September 22, 2016
by Andy Mehalshick
Maribel Chavez owns the expressions boutique on broad street in downtown hazleton..she's been in business for 10 years. She and other Latino business owners say they want center city to thrive..
"I'm hoping to see my community grow together because we are only one community. Latino meets Anglo community we are only one community."
She immigrated to Hazleton from the Dominican Republic..and like many other immigrants. She decided to open a business in her new home.
City leaders say in the last year alone 20 new businesses--owned by Latinos opened in Center City..
Yajaira Perez and her family run J & J Fish and Meat on North Wyoming Street..
She admits--at first- the store attracted mostly Hispanic customers..that has changed...
"Some white people are scared to come on Wyoming Street because they think something is going on around here. But no..everything is fine."
The Latino merchants are helping fuel a fast moving revitalization of the downtown.
"We are very excited about the growth. Working together for the betterment of all in the Greater Hazleton area." said Mary Malone, President Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce
Residents like Kelly Cleary like what they see..
"It's making things a lot more accessible. I don't have a vehicle. I can walk to the bank, the bus, get something to eat and there drug store right there."
Source: PA Home Page