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MDHCC Keeps Growing: Milestones and Future Plans

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has reached many groundbreaking milestones this past year and is continuing to grow through partnerships and opportunities that benefit members of the community at the local, Statewide and national level. For the past two years, Mr. Jorge Castillo has held the position of the President of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He is regarded as one of the most impactful leaders for small businesses in Maryland. Mr. Castillo and his team have been working to launch the Greater Baltimore Regional Chapter and have it incorporated into bylaws. The chapter structure implemented by the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce consists of dividing the state of Maryland into six regions. The first region that they are developing is the Greater Baltimore region. After appointing Corina Morga as the President of the GBRC, the Business Advocacy and Mentorship program has two companies that are being mentored and trained by members of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Business Advocacy and Mentorship program is a service that aims to foster the formation, development, success and preservation of Hispanic businesses in Maryland. The program is aiming to grow to accept two more companies and roll out statewide.

The Greater Baltimore region includes Anne Arundel county. The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation to bring in a series of Spanish speaking workshops for small business owners

and entrepreneurs. These workshops covered finance, accounting, human resources, marketing and procurement opportunities within the Anne Arundel County region. The plan is to replicate these workshops in all of the other regions. The Maryland Hispanic

Chamber of Commerce holds membership orientation and economic outlook breakfasts with the federal reserve banks in Baltimore. Their aim is to hold four events a year in the Montgomery and Prince George's county.

The MHCC is also partnering with the Sagamore Development Company to host a minority entrepreneurship expo in March of 2018. The influence and objectives of this expo have never been implemented in Maryland and will focus on minority businesses and entrepreneurs. The event offers exclusive opportunities for mainstream investors who have never gotten the chance to interact with minority businesses. Investors will have the chance to meet and learn about small Hispanic businesses and hopefully build a

relationship that leads to financial support in the future. In turn, the event will also give minority entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with mainstream investors.

In 2018, the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is going to be launching the Capitol Corridor Regional Chapter. This chapter includes Frederick County, Montgomery County, Princes George’s County and Charles County. The chamber of commerce has attended preliminary hearings with Princes Georges County executives and have been assured that the chamber has their full support. The chamber is considering opening a headquarters in Prince George’s county. In early January, the chamber is meeting with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation and is hoping to open another headquarters in Montgomery County. The chamber of commerce is looking for talented individuals to fill the leadership roles such as Vice President and marketing positions as they roll out the next few chapters. If you wish to be part of the movement, contact the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with your resume and express your desire to be part of the Capitol Corridor Regional Chapter.

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has a newly instituted government affairs committee and plans to hold their 18th annual minority legislative reception in February of 2018. For the first time in its thirty-two years, the chamber of commerce has a government affairs division which is managed by a professional company. The chamber of commerce is focusing on the legislation that affects small businesses. Particularly, the HB1 override veto. If this veto is overridden, the bill is going to pass and will harm small businesses, especially businesses of 15 employees or less. The businesses are going to have to provide increased wages and mandatory leave which is something they will not be able to afford. The chamber of commerce is working with the Maryland Chamber Competitiveness Coalition as well as the Maryland Advisory Economic Council to get the word out so people can let their elected officials know that they are not supporting HB1.

On January 17th , the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is going to represent small businesses in a rally in Annapolis in order to let our elected officials know their point of view. They need small business owners to join them in the fight. If the legislators only hear from the chamber of commerce and not from small businesses, they’re not going to feel compelled enough to change. There will be a lasting impact once the legislators start listening to the stories of small businesses and how they will be affected.

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