WYOMISSING, Pa. - For the first time, Republican Senator Pat Toomey sat down with Hispanic business owners in our region to address their concerns.
The meeting took place Tuesday afternoon at the Greater Reading Chamber Center for Business Excellence in Wyomissing.
Senator Toomey along with Congressman Joe Pitts covered a range of issues from immigration to the 222 corridor.
"It was Senator Pat Toomey's office who requested the time with the Latino Chamber so by that alone it shows that they're interested in at least hearing us out," said Jaime Perez, chairman of the Berks County Latino Chamber of
During the meeting, Reading City Council President Francis Acosta expressed concern over cuts in federal funding to cities like Reading.
Congressman Pitts responded "If there are programs that we can help you identify that you might be eligible for we don't have any earmarks anymore but we'll be happy to help you with aspects of securing grants of existing programs."
Senator Toomey also touched on immigration.
"For me the biggest piece is making sure we have a fair and reasonable and sensible way for people to come to this country who want to help build America," he said.
There was also talk about the 222 corridor and future plans in construction.
Even though nothing concrete came out of Tuesday's meeting, those who attended say they're pleased that the door to dialogue is open.
"I think it was really nice to be able to meet them and ask some questions that everybody in small businesses are asking," said Carolina Martinez, director of Kutztown University's Latino Business Center.
The roundtable discussion gave Toomey and Pitts suggestions to take back to Washington, D.C.
The Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce hopes to plan another similar meeting in the near future.
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