Local Hispanic leaders voted Friday to form the Greater Madison Latino Business Association and adopt a mission statement. Latino business owners and other leaders raised their hands at the T.E.C. Center, 3591 Anderson St., in favor of an association that "promotes the creation, expansion and diversification of Latino-owned businesses."
Other provisions that were tentatively approved included making the association a nonprofit run by a board with a majority of Latino directors and requiring that businesses with full membership have a majority ownership of Latinos. The group also pledged to make its meetings bilingual.
The meeting drew more than 30 participants, including Jennifer Alexander, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from Madison Area Technical College and the city of Madison. All three groups have promised to support the Latino association, and Alexander on Friday offered the assistance of Chamber of Commerce resources such as a secretary and accountant.
Organizer Dante Viscarra, publisher of La Comunidad News in Madison, said the offers of assistance had given momentum to the enterprise and helped draw attendees. "It really makes a difference," Viscarra said.
The group will meet in the same place at 7:30 a.m. June 4 to consider the association's bylaws and other business. Contact Viscarra at the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center at 608-265-0862 for more details.
Source: Winsconsin State Journal