Kamala-Harris-and-Debbie-Mucarsel-Powell Miami Latinos roundtable. “Since June, one in 10 Hispanic businesses remained closed, including the ventanitas, the bodegas, the barber shops...They are part of the pride, the culture, the lifeblood” of Hispanic communities, Harris said.
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The Democratic vice presidential candidate and the Florida representative launched “Nuestros Negocios, Nuestro Futuro.” 

FLORIDA — Democratic vice presidential contender Kamala Harris and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell led a roundtable for Miami Latinos Saturday to supercharge Hispanic small businesses through a new outreach program, “Nuestros Negocios, Nuestro Futuro.”

“Small businesses … are where we shop, where we work, and many times, where we congregate with our community,” Laura Jimenez, national Latino engagement director for Biden for President, said in a statement. “In order to truly meet Hispanics where we are, we need to be where they are, which is exactly why we’re launching Nuestros Negocios, Nuestro Futuro.”

Watch Kamala Harris and Debbie Mucarsel-Powells’ Round Table HERE

Sen. Harris, who was born in California to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, said during the virtual event that “Hispanic businesses are ‘the lifeblood of the communities.’”

America is “a nation of immigrants… immigration has been a source of strength for our country,” she added.

RELATED: The Reason Kamala Harris Could Help Drive Latino Voters to the Polls

The California Democrat went on to chastise President Donald Trump for consistently “vilifying” immigrants and scapegoating them in an effort to distract from his failures elsewhere, specifically his weak and ineffective handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 180,000 lives in the United States alone. Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “have failed to manage the coronavirus,” she said. 

This had grave repercussions on the economy, with the closings of millions of businesses across the country, many of them Latino-owned.

“Since June, one in 10 Hispanic businesses remained closed, including the ventanitas, the bodegas, the barber shops…They are part of the pride, the culture, the lifeblood” of Hispanic communities, Harris said. “[They are] so much more than just businesses.”

Focused on Latino Success

For her part, during the event Mucarsel-Powell focused on immigrant-run, women-run businesses, retelling her own story of coming to America at age 14 from her native Ecuador, and recalling how — thanks to the opportunities afforded by her adoptive country — if was possible for her to go from working in a donut shop to becoming the first South American legislator.

“I’ve got a message for Donald Trump: Don’t mess with my people,” said the Democrat, who added that Trump “demonized immigrant communities,” while Kamala Harris helped close down an ICE detention center in her district.

“You should have seen her!” the congress member praised Harris, who then went on to highlight some specific measures the Biden campaign has used to reach Latino, Black, AAPI and young voters in cities across America, and “to hear firsthand their concerns and lay out Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ vision for a stronger, resilient, and more inclusive economy.” The plan includes:

  • Increasing funding for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to boost Latino and Black business ownership.
  • Allocating more than $50 billion in additional public-private venture capital to Black and Latino entrepreneurs to help them survive the current economic crisis fueled by COVID-19.  
  • Expanding access to $100 billion in low-interest business loans by funding state, local, tribal, and non-profit lending programs in Black and Latino communities.
  • Ensuring all small business relief efforts are specifically designed to aid businesses owned by Latino and Black people.

READ MORE: How Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Will Help Latinos and Other People of Color