Partnership increases member benefits for both organizations
ATASCADERO — The Hispanic Business Association is merging with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. The origin of Hispanic Business Association started nine years ago when Sue Hubbard of Farmers Insurance in Atascadero recognized a need to collaborate with fellow Hispanic businesswomen to confer about 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 the Hispanic Business Association members greater benefits and an opportunity for the chamber to expand its role in this underserved segment of the business community.”
The association’s goals are to 1) provide Hispanic business owners with more expertise and resources to succeed in the local markets, 2) strengthen the Chamber’s image, presence, and role within the Hispanic business community, and 3) increase visibility of the Atascadero Chamber in the North County.
Maria Elena Garcia, former president of the Hispanic Business Association, is excited about the merger.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had 100 members. About 20 percent of residents in Atascadero and 36 percent in Paso Robles are Hispanic,” Garcia said. “San Miguel is also growing so we want to help North County businesses by doing outreach, finding out owners’ needs such as human resources and bookkeeping, and bringing those needs to the Atascadero Chamber board of directors to brainstorm solutions.”
Josh Cross, Atascadero Chamber president and CEO, welcomed the merger.
“We are thrilled to officially partner with the Hispanic Business Association,” he said. “We value Hispanic businesses and want to remove any barriers that might exist on their journey to 100 percent success. We look forward to learning from them as well.”
The Chamber recently hired three bilingual staff members, two of which are funded by regional grants.
Garcia is ecstatic to receive the help.
“I have been running this organization on a volunteer basis with other dedicated volunteers. No grants. 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 area is that everybody is always ready to help each other. That’s what makes this community great.”