Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
For almost 250 years chambers of commerce have been promoting and supporting businesses in their local communities. New markets and ideas of what a chamber of commerce should be have given rise to relatively new varieties of chambers. One of the most popular types of specialty chambers is the Hispanic chamber.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about the Hispanic chambers,” said Gene Jeffries, President Hispanic Chambers: Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Coppell. “Some people think Hispanic chambers only have Hispanic members or that all our members speak Spanish. When the fact is that our chambers reach out to everybody.
“We have Latino members who want to expand their markets beyond their Latino market. We have a lot of non-Latino business people who recognize that Latino populations are growing and there is a great potential in that market. They see our chamber as an excellent opportunity to grow their businesses within that market.
“More and more people are realizing that the Latino population represents an important economic force. Working with the Latino population to meet their needs while expanding a company’s market represents a benefit to everyone. Our chamber offers good opportunities not only to Latino members, but also to non-Latino members.”
The future is bright for the Coppell and Carrollton-Farmers Branch Hispanic Champers, according to Jeffries.
“Both of these chambers are under the umbrella of the tri-county Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which has 13 chambers throughout the North Dallas area,” Jeffries said.
“I see our chambers growing and becoming more popular. When I first joined the Hispanic chamber, there was moderate interest in the business community, but a lot of misconceptions about the chamber. But the Hispanic chambers are growing in importance. During every meeting, we see large companies expressing an interest in becoming involved with the chamber.
“I would encourage anyone who is curious about how the Hispanic Chamber can help their business to join us at one of our regular meetings. Our next meeting of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in on Feb. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Victoria Restaurant, 13435 Bee Street in Farmers Branch.
“Our next meeting of the Coppell Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be on Feb. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ole’s Tex-Mex Restaurant, 600 E. Sandy Lake Road in Coppell.”