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  • June 29, 2023 11:51 AM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    The first half of 2023 was filled with training webinars and exciting networking events by the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC). This year has featured many training webinars about acquiring certifications, contracting information, business strategies, and best practices to help LALCC members position themselves for expansion and growth through new contracting opportunities. 

    Culminating the first half of 2023 on a high note, the first ever “Vendor Diversity Fair’ featuring major Hospitals and Health Systems from Southern California was held at the PIH Health Facility in Whittier. The event aimed to promote and encourage new opportunities for vendors, small businesses, and members from the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce.    

    The fair started with welcoming remarks by Chico Manning, System Vice president of PIH Health and a special mention acknowledging the hard work by LALCC Chairman Darrel Sauceda and the support of LALCC to promote the fair as it was exceptionally well attended.

    Next came a video presentation from a local contractor who won a bid to provide asbestos work at a hospital and it demonstrated how the experience led to an on-going business relationship that continues to this day. From that experience, the contractor was able to grow his family-owned business and hire more staff.

    The Vendor Fair was created for vendors and suppliers to learn about the needs and requirements of major hospitals and health systems and how to position their businesses to meet those needs.  The event provided matchmaking opportunities for hospitals and health systems and diverse vendors/suppliers to exchange ideas, share best practices, and make meaningful connections with supply chain decisions makers.

    Vendors were encouraged to bring handheld materials and business cards promoting their products and services.  Prior to the event, vendors were instructed to prepare a script and be ready to pitch their products and services.     

    The vendors were encouraged to discuss contracting opportunities, business requirements and certifications needed to start the process.  Hospital Supply Chain managers and their staff from PHI Health, Pomona Valley, Henry Mayo Clinic, Kaiser, Cedars Sinai, Riverside University Health Systems, Children’s Hospital LA were made available to LALCC members to learn how to become a vendor, the bidding process and win contracts.

    Before the Vendor Fair, Darrel Sauceda, Chairman of LALCC met with executives from major Hospitals and Health Systems and urged them to open their contracting opportunities to Latino, Women, Veteran owned businesses who are members of LALCC.  Mr. Sauceda said the Diversity Fair was a major milestone for the chamber and the first ever of its kind.

    The fair was Hosted by PIH Health, Communities Lifting Communities, and Hospital Association of Southern California. A second Hospital Supplier Diversity Conference is scheduled for the fall at the California Endowment in Los Angeles. The conference will feature hospitals and health systems.  LALCC members are encouraged to register and attend and to learn more about contracting opportunities, requirements, and certifications when registration becomes available.

    Please visit the LALCC website for more information and to register for upcoming events.

  • June 29, 2023 11:45 AM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    In an exclusive opportunity for LALCC members, the “How to do Business with CVS” on-line webinar provided insightful information for Latino and women owned businesses who are looking to expand their bottom line by working with CVS Health and getting their share of the company’s $2.1 billion procurement spending.   

    Edwin Alvarez, Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity for CVS Health, was the featured presenter and gave insights on how Latino and women-owned businesses can get on CVS Supplier Diversity Portal to bid for contracts. Mr. Alvarez provided a list of certifications and certifying agencies used and preferred by CVS Health.  

    CVS is a larger buyer of goods and services and currently has over 8,500 retail locations across Southern California and nationwide. Mr. Alvarez said there are many opportunities to contract with CVS Health and encouraged the audience to take the first steps and learn more about CVS’ vendor requirements and business needs. 

    CVS is actively looking for minority vendors because it makes good business sense, said Mr. Alvarez.  Working with minority vendors is important and a business strategy for CVS Health because millions of their customers are Latino and women, he said.

    During the hour-long webinar, LALCC members learned about inclusion, CVS Health strategy, strategic partnerships, and engagement. LALCC members who have questions about CVS Health are encouraged to email their questions or comments directly to the chamber instead of CVS Health and the answers will be shared when they are available. 

  • June 22, 2023 12:16 PM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    In a major announcement acknowledging small businesses and how members of this chamber would benefit and thrive more with less red-tape, burdensome regulations and fees, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce Chairman Darrel Sauceda recently appeared with Los Angeles City Mayor Karen Bass in supporting a new executive directive to help reduce barriers to small business growth. 

