Strength in numbers: understanding your neighbors will help you grow your business.

Author:Loepp, Daniel J.
 
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The recent successes in Lansing by Michigan's business community to abolish a service tax and reverse a state policy that barred legal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses are a testament to what can be accomplished when we speak with one voice. The Detroit Regional Chamber's strong relationship with nine other organizations--long dubbed our Diversity Partners--remains critical to our ability to present a unified agenda for the business community.

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These are just two examples of how the Chamber and its diversity partners worked together for the common good. The Chamber has a long history of working with these organizations, beginning nine years ago when we began partnership with organizations representing the rich cultural and ethnic mosaic that is one of the Detroit Region's greatest strengths. We simply understood that there was strength in numbers.

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In this issue of the Detroiter, we have taken the opportunity to reintroduce you to each of our Diversity Partners. They shared what is important to their members and community, and in their answers, you will recognize our commonality. Together we can improve the economic vitality of Southeast Michigan. As we unite under one voice whether it is around an issue or electing a candidate to office--we increase our impact and strengthen our message.

Wallace Tsuha

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce As told by Denise Yee

What challenges doe the Asian American community face?

Before APACC was formed, its founders felt a need for a structured support system for Asian businesses in the Detroit Region. At the time, the Asian American business community didn't have a network or many resources available, and that was one of the biggest challenges they were facing. Today, the Asian American community faces the same challenges as any business here in Michigan does-they are feeling the effects of the challenges Michigan is facing in terms of economic growth. Because of that, many of our members have embraced the global marketplace and expanded their businesses in Asia and India.

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What should Chamber members know about doing business with the Asian American community?

APACC has a strong network to help Chamber members expand their client base-we provide a forum client base-we provide a forum for networking, mentoring and consultation for businesses. We have partnerships with other Asian business organizations in the area to promote interactions, and we can also serve as a resource for members who want to go overseas. We're currently working a new portal on our Web site that will features welcome packages for business that are interested in expanding globally or for overseas companies looking to expand in Michigan.

Fouad Ashkar

American Arab Chamber of Commerce

What challenges does the Arab American community face?

After 9/00, things changed for Arab Americans. Civil liberties were...

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