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Hispanic Heritage Month: Communities Come Together To Support Latino-Owned Businesses Struggling To Keep Up In Pandemic

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - This Hispanic Heritage Month, many Latino-owned businesses are struggling to stay open.

CBS2's Christina Fan reports, despite the struggles, communities are coming together to support one another in stories of perseverance and success.

The flavors and tastes at Casa Adela in Alphabet City have not changed since 1976, when the family matriarch, Adela Fargas, opened the restaurant.

More than 40 years later, daughter-in-law Martiza Lopez honors her legacy with every dish.

"We want to keep the place as humble as we can. It's like going to your grandma's house to eat," said Lopez.

There are no magical recipes, just the right combination of spices, love and hard work.

Even when the coronavirus pandemic slashed business by 50%, the family never took a day off and never turned a customer away.

"Whether you have money or you don't, we service you. We do not let you go home hungry. And that she taught us, and that's why she is what we are today," said Lopez.


But, many Latino businesses are now struggling with money. Financial experts project half of Hispanic and Black-owned businesses in the U.S. will close before the pandemic is over.

"To even give them enough shifts right now is pretty hard, to keep that in balance while trying to keep some type of income," said Franklin Abreu, whose family owns Puerto Viejo in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

While the Abreus say loyal customers are helping them pull through, the group Hispanics in Philanthropy met virtually this week to offer Latino businesses additional grants, mentoring and training.

MORE: Hispanic Heritage Month Gets Underway With Special Focus On Representation

"Our businesses are still not operating on an equal and level playing field with their peers, and that's the part we come here to talk about today," said Nancy Santiago, co-founder of Power Up Fund.

The groups are working together to strengthen businesses crucial to the city's economy and identity.

Click here for more Hispanic Heritage Month coverage.

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