SC SBDC bilingual Business Consultant Marco A. Ríos honored with Most Influential Person award at Latinos of the Upstate Awards Gala

October 12, 2023

Since early 2022 Rios has been helping the SC SBDC expand its outreach to Hispanic entrepreneurs looking to start, grow or sustain a small business in South Carolina

The Upstate’s vibrant Latino community gathered on September 15, 2023, to honor outstanding individuals at the Latinos of the Upstate Awards Gala hosted by in South Magazine. SC SBDC Business Consultant Marco A. Ríos was one of the distinguished honorees, receiving the prestigious Most Influential Person award.

Rios, born in Puebla, Mexico, moved to South Carolina in 2021. As an entrepreneur, Rios knows firsthand that launching a business can be a challenging undertaking, especially if English is not your first language.

“The SC SBDC and the SC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SCHCC) have partnered for over two years to expand bilingual outreach and services to Hispanic small businesses. Marco has been a key contributor to our progress in this community, which annually contributes millions of dollars to the state’s economy. These initiatives underpin the SC SBDC’s mission, vision and commitment to serving all clients equitably,” said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham.

The gala was organized by in South Magazine and recognized community leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers for their contributions to the Hispanic community.

“I am very happy that Marco Rios has received this recognition because many Hispanics have had his support and guidance, which has given us confidence in the entrepreneurial process,” said Natalis Suarez, owner of DecorInspire and SC SBDC client.

“Accepting the Most Influential Person award is an immense honor, one I share proudly with the entire SC SBDC team. It highlights our shared dedication to empowering the Hispanic community in their entrepreneurial endeavors,” Rios said. “Our dedication to bridging language and cultural gaps has been pivotal in establishing trust and delivering support. This award not only recognizes my dedication but also advances the SC SBDC’s mission and our partnership with the SCHCC. I extend heartfelt gratitude to all who support us in this journey.”


About the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC)

Twenty South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) located throughout the state’s 46 counties offer no-fee individual, confidential business consulting. Highly trained consultants assist both existing and startup companies by providing various services, including business plan development, fiscal and operations management, human resources, financing options, marketing strategies and much more. In addition, the SC SBDC conducts a variety of affordable educational workshops and connects clients with useful business resources. Specialized services include government contracting, exporting, technology commercialization, veterans’ business assistance, cybersecurity and minority outreach. Visit to find a center and make an appointment. Follow us at and on Twitter @SCSBDC.