The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild Initiative, Hilco, and Surety Bond Associates, will initiate a capacity-building program for entrepreneurs in construction and related industries called Build Latino. The program is designed to prepare Latino-owned businesses to successfully compete for contracts. The goal is to provide participants with essential tools, resources and know-how that will enable them to avoid common pitfalls in the industry while building a profitable business model.
A cohort of 10-15 participants will attend 10 sessions over six months. The instruction will be in Spanish in a combination of virtual and in-person, covering a variety of topics from blueprint reading, to contract negotiations, cost estimating and project management. The target participants are established Latino entrepreneurs in the construction and related industries who are looking to build their Business-to-Business revenue through government and institutional contracts. Program participants must be from Philadelphia, have been in business a minimum of 2 years, and, while there are no firm size requirements, businesses with $100,000 and above in revenue and one employee or more are preferred.
“Build Latino couldn’t come at a better time,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, President & CEO of GPHCC. “The economic recovery post-pandemic can be aided by programs like these to help Latino-Owned Businesses (LOBs) become more competitive by giving them the know-how to attract and secure government and institutional contracts. With our collaborating partners, we are here to help and excited to bring this program to the construction industry.”
The construction and related industries are among the top for the Hispanic community. Of the 12,000 Latino-Owned firms in Philadelphia, 30% are in the construction sector. Of these businesses, only 22% have employees. Locally, this sector is dominated by large firms generally, that increasingly seek the services of a limited number of capable MBEs/WBEs/DBEs to act as subcontractors. While progress has been made in matching large firms with diverse firms, the number and size of diverse firms has not increased sufficiently, and very few are capable of competing for prime contracts.
“As a redevelopment company that reimagines complex industrial sites, we strive to transform not only our own properties, but also the surrounding communities by tackling projects that provide a platform
for thousands of jobs for Philadelphians, supporting our neighbors, and hiring a diverse workforce,” said Roberto Perez, Chief Executive Officer of HRP. “HRP is a proud supporter of Build Latino, and we know it’s vital that our local Latino-owned businesses are properly equipped with the tools and training needed to compete and succeed. We look forward to working closely with our partners and the participants over the next six months and being a long-term partner of the GPHCC to support our Latino community.”
“Baked into Rebuild’s mission is a commitment to empower minority and women owned businesses to make an even greater impact in our effort to revitalize Philadelphia’s public spaces and we look forward to the halo effect that Build Latino will create to help us source businesses,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director for Rebuild. “We’re excited to see a program like Build Latino come to fruition and look forward to meeting the graduates as part of our commitment to promote equitable economic opportunity throughout Philadelphia.”
Follow GPHCC on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay tuned and learn more about our programs and other initiatives helping small businesses on www.philahispanicchamber.org. They may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Press release