“For the kids, we do afterschool programs, but for adults, we do special classes for that business, like real estate, doctors and nurses, firefighters, human resources or product manufacturing,” said Dora Ariza Shepro, who owns the company and heads the Hispanic Business Committee at the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event. The savory smells of carne asada and roasting corn wafted outside the center, with several restaurants set up in a food court sponsored by Tresierras Market, a longtime Newhall anchor now expanding into a larger store about a mile south of its current San Fernando Road location. Absent from the gathering were representatives of Vallarta, the supermarket chain that aroused controversy when it announced plans to move into a space vacated by Albertsons at the corner of Lyons Avenue and Orchard Village Road. “For a first time, we’re happy with the turnout,” said Larry Mankin, chamber president “It’s a first effort to bridge the gap between Anglo and Hispanic business people and consumers. Of the 1,700 members of the chamber, at least 80 of them are Hispanic businesses and growing all the time.” firstname.lastname@example.org (661)257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The usual vendors – mortgage brokers, health care providers, insurance agents – made sure their handout materials were available in both English and Spanish in hopes of attracting the fastest-expanding segment of the area’s population. According to demographic figures from the city of Santa Clarita, the city’s population was 25.53 percent Hispanic in 2004. Many Latino businesses are located in downtown Newhall, in an area currently being redeveloped as part of the city’s master plan. “As a community agent, I’m here to help those uninsured and underserved,” said Elsa Haro Rapp, an agent for Blue Cross of California. “We think it’s important that people get health care in their language of choice and want to let them know we recognize their identification cards from Mexico. It can be scary for them – wanting insurance but worried that we’re going to ask about their legal status while they’re figuring out their need. We want them to be confident that we’re not going to ask about that.” At Scott Moon’s booth, Dynamite Insurance was conducting a drawing for a new bicycle. He echoed Rapp’s sentiments about Hispanic residents. “We’ve been in Newhall for a long time and want to let people know what they need and why they need it,” he said. One of the edgier businesses was Spanish Made Friendly, a language-tutoring program tailored to special industries. NEWHALL – As folklorico dancers in bright colors twirled Saturday morning on an outdoor stage, Carmen Russo discussed the finer points of tea with a mother pushing a stroller. “I’m looking for exposure because I’m opening a teahouse in Saugus,” she said as the woman took a cookie from an elegant china plate at her booth at the Hispanic Business Expo. “I do kids’ tea parties and can come into someone’s home to serve as well.” “She also does quince eras,” assistant Frances Carney added, referring to a coming-of-age ceremony celebrated on Latino girls’ 15th birthdays. Tea-making was the most unusual business represented at the first-ever marketing fair, held in the new community center next to the Newhall Metrolink station on Market Street. By midday, about 200 people had come to see what the balloons and music were all about.