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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Several years ago, community members saw a need for partnership between established and prospective business owners in the Hispanic community.

The Hispanic Business Alliance of North Alabama (HIBANA) was born out of that need, and the organization offers networking opportunities.

HIBANA provides seminars and mentorship for new and prospective Hispanic business owners.

“Sometimes, us Hispanics, mainly if English is your second language, you just run into additional challenges that the regular business or professional would not have,” said HIBANA board member Briseida Ruelas.

Ruelas said she sees a lot of people in the Hispanic community that possess the skills to run a business.

“They just lack that information, mainly because many of them, they were not brought here, their parents did not have a career, a college degree, did not have an education, so they cannot get guidance from their parents,” Ruelas said.

She said she hopes to give them a place to start, by helping prospective business owners fill out forms and acquire property.

“We also try to connect people like new business owners with business owners that are mature in the business,” Ruelas said.

On Oct. 15, the final day of Hispanic Heritage Month, HIBANA will host a business expo. Not only will the event offer hiring, employment, and networking opportunities, but Ruelas said the expo will be a great opportunity for people to learn more about the bilingual resources available locally.

“Those businesses that have taken that extra step to hire bilingual individuals,” Ruelas said. “They deserve to be acknowledged.”

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Big Spring Park East in Huntsville. If you are interested in participating, registration is still open for local businesses.