Hispanic Business Association of Southeast Texas expands, opens to all

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Two months after branching from its parent organization and becoming an individual non-profit, the Hispanic Business Association of Southeast Texas now has more than 60 members with an open invitation for more.

“We’re open to everyone, not just the Hispanic community,” said Erika Banda Menza. “It’s more about the language barrier. People who don’t speak English don’t always have (certain) resources available.”

The group started five years ago as the Hispanic Business Council, operating as a branch of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.

“It was starting to grow,” Menza said. “There are needs in the Hispanic community that we needed to help fulfill.”

Now as a new non-profit, the group is hoping to reach all of Southeast Texas with a new identity and purpose.

According to a joint statement from Menza and representative Raquel Ochoa, in the last two months the Hispanic Business Association has participated in five ribbon cuttings, partnered with New Beginning Ministries to collect holiday toys for children, hosted two lunch and learns, spoken to other businesses and organizations, and participated in a fall festival in Port Arthur.

“Calling their members teammates because they truly feel like part of a team that works together with a common goal in mind and it is to create a place for everyone, but especially Spanish speakers,” the statement said. “Making them feel welcomed, and where they can understand and learn in their first language. Bringing events, lunch and learn meetings, workshops, presentations, networking opportunities and giving them an opportunity to promote their business.”

There will be a mixer to meet the organization’s members Dec. 6 at 2024 Nederland Avenue, beginning at 11 a.m.

“That’s open to anybody that wants to go and meet the Hispanic Business Association members,” Menza said. “That’s where we’re going to announce the new board members.”

Those looking to attend can RSVP by texting 409-300-8543 or 409-293-6839.

Refreshments will be provided.

— Written by Monique Batson