Latino Chamber of Commerce in Springfield awarded $100k to minority-owned businesses

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce was awarded American Rescue Plan Act funding Tuesday to help them continue their work.

The organization was given $100,000 from the Springfield delegation. Lawmakers said they wanted the state funds to go directly to minority-owned businesses that were hit hardest by the pandemic. Executive Director Andrew Melendez told 22News the Chamber helps connect Latino-owned small and micro businesses to funding, resources, and any help they might need.

“We are going to be able to give direct grants to individuals, not a loan that they have to pay back. They can say, I need $2,000, and we can figure out a way to support you. Do they need a coach to support them along the way? Let’s figure out a way to do that. That’s how we build up, and expand out.” Andrew Melendez

The Chamber will be moving into the old lottery building on Fort Street. Melendez says that will act as a central office where help will be available to area businesses all in one place.