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Leaders pushing Latinos to spend locally

PHOENIX — There’s a local push to encourage Latino consumers to spend their cash locally.

The effort, known as Fuerza Local, will include a series of seminars and educational events within the community.

“We already hosted two successful workshops,” said Carlos Velasco of Fuerza Local. “We had 60 businesses in each workshop. What we are really trying to create is the awareness of what it means to support local businesses.”

Fuerza Local is an offshoot of Local First Arizona.

According to its website, Local First Arizona is a non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state.

The group educates citizens, stakeholders, business leaders, and legislators about the significant environmental, economic and cultural benefits of strong local economies.

Velasco said there seems to be a lack of awareness in the Spanish-speaking community about the importance of shopping local.