Summit Chamber of Commerce creates Hispanic business group |

Summit Chamber of Commerce creates Hispanic business group

SUMMIT COUNTY – If ever the Spanish-speaking businesses and employees in Summit County felt ostracized, that is soon to end – the Summit County Chamber of Commerce is organizing an Hispanic business interest group.

Celebrando y Hablando Negocios is for interested members and prospective new members of the Spanish-speaking business community.

The chamber will hold business mixers for members and non-members to network with other Spanish speakers.

“It’s a real good opportunity to meet other people who speak Spanish and to network with people in their native language,” said Bethanne Dressel, Summit County Chamber of Commerce membership director.

“I think it will form a connection – a group – so that everybody will know who to contact,” said Yanitza Rivera, a native of Puerto Rico who is helping organize the group. “Maybe they won’t feel lost or rejected, because I know a lot of people feel rejected” when they cannot communicate because of the English-

Spanish language barrier.

The chamber’s Hispanic group has been in the works for a while now, Dressel said. When she started her position in September, she made it her No. 1 priority.

The group’s first mixer is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 11, at La Costa Restaurant in Frisco (near Safeway).

“A lot of people are very excited,” Dressel said. “They’re very excited because they’re now being recognized as an integral part of our business community.”

Angela Green, who is organizing the group with Dressel and Rivera, said she reviewed the county’s business license list and estimates about 30 to 40 businesses are Hispanic-owned.

Green said she believes many businesses do not reach the county’s Spanish-speaking population because of the language barrier.

The women have begun distributing fliers and invitations for the group’s mixer in December.

“Now that we’re doing that, ironically enough, a lot of the Anglo businesses are calling because they want to go to the Spanish mixer,” Green said.

Dressel said, the mixer is not limited to those who speak only Spanish.

“What we’re envisioning is people from all walks of life,” she said. “It does not have to be just a business owner. It can be anyone from the Spanish (-speaking) community that works in this community. We hope that we’ll have people from the English-speaking interested in networking with the Spanish-speaking community.

“We’re real excited about it and I think, from a grassroots effort, we should have a nice turnout,” she said.

Aside from networking, those who choose to be members of the chamber’s Hispanic group also will benefit from its advertising, Dressel said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

Celebrando y Hablando Negocios

? What: Hispanic business interest group mixer

? When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 11

? Where: La Costa Restaurant, Frisco Station (near Safeway)

? For more information: or to help organize, contact Bethanne Dressel, Summit County Chamber of Commerce at (970) 668-2051.

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