The South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC), the state’s premier provider of business assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs, welcomes Marco Antonio Rios to its network of business consultants. Rios, who was born in Puebla, Mexico, and moved to South Carolina in 2021, is bilingual and will assist Hispanic entrepreneurs looking to start, grow or sustain a small business.
This proactive move is the result of a partnership between the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SCHCC) and the SC SBDC, with support from the SC Department of Commerce, to establish a Hispanic Small Business Development Center in Greenville—and, eventually, locations throughout the state. The hiring of Rios signifies the SC SBDC’s commitment to providing no-fee business consulting, affordable training and an array of valuable resources to every South Carolinian.
“The Hispanic population and Hispanic-owned small businesses are both growing rapidly in our state,” said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. “Hiring Marco Rios will enable the SC SBDC and our partners—the SCHCC and Commerce—to collectively expand bilingual outreach and services to this community, which contributes millions of dollars to the state’s economy annually. These initiatives underpin the SC SBDC's mission, vision and commitment to serving all clients equitably.”
Rios has an extensive background in business management and entrepreneurship, with experience ranging from human resources and retail to the hospitality and food and beverage industries. For over 14 years he managed sales and national business development for international companies, including Tourico Holidays and Cafiver Mexico, and has launched and managed two of his own small businesses. Rios also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and two master’s degrees in Marketing and Management and International Issues. Collectively these qualifications distinguish Rios as an expert in his field amply qualified to successfully guide clients through every stage of the business lifecycle.
“The SC Department of Commerce has a strong history of providing customized support to businesses in the state, meeting them where they are to provide the necessary assistance to succeed,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Ashely Teasdel. “With the growing number of Hispanic-owned businesses in SC, Marco Rios will be invaluable to our collective support for that important market. He is a thoughtful, strategic and timely addition to the SC SBDC team, and this complements Commerce’s commitment to creating economic opportunities to increase choices for all South Carolinians.”
While every SC SBDC consultant offers a wealth of experience, Rios specializes in developing sales and marketing strategies, customer service, driving business demand and navigating negotiations. He is skilled in working with diverse multicultural groups and will play a key role in community outreach and earning the trust of the SC SBDC’s Hispanic partners and clients.
“Our partnership with the SC SBDC will allow us to expand our combined capacity to provide bilingual small business services in South Carolina,” said SCHCC President/Founder Evelyn Lugo. Lugo said she believes this will lead to a breakthrough for many Hispanic small business owners aspiring to take their companies to the next level.
As an entrepreneur himself, Rios knows firsthand that launching a business can be intimidating and challenging—and this is another reason he so strongly believes in the SC SBDC’s mission. He is eager to mentor ambitious clients striving to build thriving businesses and are undeterred by obstacles or setbacks. Rios is thrilled to be contributing to South Carolina’s Hispanic small business landscape.
“Personally, I strongly believe that entrepreneurs and the Hispanic community are the cornerstones for growing the economy in any country,” Rios said. “That is why I consider it a huge privilege to be responsible for inspiring, educating and uplifting Latino business owners on behalf of the SC SBDC.”
About the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC)
Twenty South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) located throughout the state’s 46 counties offer no-fee individual, confidential business consulting. Highly trained consultants assist both existing and startup companies by providing a variety of services including business plan development, fiscal and operations management, human resources, financing options, marketing strategies and much more. In addition, the SC SBDC conducts a variety of affordable educational workshops and connects clients with useful business resources. Specialized services include government contracting, exporting, technology commercialization, veterans’ business assistance, cybersecurity and minority outreach. Visit SCSBDC.com to find a center and make an appointment. Follow us at facebook.com/SCSBDC and on Twitter @SCSBDC.
About the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SCHCC):
The South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2007 at a crucial moment in the Hispanic business community’s growth, providing an organization to represent these businesses. The SCHCC’s mission is to promote the economic growth of Hispanic businesses throughout South Carolina. The Chamber accomplishes its mission by providing technical assistance, access to capital, networking opportunities, and advocacy on behalf of its members and the broader Hispanic business community.
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