Eric Diaz is a commercial real estate and finance lawyer dedicated to getting the deal done, and devoted to bridging the gap which separates Latino entrepreneurs and small businesses from the information they need to succeed. Diaz’s practice includes commercial real estate acquisition, disposition, leasing, and debt and equity finance. He provides direct, practical solutions to accomplish business goals by bringing experience and a network of professionals developed over 20 years to get the deal done.
What makes the Philadelphia Latino community unique?
It is saddled with an information gap and often a language barrier. These two strikes before they even get up to bat fester into implicit bias and institutionalized discrimination, working harder and longer for less, and intergenerational poverty. Yet, we stand strong in the face of adversity. Drawn together by common culture, cuisine, and language, working with advocates such as the Hispanic Chamber and LareDiaz, we are a cohesive force politically, civilly, and economically.
What more do you think could be done to support the Latino community in Philadelphia?
We have to close the information gap and make our informed Latino voices heard. Building an ecosystem to support Latino small businesses and entrepreneurs is key. We need to inspire the larger business community to lift up Latino efforts to start or scale a business, purchase or lease property, and obtain financing. We need to educate and motivate lawmakers to ensure Latino interests in understandable, fairly enforced regulations, and safety from crime as a priority.
If you were taking someone on a tour of your neighborhood, what would be your first stop?
I would wander the streets of West Philly, being open to where the universe pulled us. Depending on the time and day, that could be Clarke Park, the Farmer’s Market at Clarke Park, or one of the many locally owned restaurant/bar/coffee shop establishments to mingle in the medley of diversity that is the hallmark of the neighborhood.
Do you have any local Latino heroes you look up to?
I look up to Reverend Luis Cortes and Jennifer Rodriguez. Jennifer’s rare combination of fierce, effective advocacy and managerial efficiency as president/CEO of the Hispanic Chamber is an inspiration. I see Cortes’ vision to meet the needs of the Latino community nationally. His success in creating Latino opportunity communities for 30 years, towards finalizing a replicable model, is an inspiration as LareDiaz aspires to create a legal network serving Latinos nationwide.