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

The Latino Community Foundation announced it is distributing $1 million in grants to 17 Latino-led organizations working with California entrepreneurs.

The state currently has the highest number of small businesses owned by Latin Americans, generating 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 support our food and street vendors with critical relief funds and advocacy, create innovative business models, and strengthen the lending continuum for Latino entrepreneurs,” said Veronica Vences, director of the Entrepreneurship Fund at the San Francisco-based Latino Community Foundation.

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“Together, they will reach over 150 Latino entrepreneurs from the North Bay Area to San Bernardino and build a more fertile ecosystem for those entrepreneurs to thrive.”

Of the 17 organizations, five are funded in the Bay Area and four in Northern California.

In Northern California: La Luz Center; Sonoma County Small Business Hardship Fund; 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 Veggie Elution.

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The investment is part of the foundation’s Latino Entrepreneurship Fund, which was created to build economic strength. The investment will also support organizations that improve small business access to finance, provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs and help Latin American business leaders build and build generational wealth.

Max Bell Alper is the executive director of North Bay Jobs With Justice in Santa Rosa, a labor rights organization focused on the rights of immigrant and indigenous workers. He said the organization is grateful for the grant, which will fund training to help low-paid migrant and indigenous workers find jobs in environmental adaptation.

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“This support is really meaningful,” he said. “We have worked in close partnerships to provide resilience and climate adaptation training for farm workers and disaster responders.”

Sara Edwards is an economics reporter for The Press Democrat. You can reach her at 707-521-5487 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @sedwards380.

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