Nine years ago, Sue Hubbard of Farmers Insurance in Atascadero saw a need for Hispanic businesswomen to have a collaborative space to discuss their unique challenges as minority business owners. Now as we move into 2023, I’m thrilled to share about an exciting new partnership between The Hispanic Business Association and our Chamber. To ensure the Hispanic Business Association members are equipped with the tools and resources they need for continued success, the association has merged with the Atascadero Chamber.

There’s a growing need in our community for representation and resources for minority-owned businesses. According to Maria Elena Garcia, former president of the Hispanic Business Association, about 20% of residents in Atascadero and 36% in Paso Robles are Hispanic, with a growing population in San Miguel. Through this partnership, our goal is to better reach and serve the needs of our diverse businesses. In addition, we’re keen on understanding their day-to-day challenges from human resources to bookkeeping – and addressing them. To facilitate this, we’ve recently brought on board three bilingual staff members, two of which have been funded by regional grants.

I anticipate a lot of learning from our combined and growing business community. Our Chamber team is looking forward to building our knowledge and understanding of the diverse business community we serve. This merger demonstrates what makes our community great—our readiness to work together to lend a hand and help out other local businesses.

For more information about the Hispanic Business Association, its history, mission, and how to join, please visit You can also reach Maria Elena Garcia at (805) 835-7900 or

-Josh Cross, Atascadero Chamber CEO

Josh Cross

President & CEO of the Atascadero Chamber | Josh Cross

Josh Cross is a longtime Central Coast local, having grown up right here in Atascadero. He has a strong knowledge of governmental and community issues, in addition to economic development. Previously he worked as the Director of Economic Development for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, and has always been passionate about the incredible work Chambers can do for their community.