Local Latino businesses on two ends of the spectrum during COVID-19

UI7 Live’s Acacia Hernández reports on what it was like for “La Michoacana,” a Mexican ice cream shop, to open during a pandemic, and how this pandemic has changed things for “El Progreso,” an 8-year-old Latin grocery store.

By Acacia Hernández

Throughout the pandemic, the Pew Research Center has released studies on how COVID-19 is affecting ethnic groups in the U.S. differently. Latinos included in that have been one of the ethnic groups hit the hardest.

According to one of their studies released in May, almost 60% of Latinos said they live in households that have experienced job losses or pay cuts due to the coronavirus outbreak, with a far lower share of U.S. adults (43%) saying the same. 

“La Michoacana,” a Mexican ice cream shop in Urbana, opened their doors in June of this year, being the first of the chain to do so in Central Illinois.

They had been attempting to open for about two years and had been continuously denied by the Urbana City Government when the pandemic hit.

Adela Rodriguez, a co-owner of the business alongside her husband, said they have received frequent visitors after many had been waiting for its opening ever since the opening sign was posted eight months ago.