Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched in Delaware

Officials join Ronald Tello, center, to cut the ribbon on the Delaware Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on March 14 in Wilmington. | PHOTO COURTESY OF JORGE ALTAMIRANO/ ALTAMIRANO'S

This story was produced by Spotlight Delaware, a community-powered, collaborative, nonprofit newsroom covering the First State. Learn more at spotlightdelaware.org 

By José Ignacio Castañeda Perez

The Delaware Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched last week in Wilmington with over 200 Hispanic businesses already on board.

The chamber will bolster Hispanic businesses in the state by providing business owners and entrepreneurs with Spanish-language resources to grow and start their businesses. In total, 243 businesses have already joined the chamber, which is geared toward helping Delaware’s immigrant and Spanish-speaking communities. 

Hispanics owned 5.7% of businesses in Delaware in 2022, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. Nearly 10% of Delaware’s population is Hispanic, comprising over 95,000 people, per the U.S. Census Bureau.


Many Hispanic business owners are discouraged from joining existing chambers of commerce due to language barriers or a lack of understanding on how to join. The chamber will serve as a safe and comfortable place where immigrants and Spanish-speaking business owners can receive resources in their language. 

“The immigrant who starts a small business […] brings an incredible impact to their surroundings,” said Ronaldo Tello, founder and president of the Delaware Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The organization helps businesses establish an online presence by creating and hosting their websites under an online directory. The vast majority of Hispanic businesses in the state did not have an online presence, according to a survey conducted by the chamber. 

The organization plans to host classes and training on how to start and grow a business. The chamber will also establish the bilingual business center, which will serve as a hub for business owners to host meetings, file forms, access computers and receive answers to their questions as they grow their business. 

“It then becomes a place where they feel that not being able to speak English fluently is not a barrier to be able to access all of this,” Tello said. 

Delaware Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Ronaldo Tello Wilmington
Dozens of Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs celebrated the inauguration of the Delaware Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on March 14. | PHOTO COURTESY OF JORGE ALTAMIRANO/ ALTAMIRANO’S

The idea to establish a formal Hispanic chamber of commerce in the state is not new. There have been many past efforts to launch a chamber. 

The concept of the Delaware Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, however, came about during the Delaware Hispanic Awards. The event, which is held every two years, highlights Hispanic-owned businesses and organizations that are voted the best of the state. 

Categories included the best bakery, hair salon and Facebook live show. During rehearsals for the show, candidates expressed interest in being able to more easily access business loans and the possibility of organizing with other business owners.

Tello helped interested business owners commit to starting the chamber and formalized the plan to launch the organization. The inauguration drew the attention of local leaders including Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer – the latter two of which are running for governor this year.

The chamber joins similar efforts to unite Hispanic businesses and owners across the state. 

In 2023, the Delaware Alliance of Latino Entrepreneurs, known as ¡DALE!, was launched to organize and empower Latino businesses in the state. The organization was formed as part of La Plaza, an organization that promotes and supports Latino-owned businesses in Sussex County.