Home News Local News Hispano Chamber sets goals, plans activities for year ahead

Hispano Chamber sets goals, plans activities for year ahead

Marcos Nava, executive director of the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

[Note: This post has been updated after receiving corrected information regarding the chamber’s financial support from the city of Roswell.]

The Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce will focus on membership growth as well as the financial and knowledge growth of their business members in the year ahead, according to the group’s executive director, Marcos Nava.

In his third year at the helm of the nonprofit organization, Nava said the coronavirus crisis has hurt many of the city’s Hispanic-owned businesses, as the pandemic has hurt most organizations in the state and elsewhere.

The chamber is still keeping those members that have not paid their dues on their roster, Nava said, in recognition of the difficulties of the current situation.

The group receives $30,000 in annual funding from the city of Roswell to supplement other revenues and is working to provide the information requested by Chaves County commissioners to make a funding request from that entity as well.

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As the year proceeds, the Hispano Chamber intends to grow the membership from its current base, which is about 175 paying members and 300 total members. It also will increase networking opportunities; organize several community events; enhance its partnerships with other local, state and national groups; add regular and ex-officio board members; and continue its student recognition and scholarship programs.

Many of its 2021 goals were discussed at a Saturday annual meeting, which included presentations by Mayor Dennis Kintigh on the goals and activities of the city of Roswell; local Boy Scouts of America executive Lee Murdoch speaking about membership prospecting and growth; and Scott Bucher of the Small Business Development Center of Roswell talking about financial solvency and growth for businesses.

Nava said a new membership packet has been developed, which will be used starting within a couple of weeks, that will show people the benefits of belonging to the chamber. An annual membership certificate also has been developed.

“It is a good calling card as we go out and try to create new business memberships for the chamber,” he said.

The upcoming year is slated to have quite a number of events, he added, from community-wide fetes intended to share Hispanic traditions to business-focused workshops.

“Our mission statement for the chamber is to promote and develop economic, cross-cultural and social growth for our members’ businesses,” Nava said. “We try to add events that will also address directly how to grow their business.”

The first community event of the year is Cinco de Mayo, to occur the first and second of May. Nava said that work would have to begin now to hold an in-person event in May, so most likely Cinco de Mayo will be an online or virtual event.

Next will be the Pinata Fest, planned for Sept. 10-11 for the downtown or Chaves County Courthouse area. The second annual Noche de Loteria y Posole is planned for Oct. 15 or Oct. 16. It was last held in 2019.

The third annual Dia de los Muertos will be held in late October or in November. As happened this year, the group plans to build an altar at the Roswell Public Library for people to remember their loved ones. In December, the group helps the Chaves County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) by donating a decorated tree that CASA auctions off to raise funds.

Nava added that about four to six networking events for members — Tardeadas — at local offices or restaurants also will occur online or in person during the year, and four business workshops led by Bucher of the Small Business Development Center have been planned.

A new partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce started in 2020 is expected to go to the “next level” in the year ahead, Nava said, and the group will seek to enhance existing partnerships with the city of Roswell, the Roswell Public Library and the United Way of Chaves County. It is also looking to build a relationship with the Small Business Administration in New Mexico.

Its other focus is helping area students, Nava said. The Hispano Chamber participates in a student of the month program to recognize high school students chosen by Roswell schools. It also will continue to offer two $500 scholarships each year to Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell students.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.