Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA) is a non-profit organization that serves as a vehicle for the economic growth of businesses in the State of Connecticut. SAMA assists business people, particularly in the Latino community, to acquire a better understanding of economic principles through technical assistance, education and advocacy. SAMA promotes business expansion, job creation and entrepreneurship.

Today, SAMA has more than 500 members, provides programs, services and opportunities for business and personal development to thousands of entrepreneurs and others alike. SAMA has locations in Hartford, New Haven, and Willimantic.

During the last twenty-seven years, SAMA has been at the forefront of the Latino small business community in Connecticut. It has been recognized as an authority in providing a wide array of services through technical assistance, training, and loan programs. SAMA is a champion of business causes through advocacy and by generating vital research of its target population. Ultimately, its work improves the quality of services that merchants provide to their customers and benefits the business climate and the community. It offers seminars and hands on training on hot topics benefiting, confronting and affecting the profitability and vitality of business such as: deflating the impact of health care costs, best business communications systems, maximizing the use of QuickBooks, using electronic payment; marketing and merchandising your business and services. SAMA recognizes the impact of good neighborhood on the bottom line so it promotes neighborhood and commercial revitalization, by combating community deterioration & crime. SAMA hosts the SAMA’s Women’s Network; the Merchant’s Health Fair and founded the Empresario Latino Development Center.


ELDC is the premier provider for small business owners of educational resources, materials, and training in English/Spanish. The Center focuses on six key strategic areas: general management, financial management, human resources management, technology capacity, health management, and risk management.

The Center offers an array of programs, services and resources to small business:

  • Computer Training:
  • Assistance with Regulations: City, State and Federal
  • Marketing Training
  • ServSafe Food Management Certification
  • Occupational Safety and Health Certification (OSHA)
  • QuickBooks
  • Jobs Creation
  • General accounting & construction
  • Insurance Training
  • Business Financing Management
  • Business Plan Guide
  • Energy Conservation

**Winner of 2007 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award by the National
Community Development Association in Washington DC. This program introduces the basic concepts of marketing for the new and established businesses. It draws from professional & personal experiences and uses case studies as how to build long-term profitable customer relationships. The participants will work on their own business-marketing plan as well as group plan. The program culminates with a competitive presentation of the group business-marketing plan in front of a panel of judges.