Collaboration Provides Guidance to Hispanic Small Businesses and Startups

Hispanic Small Business Panel
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Hispanic Small Business Panel

In support of Latino-owned businesses in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, a Hispanic Small Business Panel was held on May 26 at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith's Center for Economic Development, located in the Bakery District in Fort Smith.

The panel, presented in Spanish, was moderated by Carolina Mejia, bilingual business consultant with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, sponsored by Arvest Bank and led by Bill Sabo, director of the development center.

Panel participants included Laurencia Valdez of Arvest Bank, Tammy Pacheco of Alfa & Omega Multiservices and Edwin Nieto of P-G Roofing & Construction Inc. The discussion focused on developing skills in management, financing, startup and pre-planning, cash flow management, marketing, social media, legal issues, tax planning and woman-owned businesses.

"Starting a business is hard enough, but when a language barrier compounds the complexity, it can cause someone to give up their dream of owning their own business," Sabo said.

Panelists offered advice to event participants on saving money and elevating their credit to be more attractive to potential funders, keeping track of income and expenses, hiring specialists to assist with any unfamiliar processes in accounting and bookkeeping, learning to delegate and focusing on what you do best.

According to the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, there are more than 4.65 million Latino-owned businesses in America, generating estimated revenue of $700 billion per year, contributing significant impact on the U.S. economy.

For information or consultation, contact Carolina Mejia, a U of A bilingual consultant for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, at or call 479-575-5148.


Julie Preddy, assistant director, communication and events
Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center


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