The Impact of Latino-Owned Businesses on Central Florida’s Economy

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we examine the economic impact of the community. Latino-owned businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in the Central Florida economy. “I was a new budding young entrepreneur. I had a vision or a dream, but I didn’t know how to put it all together,” said Phillip Rosado. Rosado is the owner of Educe Salon, one of Orlando’s most successful high-end salons. The Puerto Rican-born stylist remembers how difficult the beginnings were. “I applied for so many different scholarships. I got one – Orlando VoTech and it was for $1,500,” Rosado said. This start to the early 90s propelled Rosado to top hairdressing schools in the United States and styled the hair of top pop artists like the Backstreet Boys. But in 2000, Rosado’s dream was to own his own salon. “My very first living room was off Lake Ivanhoe and it was 200 square feet, 250 square feet,” Rosado said. Today, 20 years later, Rosado and his wife, Alicia, own a 5,000 square foot living room. Educe Salon serves over 600 clients per month and is ranked among the top 100 salons in the state. Of the 40 employees, 18 are Latinos. But that first show and the success that followed were made possible by Prospera USA. Founded by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Prospera provides technical assistance to those looking to start or grow their business. This helped Rosado secure a $75,000 loan to launch his first salon. That’s the goal of the Hispanic Chamber of Metro Orlando and Prospera USA, helping Latin American businesses get started and succeed. “We are very proud to celebrate 30 years next year and three decades of working day in and day out to ensure that our Hispanic business community has access to the right connections, to the right resources,” said Gaby Ortigoni. , CEO of the Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “What’s important to us and the main reason they come to Prospera is because they want to understand and we want them to understand the way of doing business in the United States,” said Katia Medina. Prospera has helped create more than 11,500 jobs at more than 8,600 Latino-owned businesses in Central Florida, businesses like those of Pablo and Jennifer Herrera. The couple immigrated to Florida from Guatemala and used Prospera to build a successful business. “It was necessary because when you come to a new country you really don’t know how to market yourself in a new environment and that’s how the marketing plan helps you see who your competition is. Who your prospects may be and your customers,” said Jennifer Herrera. In 12 years, A&G Marketing by Proforma has grown from a $70,000 business to today earning over $1 million a year with clients like UCF, Orlando Health and Orange County Schools. “Imagine how that makes us feel. It’s a family business and everything we do is really, all of our efforts are for our own family,” Jennifer Herrera said. “And that’s how we also reflect ourselves in our company. Together with our employees, we also consider them as a family. Every growth we have is an excitement for all of us.” “Seeing them where they were when they started the business and seeing where they are now makes you proud to see how persistent they have been and the accomplishments they have made,” Medina said. “But I also think that the contribution we make to culture and how we connect our traditions from a business perspective is something that we add to the fabric of this community,” Ortigoni said. “I think even if we become the largest minority, there will always be a need. We will always have people coming from other states, other countries and we want to make sure we are there to support them.”

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we examine the economic impact of the community.

Latino-owned businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in Central Florida’s economy.

“I was a new budding young entrepreneur. I had a vision or a dream, but I didn’t know how to put it all together,” said Phillip Rosado.

Rosado is the owner of Educe Salon, one of Orlando’s most successful high-end salons.

The Puerto Rican-born stylist remembers how it all started.

“I applied for so many different scholarships. I got one – Orlando VoTech and it was for $1,500,” Rosado said.

This start to the early 90s propelled Rosado to top hairdressing schools in the United States and styled the hair of top pop artists like the Backstreet Boys.

But in 2000, Rosado’s dream was to own his own salon.

“My very first living room was off Lake Ivanhoe and it was 200 square feet, 250 square feet,” Rosado said.

Today, 20 years later, Rosado and his wife, Alicia, own a 5,000 square foot living room.

Educe Salon serves over 600 clients per month and is ranked among the top 100 salons in the state.

Of the 40 employees, 18 are Latinos.

But that first show and the success that followed were made possible by Prospera USA.

Founded by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Prospera provides technical assistance to those looking to start or grow their business.

This helped Rosado secure a $75,000 loan to launch his first salon.

That’s the goal of the Hispanic Chamber of Metro Orlando and Prospera USA, helping Latin American businesses get started and succeed.

“We are very proud to celebrate 30 years next year and three decades of working day in and day out to ensure that our Hispanic business community has access to the right connections, to the right resources,” said Gaby Ortigoni. , CEO of the Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“What’s important to us and the main reason they come to Prospera is because they want to understand and we want them to understand the way of doing business in the United States,” said Katia Medina.

Prospera has helped create more than 11,500 jobs at more than 8,600 Latino-owned businesses in Central Florida, businesses like those of Pablo and Jennifer Herrera.

The couple immigrated to Florida from Guatemala and used Prospera to build a successful business.

“It was necessary because when you come to a new country you really don’t know how to market yourself in a new environment and that’s how the marketing plan helps you see who your competition is. Who your prospects may be and your customers,” said Jennifer Herrera.

In 12 years, A&G Marketing by Proforma has grown from a $70,000 business to today earning over $1 million a year with clients like UCF, Orlando Health and Orange County Schools.

“Imagine how that makes us feel. It’s a family business and everything we do is really, all of our efforts are for our own family,” Jennifer Herrera said. “And that’s how we also reflect ourselves in our company. Together with our employees, we also consider them as a family. Every growth we have is an excitement for all of us.”

“Seeing them where they were when they started the business and seeing where they are now makes you proud to see how persistent they’ve been and what accomplishments they’ve made,” Medina said.

“But I also think the contribution we make to culture and how we connect our traditions from a business perspective is something that we add to the fabric of this community,” Ortigoni said. “I think even if we become the biggest minority, there will always be a need. We will always have people coming from other states, other countries and we want to make sure that we are there to support them.”

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