Mercado Del Pueblo in Humboldt Park helps small enterprise house owners of colour broaden their commerce
CHICAGO (WLS) – A new hub for local suppliers called Mercado Del Pueblo in Humboldt Park helps small business owners of paint.
“Mercado is a place for startups and small business owners, so your business is free rental space and free usable space so they can start their business without renting,” said Carlos Bosques of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.
The Mercado Del Pueblo is located in Division and Rockwell in the heart of the Puerto Rican community of Humboldt Park. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center turned an old laundromat into a commercial center. Not only are utilities free, but business owners are also instructed on how to upgrade their stores to storefronts.
There are currently 17 vendors in the Mercado, all of them colored people.
“I’m surprised that this type of service is available in town,” said Alejandra Aranda, one of the sales clerks at the Mercado Del Pueblo.
Aranda is a craftswoman who lost her job at O’Hare Airport this year due to the pandemic. She said she turned to her artistic skills to get through.
Sachayra Cintron opened her Puerto Rican pastry business this year to make some extra cash. Citron said the mercado had already helped spread the name of their company.
“I think it’s important because it gives us extra help and support so that we can be successful in what we want to do,” said Cintron.
Bosques said the mercado was a direct response to the pandemic and that the Puerto Rican cultural center wanted to help small business owners expand their businesses.
“Right now, Latino and African-American communities are underserved, so we’re trying to provide services that they currently need to start their business,” said Bosques.
The Mercado Del Pueblo was officially opened at the beginning of February. They are open on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Yukare Nakayama is a community journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the west side of the city in neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale and Austin. Nakayama also covers the suburbs on the north coast such as Highland Park and Highwood. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods, send an email to [email protected]
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