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In celebration of Connecticut's diversity, officials visit Hispanic-owned businesses in Windham

With an increasing number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the state, Bysiewicz said Willimantic/Windham is an excellent example of that entrepreneurship.

WINDHAM, Conn. — Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz visited two more local businesses on Tuesday, for Hispanic Heritage Month. 

With an increasing number of Hispanic-owned businesses in Connecticut, Bysiewicz said the Town of  Willimantic/Windham is an excellent example of that entrepreneurship.  

"It's very inspiring and exciting to see these different creative ideas for businesses," Bysiewicz said.

RELATED: Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Hartford church works to make an impact in northend community

One of the businesses was Dark Sky Tint, owned by Wilfredo Quinones. He's been in the industry for 14 years, but has had an official shop for five years.  

"We do window tint for automotive, residential and commercial," Quinones told FOX61.

Since the inception of Dark Sky Tint, Quinones said his shop has created new opportunities for him and his community. 

"I have great support, obviously because I'm the only tint shop in town,"  bashfully explained Quinones. 

He explained that having the community, city and state leaders recognize him and other Hispanic business owners have been great. 

"Not only are they showing you support because I'm not only a business owner, but I'm Hispanic; it's a great feeling," he added.

Long-time small business owner Margarita Lopez agreed.

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"Oh my god, it feels wonderful," Lopez told FOX61 with a smile on her face. 

Lopez owns the restaurant Garo's Place on Main Street in Windham, and recently opened Happy Nutrition just a few doors down from Quinones.

"It feels nice being able to help other people if they're having problems losing their weight and then exercising," Lopez explained. 

She said her newest business, Happy Nutrition, offers meal replacements and other healthy options, including free community fitness classes. However, offering their unique service in the community is top property.

Lopez and Quinines say the number one thing about being a small business owner is making an impact and never giving up.   

"Don't be afraid to fail," Quinones said.  The more you fail, the more you learn." 

"Keep going, don't give up, and encourage yourself," Lopez explained passionately. 

Bysiewicz toured multiple Hispanic bussiness in New Britain, West Haven and Willimantic throughout Hispanic Heritage Month with hopes of visiting more in New London and Norwich by the end of the month. 

RELATED: La Bodeguita de la Gente makes an impact across the greater Hartford area

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.comFollow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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