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Hispanic businesswomen feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 18:22:39-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Liz MacCall is a real estate broker for Arise Real Estate Advisors.

She opened up her small office a year ago in Palm Beach Gardens.

"We are a boutique real estate agency. We help people purchase, selling their home or rental. We also do a little bit of commercial," she said.

Luz Francy Luengas owns Creative Learning Experience in Lake Worth.

She has about two dozen employees.

She closed the doors three weeks ago. "We've been able to pay their payroll, but we don't know until when," she said.

Both women are part of a local organization of 500 Hispanic businesswomen, called Empresarias Hispanas.

The organization has monthly workshops to help the business owners.

But helping hundreds of business owners from a distance because of the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging.

Claudia Ruiz Levy who volunteers for the organization said, "A lot of the agencies, they don't even have bilingual websites. It's very difficult to get access to information in a language different from English. We are looking for an educational partner."

Levy says other volunteers are trying to help the small business owners know the right paperwork to fill out.

"Also members of the organization they have a financial background or a CPA or a bookkeeper. We have come together to try to help them fill out all of this paperwork. it's overwhelming. Traditionally women and Hispanic women in business have been underserved," she said.

Now the organization is hoping others in the community can help. "We need help from other bigger non-profits, we need help from government institutions to help us help them stay in business."