Latino Community Foundation to invest $1 million to support Latino entrepreneurship in Sonoma County, elsewhere

The Latino Community Foundation announced it’s distributing $1 million in grant money to 17 Latino-led organizations that work with California entrepreneurs.

The state currently has the highest number of small businesses with Latino owners, who generate nearly $120 billion in revenue, state officials said in a news release last week.

“From investing in anchor community organizations to Latino-led Community Development Financial Institutions, these organizations are supporting our food and street vendors with critical relief funds and advocacy, creating innovative business models, and strengthening the lending continuum for Latino entrepreneurs,” said Veronica Vences, entrepreneurship fund director at the San Francisco-based Latino Community Foundation.

“Together, they will reach over 150 Latino entrepreneurs from the North Bay Area to San Bernardino and build a more fruitful ecosystem in which these entrepreneurs can thrive.”

Of the 17 organizations, five in the Bay Area and four in Northern California will receive funding.

In Northern California: La Luz Center; Small Business Hardship Fund in Sonoma County; North Bay Jobs with Justice; and Creser Capital Fund.

In the Bay Area: The Latina Center; Centro Community Partners; Prospera Community Development; Alameda County DSAL/Dig Deep Farms; and Veggielution.

The investment is part of the foundation’s Latino Entrepreneurship Fund, which was created to build up economic power. The investment will also support organizations that will increase small business access to funding, provide entrepreneurs with tech support and help Latino business leaders establish and build up generational wealth.

Max Bell Alper is the executive director of North Bay Jobs With Justice in Santa Rosa, a labor rights organization that focuses on immigrant and Indigenous workers rights. He said the organization is appreciative of the grant, which will fund training sessions to help low-wage immigrant and Indigenous workers find work in environmental adaptation.

“This support is really meaningful,” he said. “We’ve been working in close partnerships to provide trainings for farmworkers and disaster restoration workers into the work of resilience and climate adaptation.”

Sara Edwards is the business reporter for The Press Democrat. You can reach her at 707-521-5487 or sara.edwards@pressdemocrat.com. Follow her on Twitter @sedwards380.

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