By Jennifer L. Warren
NEWBURGH– It’s a fact that startled a multitude of people, including Sandra Salguero of Superior Mortgage.
“Many people had no idea, were shocked, there were people who spoke Spanish working at the Ulster Savings Bank (as well as other area banks), who are there specifically to help out,” said Salguero. Now, learning that fact, they are much more likely to go to that bank and feel comfortable.”
It’s that objective, along with an assortment of other positives, inciting the Latinos in Business Expo to take shape a year ago. Sunday, it celebrated its second year, inside the Newburgh Armory, where 39 venders assembled, eight workshops geared toward employment strategies and starting a business were held, an informative employment center was available to guests as well as a two hour exhilarating Zumba event and a host of other fun and educational activities. Salguero, a member of the Latino in Business Board, was all smiles Sunday as she surveyed the scope of interactions taking place throughout the Armory.
“Our organization (Latinos in Business) started this event to demonstrate all of the Latino businesses here in the Hudson Valley as well as those that help support them,” related Salguero, who also added the group’s mission to assist with providing valuable resources to start and-or grow a business. “Today has been very successful; people are mixing and mingling with businesses as well as businesses with one another.”
Some of those businesses included; Hudson Valley Press, El Poder Radio – 1170AM, Mount Saint Mary College, Walden Savings Bank, Latinos Unidos of the Hudson Valley, BLEND, El Jalepano Charro, and Century 21 Hudson Valley Reality, all lending their time, discussing and offering their products and services. Whether it was a healthy smoothie from BLEND, aluminum travel cup and real estate advice from Century 21 of the Hudson Valley, or samples of makeup from Mary Kay, vendors were excited to share their passion for their business and love for the community, while embracing and making the Latin population feel comfortable and accepted.
“I just love how all of the local businesses are coming together here,” said Max Cuacuas, the Facility Manager at the Newburgh Armory, who was surrounded at his booth by uniquely designed LEGOS made by youth at one of the business’ many offerings. “A lot of parents, and children, stopped by to get information and will now join some of our 41 different programs that have 550 children enrolled on Saturdays and run 52 weeks throughout the year.”
Not only were the businesses pleased with the day’s turnout and offerings, so too were the patrons.
“I heard about this event on-line and know some people who are a part of it, and really love it; there is a great turnout, and it has wonderful products and services for the Latino community,” said Anthony Perez of Middletown. “I really want to support it as much as possible, and I’m so happy to see so many others are doing the same.”