Hispanic business council to promote inclusivity and diversity in Garfield County
Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce CEO and Director Tanya Perea Doose has advocated inclusivity since day one.
“Our communities – Rifle, Silt and Parachute – which we represent have such a high population of Hispanics that it was important for me to recognize that,” Perea Doose said.
The third-generation Coloradan began working for the Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce in May and has promoted efforts to engage the Colorado River Valley’s Hispanic and Latino business communities.
“We are not doing our community justice to not have Latino and Hispanic outreach within our business community,” Perea Doose said. “We all love to patron our Latino and Hispanic businesses. But, to reciprocate that, how do we as a community offer them support?”
For Perea Doose, a few immediate efforts came to mind beginning with the formation of the chamber’s Hispanic business council.
Currently, the volunteer council includes Colorado Mountain College’s Gethze Hammond, Cheryl & Co. Real Estate Owner Cheryl Chandler and Rifle realtor Pablo Ortiz.
“Our goal is to promote inclusivity, diversity and to bring the culture of our Hispanic-owned and Latino-owned businesses into the chamber and support them,” Perea Doose said.
When asked if the local governments of Silt, Rifle and Parachute were equally as supportive of the chamber’s efforts, Perea Doose replied absolutely.
In addition to establishing the Hispanic business council, Perea Doose said the chamber’s physical location at 100 E. 11th St. in Rifle now always has a bilingual speaker available.
Both Perea Doose’s dad and grandfather were bilingual ministers, which further inspired the Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce CEO and Director to breakdown language barriers in her own career.
“I firmly believe that all things old become new again,” Perea Doose said.
With the rise of the digital era, chambers of commerce often lose walk-in visitors to quick online searches.
That being said, the Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce continues to revamp its website with upcoming business and event information in both English and Spanish.
“We still see, on average during the summer, probably 500 tourists that stop through here within a four- or five-month span,” Perea Doose said of walk-ins to the chamber’s physical location in Rifle.
And, upon entering, several brochures in both English and Spanish greet those visitors with a variety of activates to choose from.
“They all want maps, they all want brochures and they all want to know where the good restaurants are,” Perea Doose said. “We are not saying, ‘You speak Spanish here’s one brochure for you and you speak English here’s another.’ We are bringing it all together and uniting it.”
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