How the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supported one Latina-owned business owner when she was ready to give up

Posted at 5:31 PM, Oct 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 19:31:50-04

IDAHO — Nearly one in four new businesses is Hispanic-owned. The almost-five million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States contribute billions to the American economy annually.

"I was already at that point; I was like Jose, I just need to walk away if I can't sell; this is my next step," said Melinda Romayor, owner of Twelve25.

Latina-owned businesses are the largest growing segment in the business community in the United States — in the Treasure Valley, the trend seems to be true.

"The Hispanic community is an entrepreneurial spirit, and they want to make it. We want to find a way to have our families forward to bring a legacy for our kids," said Mari Ramos, director of operations for the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

That was the case for small business owner Melinda Romayor, who owns a business located in downtown Nampa. She opened her doors before the pandemic, but just like every other business owner, she struggled to keep her doors open.

But that wasn't the only obstacle. Romayor was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, making it challenging to juggle her store.

"I was already at that point of I'm going to walk away. It's getting too much, and I don't have extra money to hire extra staff. It's just me here all the time or my daughters," said Romayor.

When she was ready to give up, Romayor was approached by the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. They were able to assist her with all the necessary resources for her to save her business, from loans, business plans, and just a friendly friend to speak to when she most needed it.

"I was like, okay, I'll give it a shot, and it was the best thing I have ever done because Jose has been in my corner since day one," said Romayor.

Her business, Twelve25, has undergone a few name changes but recently had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and has seen her business take off.

Many potential Latina business owners and those who already have a business struggle with options available to help them get started or progress.

"That's what we are here for. We are here to provide that guidance, and we are here to provide that support," said Mari Ramos.