The For Fort Collins campaign is a community rally behind local businesses so they can reopen strongly and safely. Meet one of our Ambassadors, Jose Luis Ramos, a LatinX Business Librarian of the Poudre River Public Library. During his time as a For Fort Collins Ambassador, Jose will help share resources to our business community, including our LatinX businesses. Join us each week as we spotlight a new Ambassador.
Q: How do you help businesses in our community?
My role is to focus on LatinX businesses within our community. A business can contact me through the Poudre Library’s website, where they can fill out a form to request a meeting with me. More importantly, I work through referrals, collaborating with various local nonprofits in the Northern Colorado region to meet and engage with businesses. I help Fort Collins businesses and entrepreneurs get started and grow to be successful. I guide them through the process of creating a company, obtaining their EIN, establishing their marketing strategy, and much more. I have created YouTube videos in Spanish to help entrepreneurs and businesses here locally in Fort Collins.
During the pandemic, I have worked with LatinX businesses throughout all of Colorado. Starting in March through May, I was answering questions for the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade hotline. If someone needed help in Spanish they would be directed to me. I would get about 4-5 calls each day from businesses that had all sorts of questions, with most needing help accessing loans and assistance applying for unemployment.
Q: What type of businesses do you especially enjoy working with?
During my work within the last five months I’ve come to appreciate all the small entrepreneurs – all the cleaning people, the gardeners, the painters - the workers that don’t have an establishment but do mostly contract work. They are the hardest working people as they continue to search for work for themselves. When everyone talks about heroes working in the healthcare field, it’s crucial to remember are many frontline workers that are unrecognized or forgotten. These entrepreneurs have been my favorite to work with.
Q: What’s your favorite part of Fort Collins?
I moved to Fort Collins in 1998 after getting a job at HP as a software engineer. I worked there for more than seven years and eventually became a manager. After HP I opened a Mexican restaurant and had that for ten years until my wife and I decided to travel the world. After 5 years of semi-retirement we came back to Fort Collins.
I like the Fort Collins community. I enjoy walking around Old Town because it has a great environment. When I had my Mexican restaurant a variety of people would come in and everyone was so nice. Fort Collins feels like a close community, and I love the energy that the students from CSU bring to town.
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