The Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce (WLCC) will celebrate the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month with an open house ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 15, at their headquarters in Fitchburg where they will announce key programs and events including the creation of the PROSPERA Revolving Loan Fund.
“As a pro-Latino organization, the WLCC embraces Hispanic Heritage Month as a time to commemorate the rich roots, tradition, and culture that Latinos bring to Dane County and Wisconsin,” said the Latino Chamber in a press release. “National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to honor the vibrancy that Latino cultures make through the US and its influence on everyday life. It is exalted in its enduring economic contributions and affluence.”
The Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce, who last year was honored with the US Hispanic 2020 Chamber of the Year Award, has seen extreme growth in its membership this past year. With that in mind, WLCC will be announcing the PROSPERA Revolving Loan Fund, which will support Latino-owned enterprises that have seen obstacles in accessing funding through traditional pipelines.
“We are so excited to start a new culturally inclusive loan fund which will allow us to cultivate channels for access to capital to Wisconsin’s small or historically disadvantage Latino-owned businesses,” said Ramon Ortiz, Chair of Wisconsin Economic Development Foundation, the WLCC’s Foundation, in a statement.
“This Latino-focused Revolving Loan Fund is an important component in our work to provide affordable loans for the business community looking to scale,” added Victor Villacrez, newly appointed chairman of the Wisconsin Latino Chamber.
This Revolving Loan Fund will be made available through loan participation, syndications, and referral opportunities with nonprofit lenders and banks, according to a press release from the Chamber and direct loans will be provided to support small businesses in Wisconsin alongside $50,000 in seed funding matched from the CUNA Mutual Group, and $50,000 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Foundation. The WLCC will continue increasing its loan programs with support from local bank partnerships under the leadership of its loan committee chair and longtime community leader Oscar Mireles.
“We are honored to have strong partners who value our Latino communities and the importance of their presence and how we invest in their long-term wealth,” said Jessica Cavazos, CEO of the WLCC. “We must find solutions to provide ways for these businesses to overcome setbacks brought on by COVID. This is one of our Board’s core priorities moving forward.”
The Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce (WLCC) will kick off the month-long Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with a mariachi group at an open house ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 15, noon-3 p.m. at 2881 Commerce Park Drive in Fitchburg.