ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida’s growing Hispanic population makes up a big part of small businesses in the community and up and coming entrepreneurs find that comprehensible resources aren’t always available to help them thrive. Now one Hispanic business owner has started an initiative to help.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the founder of Be Global Marketing in Orlando says many Hispanics still want to take that leap of faith during the crisis, while others are looking for ways to keep their doors open to customers.
"We've had over a million Puerto Ricans relocate to Florida in the past decade, countless others from Venezuela," Margie Viera of Be Global Marketing said. "These folks have a very high entrepreneurial spirit so folks want to start their business."
Viera, who launched her own marketing business a few years ago says the lack of information in Spanish made the process more difficult for her. This inspired her to create a free business resource guide completely in Spanish for future small business owners and those already in business.
“We are coming up with creative ways in which you can still pursue your dream but you just have to find a different way to do it,” she said. “It’s a shortcut so that folks don’t have to go through what I went through to start their own business and get access to that tribe-- that group of folks that will help you.”
The guide has a list of resources, organizations and links so anyone can contact them directly.
The owner of San Julian’s Hills, a coffee shop in Winter Park, followed some of those steps addressed in the guide. He said it motivated him to join the social media trend.
"We've had a lot of new customers come in these last few weeks," Héctor Ramos said. "It makes a difference; definitely we had business-people walking in but mainly delivery."
Viera says social media is an effective way to connect and create a community that will support one’s business.
For Ramos, who opened his coffee shop a month before the pandemic outbreak, he said this outcome is promising. Overall, he believes the first step for a successful business is making that decision to start even when facing adversity.
"A lot of great businesses have been started during difficult times," he said. "Be brave. I know it's not easy, it's easier said than done but if you let fear overtake you, it's just gonna dominate you and you're not gonna be willing to take that step."
The free business resource guide can be downloaded here.
For more stories about how people in the community are stepping up to help during the pandemic, visit clickorlando.com/doyourpart.