business community.”
The association’s goals are to 1) provide Hispanic business owners with additional knowledge and resources to succeed in local markets, 2) strengthen the Chamber of Commerce’s image, presence and role in the Hispanic business community, and 3) increase the visibility of the Atascadero Chamber in North County.
Maria Elena Garcia, past president of the Hispanic Business Association, was pleased with the merger.
“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, we had 100 members. 20 percent of residents in Atascadero and 36 percent of residents in Paso Robles are Hispanic,” Garcia said. “San Miguel is also growing so we want to help North County businesses by working, addressing owner needs like HR and accounting and bringing those needs to the Atascadero Chamber Board of Directors.”
Atascadero Chamber President and CEO Josh Cross welcomed the merger.
“We are very happy to officially partner with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “We respect Hispanic businesses and want to remove any obstacles on their journey to 100 percent success. We look forward to learning from them.”
The council recently hired three bilingual staff members, two of whom are supported by state grants.
Garcia is glad to have the help.
“I have been running this organization as a volunteer with other volunteers. There are no gifts. There is no funding,” she said. “It means a lot to me that the Atascadero Chamber wants to partner with us. One of the best parts about this environment is that everyone is always ready to help each other. This is what makes this community great.