About the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and How You Can Get Involved, with President and CEO Nicole Quiroga

Today we will be hearing from the President and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nicole Quiroga. Founded in 1976, the GWHCC has the critical job of uplifting and facilitating the success of Latino and other minority-owned businesses throughout Washington, D.C.

Quiroga will be sharing resourceful information with us, ranging from GWHCC’s recent initiatives to engaging public-facing events that you can join. Read below to learn more about GWHCC, and don’t forget to take the REUDC pledge HERE.

What is the mission of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce?

Founded in 1976, the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Ibero American Chamber) is a membership driven organization that supports the economic development of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region by facilitating the success of Latino and other minority-owned businesses and the communities they serve through networking, advocacy, education, and access to capital. Learn more. The Chamber envisions building a stronger business network for the competitive future of the region.

As a membership-driven organization, the GWHCC consists primarily of businesses and individuals representing all segments of commerce in the Greater Washington area. The diversity of the members mirrors the growing range of the local Hispanic and minority business market.

What are some of the current initiatives that the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a part of that contributes to the success of Latino and other minority-owned businesses?

Some of the current initiatives the Chamber is a part of include:

-GWHCC Small Business Micro Grant Program: Thanks in part to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and Rumba Meats, the Chamber can provide emergency micro grants to DMV small businesses between $500 and $1,000. These grants allow us to assist our member businesses weather this COVID- 19 pandemic.

-The GWHCC Foundation has been helping Hispanics, and other minorities open successful businesses and providing technical assistance to existing business owners through its programs with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), DC Health Link, the Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs (MOLA), Small Business Administration (SBA), City First Bank and Capital One.

-Led by Capital One, four small businesses were selected, thanks to GWHCC, to participate in a 6-month cohort to develop sustainable models that accelerate year over year growth, profitability, and key operating metrics.

-The GWHCC has partnered with the DC Small Business Development Center to become its newest incubator, which has enabled the Foundation to develop a new GWHCC Academy program to provide technical assistance services to small and local businesses located in or wishing to locate in the District of Columbia.

Are there any public-facing events coming up that individuals in the community can attend?

Throughout the year, GWHCC hosts a variety of events and workshops available to the business community at-large. For a list of upcoming events, visit our website’s calendar of events.

The GWHCC has two major events coming up in 2021:

-GWHCC Business Expo: The GWCC Business Expo has become the region’s premier event connecting minority- owned businesses with potential clients and organizations that support their growth. Participation in the Expo has increased from 70 exhibitors and 500 attendees in 2010 to over 1,000 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors. The event is a once in a year opportunity to have your business on display among these powerful resources and target the nation’s largest minority group. Business owners can attend, become an exhibitor by purchasing a booth, or sponsor this event. The expo also features a VIP Executive Luncheon that brings C-Suite executives and corporate leaders together. Learn more.

-GWHCC Gala and Hispanic Business Hall of Fame: The Gala is a time where we come together to celebrate each other and the community. The annual gala allows us to recognize the workers and leaders of our local business community. To begin telling their story, the Chamber launched in 2019 the first-ever GWHCC Hispanic Business Hall of Fame, recognizing business leaders whose achievements continue to promote and advance the economic climate of our communities. This year, we are committed to making history once again as we celebrate our 45th year. This is one black-tie event you do not want to miss. Learn more.

Why was it important for the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to take the REUDC pledge?

The GWHCC is aware of the impact Climate Change is having in the world we live in. After a very difficult year, people are starting to go back to work while still having their families at home. It's a new opportunity to understand the impact energy use has and how to mitigate it. This is our second year participating in the pledge campaign, and we hope to continue helping our partners and doing our part to save our planet! This pledge helps us make a difference and teaches us how to use energy more efficiently in our day-to-day lives.

Social Media links:
· twitter.com/gwhcc
· facebook.com/TheGWHCC
· instagram.com/gwhcc_dc
· linkedin.com/company/greater-washington-hispanic-chamber-of-commerce