NASHVILLE (WSMV) - The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced the official beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month at the steps of Nashville's historical Metro Courthouse September 15.
The ceremony with members of the NAHCC Board of Directors and NAHCC Foundation members included remarks by newly appointed News Americans Office leader Mohamed-Shukri Hassan, Mayor's Office Neighborhood Development and Infrastructure Fabian Bedne (see video) and Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. Marie Sueing.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper presented a Proclamation on behalf of the City of Nashville honoring the celebration.
Dr, Rolando Toyos, NAHCC Chairman and owner/founder of Toyos Clinic released the following statement:
There is no question that Hispanics have added to the fabric of America. Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the unique talents that our culture brings to the community. It also celebrates the role models past and present that future generations can emulate
NAHCC's month-long program calendar highlights Hispanic population growth, purchasing power and economic impact.
Latinas for Equal Business Opportunities women entrepreneur empowerment, engagement and support group activities; music, arts and culture, civic engagement, voluntarism, several business leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion round-tables and a continuing mentorship initiative by Hispanic business leaders with students from Simon Youth Academies including an essay project to be published in Spanish. Strategic partnerships will be announced throughout the month-long program.
A statement from Yuri Cunza, President & CEO of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reads as follows:
Census numbers released for National Hispanic heritage month are encouraging, placing our population at 60.6 million. Before COVID-19, Hispanic businesses were growing at 3 times the rate of all U.S. companies, and also Hispanics were 3 times more likely than the general population to start a business. Hispanics have been, job creators, starting and operating small businesses in a global economy they have contributed to the economic empowerment of our communities adding an estimated $700 billion in revenue to the national economy. Over the past 10 years, the number of Latino business owners grew 34% compared to 1% of all business owners in the United States. This is what makes our country strong. It is everyone's priority to ensure that Latino entrepreneurs, most small businesses in the United States, have the resources and guidance necessary to access the economic support they deserve in order to rescue this essential sector for the country's economic growth.
To close the month-long festivities, on Thursday October 15, the NAHCC will host its 16th Excellence in Business and Community Awards, an annual recognition of the Hispanic entrepreneurship spirit and how it impacts our local and state economy.
The ceremony also recognizes Corporate and Community partners who help make the work of the chamber and it mission possible. The event featuring guest speakers, awards, and live music, will be transmitted virtually in its entirety.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a nation-wide celebration of the many contributions to our nation, by those who trace their roots to Spanish speaking countries. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.