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Community Liaison Rocio Briones talks about how to support Latinx businesses

Though Seattle may seem like a highly connected city, some of our most vulnerable residents lack consistent access to computers, smart phones, and reliable internet. To amplify and understand the needs of these residents, Community Liaisons partnered with members of the City of Seattle’s Internet for All Working Group to create a series of short videos highlighting the challenges our neighbors have faced over the past year.

Rocio Arriaga Briones is a Latinx Business Educator and a City of Seattle Community Liaison serving Seattle’s Spanish speaking community. She is also the current president of South Park Merchants Association and the owner of Totally Business Triar, supporting Latinx businesses, families and communities with workshops and one-on-one consultations. For this video project, Rocio reflects the hardships faced by many small businesses during the pandemic and explores possible solutions to recover financial wellness.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?

The COVID-19 pandemic left businesses, families, and individuals without resources to get income as we were dealing with all of it. It is not only a financial issue but ​a mental health issue. I know well how difficult it is to start again as a women-owned or minority-owned business enterprise, but I want to share with everybody that TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT!!

If you could see one digital gap problem solved in the next ten years, what would it be? Dream big.

  • Affordable business marketing applications for small business owners, entrepreneurs, LGBTQ, immigrants, people of all colors.
  • Affordable PREMIUM education and trainings to learn online marketing ​tools for everybody in the USA.
  • Affordable PREMIUM support for online marketing and research for everybody in the USA.

Community Liaisons are contractors to the City who help with planning and carrying out engagement with hard-to-reach populations. The program is based on the trusted advocate model and each Community Liaison is part of the community where they support the City’s efforts. For this effort, Community Liaisons worked with a UW instructor to learn the nuts and bolts of storytelling through video and took those skills out to the communities they know to hear their stories and challenges. This work is part of the Digital Navigator Cohort Project.