Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal visited Holyoke Friday and held a forum for Latino business leaders.
Neal talked about how much Holyoke has changed since he was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988. The Springfield Democrat says he's aware of the tensions that exist between the longstanding white population and growing Latino communities, but says there's plenty of opportunity for everyone along Main Street. Neal had an exchange with Faris Arciniega, who recently opened a children's party and play center on South Street. Arciniega expressed her frustration at how difficult it can be to keep a business going.
[Conversation between Neal and Arciniega]
After the forum most of the 30 or so business owners who attended introduced themselves to Neal. He spoke with Carlos Gonzalez, president and founder of the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce, which is based in downtown Springfield but has offices across the state.