Thousands of Hispanic business owners to head to Orlando next month

ORLANDO, Fla. — Thousands of Hispanic business owners will make their way to Orlando next month for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce national conference.

Commerce leaders said the attendees in September will spend thousands of dollars while they’re here, which will help boost the Central Florida economy.


Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said recent travel advisories telling people not to come to Florida hurt those who work in the tourism industry, who he says are majority Hispanic or Black.

“If you don’t come here, if you don’t bring the conference here, we missed the opportunity to help those individuals take care of their families,” Demings said.

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Edwin Lurduy, the owner of Mecados Bakery and Café, which has locations all over Orlando, he’s seen firsthand how supportive the community is.

“With such a high percentage of Latinos and Hispanic people living here and moving here continuously, I think it’s been an advantage for us to be in Central Florida,” he said.

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His Colombian-inspired bakery started as one small shop and has grown to six locations and a distribution center. Lurduy said he doesn’t know if that would’ve been possible elsewhere.

“I’m able to share part of our culture with everyone that lives in Orlando and Central Florida, not just the Hispanic population but everyone,” he said.

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The U.S. Hispanic Chamber reports that more than 650,000 Latino-owned businesses in the state generate more than a million jobs.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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