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Future-proofing Hispanic businesses: SFLHCC President Liliam M. Lopez shares her expertise

Liliam M. Lopez of SFLHCC unveils challenges, future projections, and success stories of Hispanic businesses

Amidst the dynamic landscape of South Florida's business sphere, Hispanic-owned enterprises have navigated challenges and carved pathways to success. In an exclusive interview, Liliam M. Lopez, President/CEO of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SFLHCC), sat with our Editor in Chief at the annual Toy Drive in Jaguar Restaurant in Coconut Grove and shared insights into the experiences, achievements, and future trends shaping the Hispanic business community in the region. Continue reading this news to get more insights.

Challenges and opportunities faced by Hispanic-owned businesses

Reflecting on the past year, the president of SFLHCC stated that Hispanic-owned businesses grappled with inflation-induced cost escalations across sectors, from raw materials to labor shortages. Despite these hurdles, Lopez highlighted how adaptability and community support became catalysts for resilience in an ever-dynamic business environment.

Lopez also shared standout success stories from 2023. One of the noteworthy success stories was the "Elevate Together" program, a collaborative initiative empowering small Hispanic-owned businesses. SFLHCC, in partnership with Office Depot and the US Hispanic Chamber, provided grants and coaching, leading to noteworthy achievements such as revenue growth, market expansion, and innovative strides.

Looking back at the year: A remarkable journey

This year, Liliam M. Lopez, the esteemed CEO/President of SFLHCC, received the prestigious Doctor Honoris Causa from St. Thomas University. This recognition highlighted her remarkable leadership, dedication, and substantial contributions to the Hispanic community and beyond. Lopez's tireless efforts in promoting diversity, business advocacy, and social impact have left an indelible mark.

Adding another feather to her cap, Liliam M. Lopez was honored with the title of Kentucky Colonel. This distinguished designation signifies her exemplary commitment to fostering positive change, both in the Hispanic community and society at large. Lopez's notable achievements and unwavering dedication have earned her this esteemed recognition, marking a year filled with noteworthy accomplishments.

She noted in our interview that one of her proudest achievements of 2023 is that the SFLHCC Foundation was able to award 15,000 in scholarships this year to students of the Academy of the Hospitality of MDCP-S, a program they have through their foundation that works with the Miami Dade County Public School System on a yearly basis. This program has granted $900,000 to financially disadvantaged students in the last 25 years.

SFLHCC President Liliam M. Lopez holding toys

Community engagement events in 2023

SFLHCC organized, sponsored, and was part of a number of renowned community engagement events, initiatives, and much more. Some of the important events under SFLHCC’s belt include the Annual Green Visionary Awards Celebration. The recognized outstanding individuals and organizations committed to environmental sustainability and innovation. This event highlighted the pivotal role of environmental stewardship in the community's growth and development. The event brought together eco-trialblazers with innovative mindsets and a goal to boost the economic trajectory of Miami toward sustainability.

SFLHCC recognizes and appreciates the roles of executives and entrepreneurs for their contributions to the local economy. The SFLHCC Annual Sunshine Awards is a yearly gathering that honors exemplary leaders, acknowledging their significant impact and commitment to fostering economic growth and prosperity in South Florida. In addition to that, The SFLHCC Hispanic Leadership Awards recognizes exceptional Hispanic leaders whose dedication and vision have positively influenced the community, fostering growth and prosperity in 2023. Of 22 award recipients, 14 were women, including Doral City Mayor Christi Fraga, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finally, SFLHCC hosted its much-awaited Health Symposium and Health Champion Awards, which offered opportunities to healthcare experts and professionals to discuss and recognize issues in the healthcare sector. From panel discussions to recognizing health champions in the sector, the event emphasizes the importance of education and initiatives for a healthier South Florida.

SFLHCC prospects for 2024, emerging trends and vision for entrepreneurs

Looking ahead, Lopez foresees a surge in technology-driven startups within the Hispanic business sphere. Sectors like fintech, health tech, and e-commerce are expected to flourish, leveraging digital platforms to meet evolving consumer demands through innovative solutions.

She remains committed to fostering growth and mentioned that SFLHCC will continue its flagship "Elevate Together" program. The initiative aims to strengthen and support small Hispanic businesses by extending grants and coaching, ensuring sustained growth and resilience in the face of challenges. This program has presented over $150,000 in funds to small businesses.

The South Florida Hispanic business landscape, notably Miami's growing presence as a global city, is all set for continual growth and expansion. Lopez's advice for entrepreneurs focuses on adaptability, tech embracement, and robust networking within the Hispanic business community. Staying informed, investing in professional development, and mentorship are keys to navigating the ever-evolving landscape successfully. Above all are the opportunities to network at the 13 preplanned events of 2024 that anyone can participate in.

With this useful advice, we ended the interview with Liliam M. Lopez. If you’re interested in similar inspiring stories and interviews, follow Calle Ocho News. As proud members of SFLHCC, we're committed to amplifying Hispanic business voices.

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