    “People want to start and grow their business in Los Angeles, but over the years, City Hall has made those dreams harder to achieve by requiring fees upon fees and complicated and time-consuming approval processes,” said Mayor Bass at the news conference attended by leading business leaders and local business owners.

    The Mayor’s Executive Directive requires a review of business taxes and fees to reduce costs for small business owners, an assessment of existing timelines and processes associated with starting and operating a business in LA, and an analysis comparing business regulations and approaches between different jurisdictions to foster business growth and to attract new businesses.

    The move was prompted by data collected from City departments showing small businesses are responsible for 99% of all businesses opened since 2022 and have employed 63% of net new jobs in the city.  New developments and updates about Mayor Bass’ new executive directive and how it will impact LALCC members and Latino businesses will be provided in future newsletter articles and events. Stay tuned. 
  • June 21, 2023 11:59 AM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    Showing small business owners how to use analytical tools to develop and create an effective business plan was the focus of the “Developing a Business Plan” workshop and webinar presented this month by Jennetta Harris-Daigre, of SCE and Ventress Click Ventures LLC and the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC). 

    The educational webinar was for business owners and entrepreneurs who were interested in creating or updating a business plan and participants were given a template and tips to create a successful business plan.

    Besides the standard financial documents like a profit and loss statement, a business plan is an important blueprint to help the business owner identify the missions, goals and objectives of the company or business. The business plan can be an important selling tool when a business is applying for funding or pitching their product and services. 

    Using “SWOT” analysis and a “Business Model Canvas” worksheet, Ms. Jenetta showed webinar participants how to focus on several key business areas including, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, Risk, Key Partners, and Resources.

    Ms. Harris-Daigre is the Principal Advisor for her company and has over 40 years of experience in the utility industry. She has directed and developed strategic programs for customer outreach, public affairs, energy efficiency, event planning and provided safety and leadership development programs. Her community involvement includes leading boards of directors to improve programs in support of youth, women, educational, ministerial, environmental, health and welfare and business improvement in diverse communities in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

  • June 15, 2023 9:12 AM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    Joining forces with three chambers of commerce and displaying the diversity of the business community, the Chair’s Multi-Chamber Happy Hour at the City Club in Downtown LA provided an unforgettable opportunity to network, sample great food and to learn more about the incredible diversity and vital services, grant opportunities and programs offered by the chambers to start, grow and develop a business.  

    With an incredible panoramic view atop the 51st floor, the Happy Hour was filled with excitement and attended by more than 300 members of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC), Asian Business Association (ABA), and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAACC).

    Each of the chambers discussed their shared vision of working together, promoting growth, opportunities and development for their members.

    Describing the importance of uniting the chambers and addressing the audience, LALCC Director of Operations and Programs Olivia Rios, said “I'm so excited to be here with you. This evening we are all here as one group... It’s how we unite together. It's how we do business...together. And this is the only way to go.”

    Naomi Scott, Operations Director for GLAACC said her chamber is “dedicated to the growth and development of Black owned business in the greater Los Angeles area. Our goal is to educate and empower. We create a space for entrepreneurs to come and grow, develop and start their businesses.” Ms. Scott added how GLAACC offers its members “plaques, seminars, coaches, mentors, and networking opportunities. All for the ultimate goal of creating generational wealth for its members.”  

    Jason Kim of the ABA talked about business grants available to small business owners and encouraged audience members to engage ABA staff to learn more about the eligibility requirements.  He said “I have good news for some of the attendees today, if your business has between 24-49 employees, your business has a chance to qualify for between $5,000-$50,000 in grants. This is what the government is doing right now. If you are not aware of this, please go talk to the Asian Business Association afterwards.... and you don’t have to be an Asian business, you can be any business owner.”  

    Brent Stokes, President of the City Club Los Angeles, gave opening welcoming remarks and introduced the representatives of each chamber.  The City Club is where the LALCC Advisory Board regularly meets for its meeting and provides a sky-level setting atop the City National Tower in downtown Los Angeles. The City Club was the perfect setting for the Chair’s Multi-Chamber Happy Hour and is known for hosting a diverse membership of chambers, businesses, executives, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, foodies, families, connoisseurs, and innovators.

