CENTRAL ILLINOIS, Ill. (WMBD) – Big business is on the horizon for the Latinx community of central Illinois. The area is seeing an increase in the growing number of Hispanic businesses opening up.
Peoria’s Hispanic community leaders said more than ten businesses have opened or relocated in the area. or announced its intention to open within the last three months only. They said that the growth of businesses in the region was linked to their culture of âpersistenceâ.
Miranda’s Bella boutique is just one example of the recently established businesses in Peoria. The store, which opened just a few weeks ago, is located at 3113 N Prospect Road and is what its owner, Maria Miranda, calls a hidden gem.
Miranda said the store is true to its Mexican roots.
âEveryone knows me, the pride I have in my Mexican culture,â said Miranda. “So yeah, it must be screaming Mexican culture everywhere.”
The store does exactly that. It exhibits everything from Mexican pottery and religious ceramics, to dresses, costumes, accessories, candles and more.
“They [customers] can find all the religious things we use for our holidays, for baptisms and first communions, quinceaÃ±eras and weddings, âsaid Miranda. âI decided to open it because there is nothing nearby here in Peoria that sells what I sell. So people should drive or order it online and wait for it to come. “
Although the store recently opened on North Prospect, Miranda said it was actually not a new business. She said that for the past 17 years she sold her items at home, but when her basement started to get too crowded, she decided to expand.
It’s a decision she said she’s delighted to have made given the region’s growing Latinx community.
âThe Hispanic population is growing, so it is very necessary here in Peoria,â said Miranda.
The rise of Hispanic businesses also extends beyond Peoria. If someone walks to 2401 N. Main Street in East Peoria, they will come across Rising Tide Battery Station.
The store opened last month and offers electronics, paintball, camping and fishing gear, and other lifestyle items. It also serves as an indoor battery station.
Rogelio Reteguin, the owner, said he decided to open the store after hearing people ask for a similar store in the area.
âThere were no paintball shops here,â Reteguin said. “So we decided to open one for people to enjoy.”
Reteguin, from MichoacÃ¡n, Mexico, also said he believes there are more opportunities for success in the central Illinois area.
âI was planning on opening in Chicago, but the best thing to do was to open here in Peoria,â Reteguin said. âThey received me really well.
Christell Frausto, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Peoria, said she agreed that more doors were opening for the Hispanic population in the area and that there was still more to come.
“We’re going to be able to bring more to the community whether it’s a celebration of our culture, whether it’s things for lifestyle, partying, nightclubs, places to dance, more restaurants, we’re going to bring more of flavor, âFrausto mentioned.
Frausto said the chamber will continue to work to prepare those interested in owning their opening business with the necessary tools.
Recent data from the US Census Bureau also showed that the country is diversifying and that the Hispanic population now represents 18.7% of the country’s population.