Don't like to read?
Three decades have passed since a group of Hispanic leaders and business owners met in Chicago’s Little Village to create the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce to nurture and develop Hispanic businesses. The organization later changed its name, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) but not its mission:
To cultivate knowledge, connections, and collaboration to effect transformational social change and achieve sustainable economic impact through entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 caused the organization to postpone its 30th Anniversary party, so the IHCC held an anniversary gala to celebrate 30+1 years of supporting the Little Village community’s Latino businesses in
September 2021. During the festivities, organizers presented a video highlighting IHCC Chairman of the Board Juan Gaytan, Jr. and other organization members sharing their memories of the history and successes of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The IHCC proudly boasts being the largest community of Hispanic business owners and professionals across Illinois and the Midwest.
John Trainor, CEO of Kreativa Inc., contends the IHCC is Hispanic business owners’ best ally. “IHCC’s dedicated staff has helped us network with potential customers, facilitated meetings with investors, guided us through the minority certification process, among others,” Trainor adds. Kreativa owes much of its success as a startup to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, he strongly encourages other Hispanic entrepreneurs to become members and reap the benefits.
During a recent interview with Ramiro Gonzalez, he spoke of the chamber’s alliances with CC’s Little Village Boys and Girls Club, the local chapter of the Latino AFL-CIO, and the Institute of Mexicans Living Abroad, among others. The institute works to ensure that Mexican citizens living in the United States are allowed to participate in the political structure of their native country, which is one of the many ways the IHCC supports its community members and Latino business owners.
Over the years, the Little Village-based Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has built a solid foundation upon which the Latino business owners, entrepreneurs, and the community can depend. In 2020, the organization provided nearly 15,000 hours of counseling, hosted 445 events, assisted 10,880 members and clients, as well as assisted businesses to gain access to the Cook County COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Website and Facebook page
Interview: Ramiro Gonzalez; Oct. 13, 2021, via Zoom
Featured, Top, and First Inset Images Courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Terence Faircloth’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License