PHILADELPHIA - The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is offering help for Latino businesses affected by COVID-19.
"With no end in sight my biggest concern is how are we going to pay all the bills," said Sophia Deleon. She now spends most of her work day hoping and waiting for pick up or delivery orders. It’s the new normal for Deleon since the coronavirus hit. She owns El Merkury at 21st and Chestnut in Center City.
"50% percent of our business came from catering before. Once this started our catering virtually disappeared." And her biggest clients on pause for now.
"Everything from like $200 orders from University of Pennsylvania to like $10,000 orders from like a big company in Conshohocken," said Deleon.
Jennifer Rodriguez is the President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"We talked to a lot of business owners that are really concerned about cash flow issues and the uncertainty of how long they will have to remain closed." The chamber and other organizations have partnered on a website that makes finding information easier.
"We thought it would be very important particularly for the Latino community to have a single location where they could access streamlined information that affects small businesses," said Rodriguez. The website philahispanicchamber.org is also accessible in English and Spanish.
"It's very stressful to know what steps to take because tomorrow something else may change right so we are there to help them navigate and guide them," said Rodriguez.
Sophia who is experimenting with providing freezable meal kits to market to quarantined families and doing some delivery on her own says the website is a huge help in this time of uncertainty.
"At this point, there's no real stimulus package or any comfort coming from the landlord or government that we're going to get through this," she said.
The website is a partnership between the GPHCC, Finanta, Community First Fund and Widener University SBDC.
If you wish to help, please click here.
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