'Dine Latino Takeout Week' helps keep local Hispanic-owned restaurants afloat amid COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- To combat the economic impact of the coronavirus on small business restaurants owned by Hispanics in the area, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce thought it would be a good idea to promote DIne Latino Takeout Weekend.

At Taqueria Morales in South Philadelphia, they were trying to keep the business afloat by taking part in the promotional effort, which began Friday.

"It's very helpful for everybody," said owner Felipa Ventura.

Ventura opened her restaurant in the 1400 block of Jackson Street just three months ago. And then, the coronavirus happened, taking a heavy toll on small businesses like hers.

The same thing happened to El Merkury in the 2100 block of Chesnut Street.

"The University of Pennsylvania, for example, they were one of my best customers and they shut down...there's no more students and every single order that we had catering for them just disappeared," said owner Sofia Deleon.

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce swung into action starting a social media campaign under the hashtag Latino Takeout. Running through Sunday, it urges everyone to support a small business Latino-owned restaurant in Philadelphia by ordering takeout or delivery.

"Small businesses are the livelihood of our economy, and really the backbone of our neighborhoods. They are the ones who employ family members, neighbors," said Jennifer Rodriguez the President and CEO of GPHCC.

It seems the DIne Latino Takeout Weekend is helping bring in more orders for those restaurants who signed up to take part in the effort.

"I'm doing anything that needs to be done to like survive," said Deleon.

And Ventura says ordering takeout may be good to uplift people who have been stuck in their homes, sheltering in place.

"...When they order food and they have good food, they feel more happy," said Ventura.
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