Meet Mayra Pineda
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, BRAC is hosting a special edition of its usual monthly blog spotlight series to celebrate our Hispanic investors and professionals in the area. Mayra Pineda is the President & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a BRAC investor company.
What does your organization do?
Since 1984, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL) has been committed to creating and facilitating a business climate within the Hispanic community to promote economic development and progression in Louisiana. Included within its focus is a dedication to the expansion of trade relations between the State of Louisiana and Latin America.
The HCCL is a non-profit organization created as the result of a merger in 1999 of two chambers: The Louisiana Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (incorporated in 1984) and the Gulf Coast International Chamber of Commerce (incorporated in 1990). As HCCL works to build capacity in the Hispanic business community, it also works with traditional American businesses to help them approach the fastest-growing minority population in the United States.
Lastly, we connect communities! HCCL Members gain access to a broad network of businesses, non-profits, and government entities, as well as a selection of seminars, training courses, and networking events dedicated to making your business grow.
What are some resources that Hispanic business owners in the Capital Region should utilize?
- Supplier Diversity: For a diverse-owned business to be able to take advantage of Supplier Diversity & Procurement opportunities, it must become certified. The HCCL will help you to connect and find out if there is a certification that can benefit your company and provide education in the process.
- Training + Education: The HCCL has emerged as one of the strongest and most reliable beacons of information, providing crucial resources and updates to ensure that every individual — and every business — is positioned for recovery and sustainability. Job fairs and digital literacy programs put career opportunities in front of those who need them most, while simultaneously training participants to succeed in a modern workforce.
- Partnerships: The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana recognizes that equity, inclusion and economic development is a collective effort. This is why the HCCL engages with other key organizations by developing initiatives and efforts to advance the members of our communities.
What changes have you seen in inclusivity for Hispanic people across the Baton Rouge Area? What changes would you like to see?
We have seen more job opportunities, small business grants, supplier diversity opportunities and much more involvement from state government agencies wanting to contract, employ or help scale Hispanic businesses in our region. We would like these efforts to continue, while also seeing more opportunities at the state level for Hispanic businesses to voice their concerns and challenges.
What do you anticipate for your company in the next five years? For the Capital Region?
We anticipate significant growth in the Hispanic population, as we have already experienced in the past two years. With that being said, the need for resources and platforms available to our community to help their businesses grow, and bridging the gap between the language barrier and digital and financial literacy will be an even greater need than before. In order to support this growth in our Capital Region, HCCL’s staffing needs will be in even greater demand. With the growth in our population, HCCL will gain a greater spotlight as the largest Hispanic chamber and organization in the State of Louisiana.
What advice would you give to Hispanic people interested in starting a business?
Contact and/or visit HCCL! We are here to serve you and help you gain access to many valuable resources, such as connecting with major companies in the region, and training opportunities in Spanish to help start and scale your business. Sign up to join our newsletter on our website to be the first to be informed about all of these opportunities available to our community.