WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is taking it up a level to help the Spanish community.

Attendants for their new initiative “Escalando” came together for the first time to learn how to economically succeed.

Latest data from the Census Bureau shows Hispanics making up nearly 1/3 of Waco’s population, with nearly a quarter of them speaking a language other than English.

The chamber wanted to have this program completely in Spanish to remove the language barriers some owners may face, when starting a business.

“We make up one of every three people that you see roaming around. Well you’re going to get a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs through that,” said Eric Terrazas, Director of Economic Development for the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Classroom seats are being filled by community members ready to learn about today’s lesson on general liability insurance.

“One of the biggest things as you start your business is trying to find the resources,” said Nancy Pulcine. “Who’s going to help you? What do you do? What are the steps we take in Escalando is providing that. It’s providing from step one to all the way from start to finish and guidance.”

The program hits on two pillars of the chamber’s mission statement, economic development and small business support.

“If there’s one individual that learned something new that helps them further with their business or personally, I think that I’d take that as a win,” said Terrazas.

Attendants were able to ask questions and share advice to help others in the room avoid mistakes as well as build community support.

“Learning from each other and being able to say, ‘hey, it’s okay if we don’t all speak that language,’ we can help each other out, and to show up today in a community of a ton of Latino business owners or people that are looking to start a business and to be able to help them provide that resource is amazing,” said Pulcine.

The chamber plans to have its next workshop in August.

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