Reaching Out and Encouraging Growth

Westchester County’s Hispanic Small Business Development Forum promises to bring needed support for Hispanic entrepreneurs


Most communities are happy to support local businesses. Its good for jobs, the tax base and encouraging out-of-town visitors. But aside from quick drop-ins from downtown development authorities or other such organizations, there is little effort to actively assist both existing and potential business owners.

Westchester County, New York, is actively participating in helping its Hispanic business community thrive. To that end, it’s hosting an upcoming forum thats bringing together subject-matter experts in areas such as capital, contracts and customers with local Hispanic entrepreneurs. Reserve your seat!

“Were providing a number of resources, such as low-cost financing through our industrial development agency, the local development corporation or our partnerships with banks,”
said Astorino. “We really want to remove the mystery of doing business with the government, and educating people about those and other resources, like marketing, is one such way to do so.”

As part of his outreach to small businesses and entrepreneurs, Astorino enthusiastically courts Hispanics, who currently account for nearly 22 percent of the county’s population, with that number only expected to rise. One way the county has adapted to its growing Hispanic constituency is through the web. Under Astorino’s leadership, the county created a Hispanic Web site that highlights important news, resources and programs entirely in Spanish.

This may sound like a small thing, but it in fact helps break down language barriers that elsewhere stymie Hispanic business growth. “We don’t want translation issues to be a hurdle as to whether a business venture is going to fail or be successful,” said Astorino.

Coach1-231x300v3Attendees will be greeted by a number of subject-matter experts, many of whom also serve as  Latin Business Today mentor/contributors including an advisory board member, who will discuss the ins and outs of these topics. There will also be ample opportunities for the forum’s attendees to network with these experts, including the wife and son of Dr. Leslie “Coach” Fernandez, who inspired the creation of Latin Business Today.

“This forum is a great way to encourage people to open businesses in Westchester County,” said Astorino. “It’s essentially creating a liaison between the immigrant Latin community and our office. It’s hopefully going to fulfill several important goals on our part, which are for us to reach out to the community, answer any relevant questions and become an ongoing resource.”


Jim Utlser
Jim Utlser
Jim Utsler is an award-winning author, writer and all-around word guy. Jim has been in the publishing industry for nearly 30 years, with articles appearing in publications as diverse as PGA Magazine, Automotive News and IBM Systems Magazine. Armed with a creative-writing degree from the University of Michigan, he also writes fiction and recently released his new novel Pura Vida, into the wild. This mystery/thriller explores the jungles of both Detroit and Costa Rica, as well as those in the minds of its characters.