  • June 14, 2023 9:09 AM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    The Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC) and Southern California Edison (SCE) teamed up to provide a mini-crash course on “Strategies Towards Achieving Results” for small business owners and members of the LALCC. 

    Shannon Castello, representing Dynamic Vision International and SCE, energetically shared and discussed important business advice and tips about back-office capabilities crucial for success. The webinar is part of an on-going series of monthly educational webinars to share vital business information and best practices for achieving and maintaining a successful business operation.  

    Starting out the webinar, Ms. Castello shared and listed time-saving resources available for payroll, Customer Relationship Management or CRM, Human Resources (HR), and Payment Functions.  During her presentation, Ms. Castello provided several samples of payroll companies and software that business owners could utilize to ensure their payroll practices were adhering to the current local, state and federal laws. Acknowledging since the Pandemic, Human Resources and payroll have become more complicated and almost harder to manage for small business owners.

    Addressing that the current workforce work ethic has changed a lot since the COVID-19 Pandemic, Ms. Castello advised using a payroll service or software to avoid legal issues and lawsuits. Ms. Castello noted that some of today’s employees are displaying signs that “motivation is lacking,” and cited higher rates of employee absenteeism, employees showing up late or getting a slow start to the day, employees doing the bare minimum, not contributing to projects ideas or team meetings, withdrawing from coworkers, mood and attitude swings, decreased productivity, and acting bored or not caring about their work as real issues confronting business owners. 

    To deal with these types of employee issues, Ms. Castello offered numerous team building strategies such as 1) Establish employee incentives, 2) Provide leadership and growth opportunities, 3) Create a welcoming and fun workspace, 4) Give your employees continual positive feedback, 5) Support mental health, 6) Get to know your employees, 7) Have clear objectives, and 8) Pushing work-life balance.

    The informative webinar also included sections on best practices on how to expand your business and scaling your business for growth. For more information or in case you missed it, the webinar was recorded and is now available on the LALCC YouTube Channel and chamber website.

  • June 02, 2023 4:32 PM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    Making the case that hospitals receive at least 60% of their revenues from minority patients and that minority businesses are getting only a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars in hospital contracting opportunities, members of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC) leadership and board strongly urged supply chain executives from PIH, Cedars Sinai, Kaiser Permanente and representatives from the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) to start immediately working with minority-owned businesses and to start awarding contracts to qualified minority-owned companies that have been under-represented in the hospital procurement business for years.   

    Chairman Darrel Sauceda and Chair Emeritus Gil R. Vasquez recently met with significant supply chain executives and the HASC to urge for more contracting opportunities for diverse small businesses and to push for the immediate passage of AB 1392, a bill that would require hospitals to provide an annual report detailing hospital’s efforts to provide more business opportunities to minority, women, LGBT, and disabled veteran businesses.   

    “For many years,” Chairman Sauceda said, “We've (minority-owned business) been excluded from opportunities for (hospital contracts) while minorities have provided hospitals with billions of dollars in revenues. Sixty percent of hospital revenues come from minorities.” Making the point that minority businesses are underrepresented, Mr. Vazquez shared that “businesses owned by minorities only receive 1-2 percent or less of all the hospital contracting opportunities awarded.” 

    Citing previous attempts by LALCC to open hospital contracting opportunities that did not lead to any meaningful, successful procurement awards to LALCC members and other minority chambers, both Chairman Sauceda and Mr. Vasquez made a convincing case to promote Latino and other minority businesses.   

    “You have to take a chance,” Chairman Sauceda told supply chain executives about contracting with LALCC members, “Our (chamber) members will work harder and will not let you down.” 

     To start the process for more contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses, a Vendor Diversity Fair is scheduled for Thursday, June 29, 2023, from Noon–3 pm at the PIH Health Whittier Auditorium, 12401 Whittier Blvd., Whittier, California, 90602. Supply chain executives and hospital representatives will be available to discuss contracting requirements and opportunities.     

    PIH Health, Communities Lifting Communities, and HASC are hosting the event. The Vendor Diversity Fair is a forum for diverse vendors and host hospitals better to understand each other’s business and contracting needs and build strong business relationships. Please visit the LALCC website for more details.  

