Metromode: Ethnic chambers of commerce unite

Chambers of commerce that previously focused primarily on their own ethnic constituencies are banding together, seeing power in numbers and a savings of time and money.

The newly formed Council of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce is made up of The American Arab Chamber of Commerce, the African Business Chamber of Commerce USA, the Detroit Chinese Business Association, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of Greater Detroit, the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the African Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.

The group announced its formation this week and launched its website,www.ethnicchambers.com.

Ahmad Chebbani, chairman of the new council, says joining together will bring a wider audience to the individual chambers as they join together on events, local projects, and trade missions on a plan to promote Michigan to the world.

“We’re talking about a collective effort of a number of chambers of commerce that are all sincere about fostering economic growth,” says Chebbani, who is chairman of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce and founder, president and CEO ofOmnex Accounting & Tax Services in Dearborn.

Together there can be collaboration, elimination of redundancies, discovery of best practices – or what works and what doesn’t – and efforts made on a larger scale, he says. The council will meet regularly, he says, and perhaps most importantly learn more about how each group’s interests and cultures come in to play.

“In my discussions with other chamber leaders I’ve learned so much about their cultures. Every business has a cultural background,” he says. “If we want to be a global competitor we really have to understand these other communities.”

Source: Ahmad Chebbani, chairman, Council of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce
Writer: Kim North Shine

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