Newspaper owner strives to keep community connected

Small Business

Norma Cell Marquez had a desire to ensure the Latino community was informed of current events in Nebraska. Her dream was to keep people up to date in Spanish, so no one was left out of the loop on important topics such as health, immigration, nutrition, and education.

She made that dream come true in August 2016 when she took over Buenos Dias Nebraska, an all-Spanish print and digital newspaper based in Grand Island.

“We are a family company, together we work to keep the community informed,” said Norma. “We work hard for the love of our community—we look for ways to help by providing important information that is for the benefit of all citizens.”

Since taking ownership of the publication, Norma has received financial assistance from the Center for Rural Affairs to grow her business, as she delivers the free newspaper to Omaha, Lexington, Columbus, Hastings, and around Grand Island.

Griselda Rendon, Latino loan specialist with the Center, has worked with the business owner since she purchased the newspaper.

“Norma has participated in many of our Women’s Business Center trainings, has attended several Coffee Table meetings” said Griselda. “I’ve seen her grow both professionally and personally over the years, and she is great at promoting our events and community functions within the area.”

In addition, the newspaper owner has taken advantage of Center trainings, such as basic accounting, marketing, and QuickBooks, among several others. Center staff has also provided her business counseling with finances, creating a business plan, and more.

With this knowledge in hand, Norma hopes to improve the newspaper’s digital advertising services to stay current with today’s technology.

“My experience [with the Center for Rural Affairs] has been good,” said Norma. “Griselda is very kind and is always willing to help and answer my questions, and they offer very good courses. I’m very thankful for the Center’s support.”

Norma’s knowledge as a business owner has grown, along with the size of her staff. Marquez Cell Enterprises, LLC, has expanded since acquiring Buenos Dias Nebraska. The business began with four employees, and until December 2019, Norma employed seven people. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, she currently has three employees.

Norma’s passion for her work gives her the drive to continue, even when current circumstances have made that difficult.

“I work more than 12 hours a day searching and visiting news pages and reliable information for our news sites, translating all this information in Spanish for the sole purpose that the Hispanic community is informed, designing and creating informative videos, and organizing my employees,” said Norma. “At the end of the day, I am the only one who does not have a salary. That saddens me a little, but I still stand up for the fight with the same heart and the same desire to help my community.”

And, though times are uncertain at the moment, Norma trusts they will become brighter in the future.

“My business has grown, and I plan to continue growing,” said Norma. “I am like a dreamer who walks slowly but does not take her eyes off her goal, of her dream of keeping the Latino community informed with information in Spanish. Currently, due to the pandemic, my business has stopped, but I have hope and faith in the good people who will continue to support Buenos Dias Nebraska.”

At a glance

Buenos Dias Nebraska
118 E Fourth St. Ste. 1, Grand Island NE 68801
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

First photo: Norma Cell Marquez speaks at the Center for Rural Affairs Women Latino in Business Conference in Columbus, Nebraska, in August 2019. | Photo by Kylie Kai

Second photo: Norma Cell Marquez was chosen as the Center for Rural Affairs' 2017 Latino Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year. She is pictured with her son, Oscar, at an award ceremony in Red Cloud, Nebraska, in March 2018. | Photo by Rhea Landholm