On this episode of the CEO Roundtable podcast, we sit down with Jaime DiPaulo, the president of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Born and raised in Mexico, Jaime came to the United States as an exchange student landing in Denver, Colorado in 1980. Growing up with the Chicano movement in Colorado, he developed a taste for social justice, taking courses at the University of Colorado to better understand the history of Latinos in the United States. That led him down the path toward carving a career in economic development which eventually brought him to leading one of the largest chambers of commerce in the U.S.
The goal of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is to help any Latino business gain access to capital and get everything in place so they can make sure they succeed. In Jaime’s words, “we’re like the red cross, we’re helping businesses survive.” In the state of Illinois there are 170,000 Latino-owned businesses with 80% of those in the Chicago Metro Area.
With the recent COVID pandemic, Jaime and his team have been working around the clock to ensure they can give as many businesses as possible the resources they need to stay afloat and keep people employed.
“We really might want to make a difference in this world and make sure that every small business is taken care of and we get the right access to them. We need to make sure we put Latinos in the community in positions of power so we can all grow together as a community.”
Aside from COVID, what’s top of mind for Jaime and the Chamber is understanding why Latino businesses don’t have the same access to capital as others. They have an ongoing collaboration with the Apsen Institute to create the write data so they can promote good legislation that will positively impact the community.
Tune into this episode of the CEO Roundtable to hear more about Jaime’s journey and what he’s doing to uplift the Latino business community in Chicago.