JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Hispanic-owned businesses contribute more than $90 billion to Florida’s economy each year, according to the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Action News Jax anchor Tenikka Hughes spoke with a Jacksonville business owner about her road to success and how she’s creating a pathway for others as Action News Jax celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.
Veronica Garcia-Brown just celebrated a major milestone at her company Brown Accounting and Tax Services LLC. In July, she celebrated 10 years of business.
Marriage brought Brown to the River City in 2013 from South Florida, where she worked for a certified public accounting firm.
Once in Jacksonville, Brown connected with the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and through that, she met a local CPA who would set her on the course of entrepreneurship.
“She wanted to retire, and she was looking for another CPA that wanted to take over. We started talking. We started meeting. I started coming to her office, and the next thing I knew, I was acquiring her CPA practice,” Brown told Hughes.
Brown’s success is rooted in resilience. She fled Cuba in the 90s to escape Communism and settled in South Florida. She learned English, worked full-time while going to school, established her career and always made it a point to help others along the way.
“I wanted to do the best. I wanted to do the best I can and support everybody, not only the Hispanic community, but everybody,” Brown said.
Decades later, her award-winning business is thriving and has come full circle. Most of her clients are Hispanic small business owners, and her work sometimes goes beyond crunching numbers.
“They come to me and some of them say, ‘I have this business. I started its construction, in cleaning, and I don’t know where to go to apply for the license. What licenses do I need? How do I apply for a loan? How do I complete this form?’” Brown explained.
She also refers her clients to the organization that changed her trajectory: the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Its history dates back to the early 90s, and it has become a premier destination for local Hispanic and Latino business professionals, offering education, support and networking opportunities.
The Hispanic Chamber also promotes the impact and value of Hispanic businesses and culture in our community, which is something Brown is proud to be a part of.
“We bring values. We bring faith. We bring family that we love a family reunion, but we also bring businesses. We also grow the economy,” she said.
If you are interested in starting a business visit the First Coast Hispanic Chamber for more information.
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