The Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AHCC) is looking for funding and a location for an Hispanic business incubator that it hopes to have operating by next year, said Anna Cablik, chair of the chamber, at a April 10 meeting.

      Ms. Cablik told members of the Americas subcommittee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce that Coca Cola Co. has been funding the chamber’s initial research into types of business incubators, but that she is uncertain Coke will continue to fund the entire venture.

      Atlanta companies that become involved with the incubator will be helping to create their own future customers, she said, since the businesses supported by the incubator will require supplies and services once they get going.

     The AHCC has visited several other U.S. cities to learn about their business incubators, and Ms. Cablik said that she hopes the Atlanta incubator will develop into something similar to the East L.A. Community Union, which actually owns businesses and provides jobs and services to stimulate economic growth.

      For now, she said, the chamber would just like to help recent Hispanic immigrants, who are not yet familiar with the U.S. way of doing business, to own their own companies and earn a living.  AHCC also wants to help current chamber members who already have small businesses, she added.

      In addition, the Hispanic chamber is looking for support from the Atlanta business community for its plan to lure the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce here for its annual convention in 2001, said Ms. Cablik.

      The chamber’s convention in Denver last year attracted about 1,200 people, she said, and the AHCC is competing against cities including Orlando to host the convention in 2001.  Atlanta’s  main advantage over Orlando, she said, is its large number of Fortune 500 and other companies.

      For more information call the AHCC at (404) 264-0879.

by Briana Pehlman