For South Florida businesses, collaboration has become so crucial to surviving in today's volatile market. Now, for the Haitian-American business owners in Broward and West Palm Beach, there is a new chamber of commerce specifically dedicated to their community.
The Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce (HAAMCC), launched just this month, seeks to empower business owners in both counties and encourage trading opportunities with other businesses in Haiti.
"Haitians have always been hard workers and have an innate entrepreneurial spirit" said Jean-
Pierre Turgot, co-founder of HAAMCC and General Manager of CA-One Services at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International airport. "We at the chamber want to help give our constituents a structure and the business tools necessary for growth."
The new chamber will first focus on educational programs providing much-needed information for new and established business owners, from relevant marketing data targeting potential customers to how to comply with local laws.
Haitian-Americans in Florida already enjoy a vibrant business community, with a number of business chambers serving the Diaspora. But, as HAAMCC co-founder Djenane St. Fleur points out, there still remains a gap in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
"In Broward County and Palm Beach, the Haitian business community is not as strong as in Miami," says St. Fleur. "What we're trying to do is to help organize the Haitian business community in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach."
"We were seizing the opportunity to open a chamber of commerce and promote awareness about trade and what would be mutually beneficial for both Haitians and the Diaspora," says Turgot.
St. Fleur also sees the new chamber as an opportunity to broaden the Haitian-American community business influence through collaboration with other chambers.
"Our wish is to partner with both the Miami-based Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of
South Florida and the Orlando-based Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce to provide the resources necessary to help grow Haitian business interests in Florida," said St. Fleur.
For the future, one particular priority for the new chamber is to strengthen business ties between Haitian businesses and those among the Diaspora.
"It kills to me to see the number of Haitians that are not working. How do you feel as a human being when you're not contributing," says Turgot. "There is a lot here that we can contribute, to the filmmaker, to the clothing maker. There is a lot that Haitians can produce for Haitians here in the U.S. to buy so we can put our brothers and sister back to work in Haiti."
For more information about the HAAMCC, the new chamber dedicated to the Haitian-American community in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, call (866) 564-4378 or email at [email protected]