Kamala Harris’ Virtual Event in Tucson Focuses on Economic Recovery

Photo courtesy of Los Jarritos Mexican Restaurant

By Alicia Barrón

September 22, 2020

“They understand the importance of our work as a Latino-owned business and acknowledge that we are part of the business community and economic strength for Arizona.”

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris spoke virtually to a group of Latino business owners in Tucson on Saturday during an event hosted by Biden for President.

One of the businesses she mentioned by name was the family-owned Los Jarritos in South Tucson. The restaurant opened on Sept. 18, 1980, making this its 40th year serving the community.

Harris said about Los Jarritos: “It’s more than a restaurant with unbelievable menudo. It’s a local club and hub for civic engagement and community empowerment.”

Los Jarritos was founded by Frances Erunez. She tells The Copper Courier via her daughter, Sandra Otero, that one of the biggest challenges during the pandemic has been balancing work with home life. 

She said it was very exciting and encouraging to hear Kamala Harris acknowledge and support the Latino community. The Biden/Harris ticket has a plan to build back a better economy. In fact, that’s what it’s called: Build Back Better

“They understand the importance of our work as a Latino-owned business and acknowledge that we are part of the business community and an economic strength for Arizona,” Erunez said. “They have a commitment to support small businesses with a plan that includes $100 billion targeted for small businesses.”

As part of Biden and Harris’s plan for small businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19, they would have 50% of the Paycheck Protection Program go to small businesses with less than 50 employees because a lot of small businesses didn’t not get the benefits offered in the last package. 

“My husband and I loved coming into the business on the weekends, but have had to stay home to keep safe. My sons and daughter have been working at the business,” Erunez explains. “We had the expense of setting up protective barriers, buying protective equipment when the demand was high and the availability of supplies was low.”

They have also had to invest in more cleaning products than usual to keep up a daily rigorous sanitizing schedule. Also, the prices increased during the early months of the pandemic because their distributors had limited supplies. Most recently, they’ve had to deal with the coin shortage. 

The Latino population is undoubtedly increasing and are an undeniable economic force. 

“Latinos are an intrical part of the economy and being a small business owner is one way that we are contributing to the economy,” Erunez said. 

That’s why she said it is critical for small businesses to get the capital they need to continue to stay in business and contribute to a vibrant economy.

Harris went on to say, “For everyone on this call, Joe and I understand that your business is your heartbeat of the community, and as part of our Build Back Better agenda, we will need to make sure that you have a president in the White House who actually sees you. Who understands your needs. Who understands the dignity of your work. And who has your back.”

“I am proud of the business we created 40 years ago and the unique recipes that keep our customers coming back through multiple generations,” Erunez explained. Their unique recipes including barbacoa and menudo are now well known to their customers. 

Kamala Harris' Virtual Event in Tucson Focuses on Economic Recovery
One of the restaurants signature dishes. Photo courtesy of Los Jarritos.

“I am humbled by the support of all my customers, community and business leaders. I have also been able to support my Tucson community by building relationships through my small business.”

As part of the Build Back Better plan, the Biden-Harris administration also promises to extend Covid-19 crisis unemployment insurance and provide a comeback package for Main Street businesses and entrepreneurs.

Learn more about this plan meant to help working families and small businesses here


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