RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – During Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs September 15 through October 15, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce shines a light on the culture, work, and growth of Hispanic and Latino communities in the Richmond area.
Michel Zajur, founder and president of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the organization’s philosophy began with his family’s restaurant.
âWhen I came here from Mexico many years ago, there were no resources. I am very grateful to an uncle who lived here in the United States who helped my parents start their first business and really helped them, âhe said. “That’s what the chamber is for.” It is important that we help people move up the ranks. It is important that we give back.
Zajur said that inspiration continues with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as she sees the Hispanic population increase in the Richmond area.
âThe Hispanic community is present in every thread of our economy, especially the growing population here in Virginia,â he said.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, Zajur said they commemorate this time with several in-person and online events.
Zajur also said they were highlighting restaurants during their event called “Restaurant Week,” which will highlight small restaurants sharing their culture and traditions throughout the community.
Zajur also said it was time to rally support for these companies as well after the COVID-19 pandemic left many shut down.
The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce lends a helping hand to businesses by providing them with the resources they need to stay in business.
âWe helped start 33 businesses during COVID and helped a lot of people get loans,â he said. âSome of the things we do is guide them through the processes that keep them in business. A lot of the businesses we help are going online. Many businesses have not taken this pivot to market their business or sell online.
Lalo’s Cocina will be one of the many restaurants that the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce highlights during its âRestaurant Weekâ.
Jacqueline Macias, one of the managers of Lalo’s Cocina, said the community has helped them keep their doors open throughout the pandemic.
âBeyond just learning about our heritage, they get to know someone who is Hispanic who is also raised here,â she said.
To learn more about the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its Hispanic Heritage Month events, click here.
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