Group out to make connections

There’s no denying the growing influence of a growing Latino population in terms of politics, culture or economics. So it’s fitting an organization has been formed to not only respond to this important change in demographics, but also help in making connections between Latino and non-Latino businesses and people.

The Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce elected officers and board members at an organizational meeting in February and has scheduled its next meeting for noon March 9 at the La Bamba Restaurant in downtown Grand Junction.

Rich Lopez, the newly elected president of the Latino chamber and the force behind its creation, says early support for the group has been encouraging.

The chamber will offer an opportunity for non-Latino businesses to reach out to Latino businesses and Latino customers, establish relationships and build trust. Lopez estimates the potential market for Latino customers nationally at $1 trillion. And as the Latino population continues to grow, so will that market.

But the Latino chamber is expected to play a larger role in helping businesses in other ways and partnering with other groups in conducting fund-raisers and social and cultural events.

Any group that promotes business, not to mention better relationships and understanding among members of the community, is welcome. We wish the Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce much success.