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Cleveland HBA EXPO showcases businesses

By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

Hispanic Business Association held its 3rd annual Business Expo at La Sagrada Familia Church Hall on July 30, 2009. Thirty-two exhibitors ranging from small business, to corporate organizations had the opportunity to network and strength collaborations.

Wanda Cordero at HBA’s 3rd Annual Business Expo.

Jenice Contréras, HBA Chair said even in the slow economy businesses need services and they are more likely to buy from partners they have a personal relationship with. “This Expo is not about the organization, it is all about our members and sponsors,” said Contreras.

She said the organization is undergoing strategic planning and trying to determine how to serve its members better so they can increase their visibility and strengthen business practices. “We are also reaching out to our corporate partners and understand what their needs and demands are,” she said.

Margarita Peña, Director of Operations said the Expo is a matchmaking event that has continued to improve and attract more guests each year. She said the continued support of corporate sponsors is a testament to the event success. This year Wal-Mart sponsored 10 booths for small business to differ the $150 -$175 booth costs.

When Abraham Del Rio, Jr. was laid off from Parker Hannifin he decided to illuminate his dark situation by creating lighting fixtures. His company Del Rio Lighting & Design offers show room quality and a coastal ambience for customers in the area.  His business is a family affair, with his children and wife assisting him as support staff. Del Rio partnered with a company in China saying it ensures quality and keeps his business competitive.

Del Rio Lighting & Design participated at the Business Expo on July 30, 2009.

He is waiting for the economy to pick up but says more people are remodeling their homes than building and with his products they can be satisfied with quality without the cost. “Buying directly saves them money,” Del Rio said. He currently sells online and hopes his business will grow and create local distribution jobs. 


“I joined HBA because of the valuable services they provide, and this (Expo) is really great,” Del Rio said. He said he’d like it to expand and invite consumers as well.


Some of the other businesses included American Life Insurance, Dollar Bank, National City, and Playhouse Square.

Stephanie Mercado, Executive Director of HBA, This is a great event; we are expecting a good turn out.”


Mercado thanked Cuyahoga County for its support, saying they made the event possible.






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