Chicanos Por La Causa Business Partnership

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Edmundo Hidalgo, president and CEO for Chicanos Por La Causa, talks about a partnership with Kahala, an international franchising company which will provide employment opportunities and ownership for entrepreneurs.

Jose Cardenas: Chicanos Por La Causa is going into a partnership to help develop new entrepreneurs in the business community. With me to talk about this is Edmundo Hidalgo, president and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa. Edmundo welcome again to "Horizonte." You've been on the program a number of times, mostly we're talking about the very -- various social service. But this kind of business related venture is nothing new actually.

Edmundo Hidalgo: It is not new. It's actually part of our DNA. We have been doing community and economic development for over 42 years and in the early days we were involved in the start-up of a number of for-profit enterprises with the intent of being able to sustain the not for profits out of our houses of social services, human services part of our operation. Tell.

Jose Cardenas: Tell bus this newest venture.

Edmundo Hidalgo: This new venture has actually something that's been in the works for over two years. We were approached by CPLC a local-national franchise company with over 18 brands, and they wanted to have a larger presence in the Latino and the African-American community. And realized that they needed an entity somebody that could go out there and partner with them in order to grow their business. And so CPLC was approached to first of all see if we have the interest in trying to work with small business entrepreneurs, and other individuals that were willing to buy a franchise and so our thought was that before we could go out there and promote the brand, that we ourselves needed to learn the business in order to go out and identify individuals that could acquire some of this franchises.

Jose Cardenas: You just had the grand opening, we've got video, we'll show it while we're talking. But tell us what's involved. You see a number of familiar brands in the video of the event, Blimpy's and samurai Sam's and so forth. What are we looking at in this scene here? That involved the grand opening?

Edmundo Hidalgo: What we have here is a food court that was developed with three of the brands. It is a adjacent to our corporate office on 12th street and Buckeye, and this is our first endeavor into CPLC owning franchises as part of our economic development and as part of our social strategy so in order for us to go out and be able to promote the brands, we felt we needed to learn the business so that at either entrepreneurs or other individuals that were interested in buying their own franchise, we could show an example of an enterprise that was successful and so for us, the combination of the three brands is both development and investment in our community, it's also job creation, because through this franchise industry, we're going to be able to employ between 25-30 individuals that were seeking employment and ultimately we have an economic engine that will help CPLC with our mission related work.

Jose Cardenas: So the three enterprises that we saw in the video that we're looking at, those are CPLC owned and run, or CPLC is a franchisee?

Edmundo Hidalgo: Correct. There's two areas to the strategy. One of them is for CPLC to own our own franchises for us to reinvest and develop and create job opportunities in our community. And so as part of that endeavor, it is about walking the talk. So we ourselves are also striving to become self-sufficient, and in this challenging economic times, we understand that we have to diversify our revenue, so this enterprise allows us to do that. On the other side, it's also about identifying Latinos who want to become franchise owners. And so we will facilitate that acquisition by identifying the right brand, providing the financing, helping individuals identify a sign and work through the whole nuts and bolts to get them to be an owner of their own business.

Jose Cardenas: There may be other franchises involved as well?

Edmundo Hidalgo: Absolutely. There's 18 different brands, and they're getting ready to make a big announcement on a local concept that I think we're all very, very excited about. And so that should be coming out in the next several days, possibly the next week, and for us it's another offering of a local flavor, a local brand that we expect to do national.

Jose Cardenas: Edmundo, you talk about national and we've just got a little time left, but this is going to expand outside the state of Arizona, right?

Edmundo Hidalgo: Absolutely. We've actually had -- we have six states with a large Latino presence that we're focused on, so for us, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, are the obvious, we're looking at Illinois, Florida, and again, our intent is through our various relationships and on that work -- our network to identify Latinos who want to become owners of their own business. Here you have a perfect opportunity because of the brand to be able to own your own franchise.

Jose Cardenas: And on that note we'll end our interview, and look forward to talking to you more about this as it develops.

Edmundo Hidalgo: Thank you.

Jose Cardenas: Thanks.

Edmundo Hidalgo:President and CEO, Chicanos Por La Causa;

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