PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — With a mission to grow commerce, community, and culture for Latinos, the Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce continues to elevate. 

The chamber has been rooted in the community for about four years. Chamber Chair Jim Montelongo said they are 20 members strong and growing.

He said their members are in engineering, restaurants, real estate and more. Being a foundation and voice for Hispanic businesses, Montelongo said they strive to help business owners reach success.

“I think we have a vision of where we are moving the chamber and it’s giving encouragement to somebody who may want to open up a business,” Montelongo said.

He said many owners are first generation. Montelongo said their board is made up of people who are business savvy, and they are able to help their members understand any challenges that come with opening or keeping a successful business.

Although Hispanic-focused, Montelongo said anyone can become a member. 

The Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host its first-ever Gala on Saturday, Oct. 8. Jaime di Paulo, the CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will be the keynote speaker.

Montelongo said they are going to recognize the accomplishments of business members and the work they do in the community.

This will also be their biggest fundraiser of the year, which will help the chamber invest in educational materials to help business owners learn how to operate a business and be successful.

“We’re going to be investing into some training and education material for business owners, so that they can learn the basic of business. I’m really hoping they can learn the basics of business. I’m really hoping that all of our members can walk away with a business plan at some point in time, so that they can continue continuously updating throughout the years,” Montelongo said.

To learn more about the gala and how to purchase tickets, visit The Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce website.