    LALCC members are encouraged to support the passage of AB 1392 with a letter of support or want to know more about it can visit the California Legislative Information website at:  

    Bill Text - AB-1392 Hospitals: procurement contracts. (  

    This Fair is open to all: Register Here

  • June 01, 2023 1:02 PM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    The United Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced its 44th Annual USHCC National Conference Kick-off event in Orlando, Florida on August 15, 2023. This event is a prelude to the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America and an opportunity to hear exciting details about the upcoming conference in September.

    The Annual Conference will bring together civic leaders, advocates, elected and appointed officials, corporate and academic supporters, entrepreneurs, college students, and more. Take advantage of the early bird rate by registering before Friday, July 28, 2023.

    To register for the conference, click here. 

    The conference will be held at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, and USHCC is offering a discounted group rate starting at $182.00 for single/double occupancy plus tax. Don't miss this opportunity to connect and engage with other Hispanic leaders and supporters. You must register for the conference to receive the hotel discount.

  • June 01, 2023 12:15 PM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    The important issue of promoting mental health awareness and ending the associated stigma and its effects on small businesses, were the two key takeaways during the recent Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce sponsored event held at the Wellnest and Emotional Health Clinic near USC.   

    The latest health news and statistics show a marked increase in mental health issues among children & adults and there are many contributing factors including the aftermath of the two-year pandemic. For one, the emotional stigma and embarrassment towards mental health, social media, the economy, increasing housing costs, homelessness, and the lack of awareness of available access to mental health services and resources.  

    Cultural factors and misunderstandings about mental health can play a role too. Discussions about mental health are often taboo subjects in some cultures. Mental and emotional health talks among family members are often avoided due to the stigma, the shame associated with it, and not knowing how to talk about it.  

    This avoidance can have damaging consequences for small business owners and their families was a key topic discussed at the “Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month - End the Stigma- Promote Mental Health” Small Business Social Mixer and Program.  Small businesses need emotionally reliable employees to function and to get the work accomplished for success and to pay the bills. Many small businesses do not have the resources and are not equipped to handle employees with mental and emotional health issues.  

    The event was moderated by Christina Sanchez, Vice President of Public Affairs at AltaMed, and featured Charlene Dimas-Peinado, President and CEO of Wellnest. Charlene provided an expansive overview of the mental health problem and provided numerous suggestions on how the small business community can support their staff.  

    One example is to develop a plan to assist employees and family members dealing with mental health problems. She said giving employees a mental day off, establishing boundaries around work schedules and not emailing employees after work or in the early morning as samples to promote a less stressful work environment and reduce work anxiety.   

    The emergence of Artificial Intelligence and technology and their role in providing technological solutions for treating mental health were addressed in the “Q and A” segment of the program. The popular meditation and mindfulness programs such as “Calm” and “Headspace” were recommended as useful “tools” in a wellness toolbox for some employees who can utilize the apps as part of a daily wellness routine.  

    “Calm” and “Headspace” are two mindfulness applications that can be downloaded on phones and are used to alleviate daily work stress and anxiety, two issues that can contribute to mental and emotional health issues.   

    The event ended with Charlene providing small businesses with mental health information, strategies, and possible solutions to assist their employees experiencing mental and emotional health issues. Due to its relevancy and impact on small businesses, a second mental health and emotional wellness event is planned and a flyer with the details will be sent to members/subscribers of the LA Latino Chamber of Commerce.     

    Written by Mario Uribe, LA Latino Chamber Director, Communications Strategist

  • June 01, 2023 12:03 PM | Carlos Casas (Administrator)

    The Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce supported the TELACU Educational Foundation Build The Dream Gala Celebrating 40 Years. Since 1983, community investment has empowered thousands of first-generation Latinx youth and veterans from underserved communities to earn high school diplomas and college/graduate degrees, preparing them to launch successful careers, particularly in sectors where Latinx have traditionally lacked representation. It was great seeing many Chamber supporters and friends.

    Receiving the 2023 TELECU “CREO” award City of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and The Honorable Rob Bonita, Attorney General State of California.

    Congratulations to our Board Member Dr. David Lizarraga and the team at the TELACU Educational Foundation for continuing The Dream.

    Written by Mario Uribe, LA Latino Chamber Director, Communications Strategist.

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