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New state Black chamber of commerce to enhance collaboration, opportunity

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A newly formed Greater Indiana Black Chamber of Commerce will bring together local chambers from around the state to better share resources and information, as well as increase opportunities for business owners.

The chamber alliance will initially include Indianapolis, Muncie, Anderson, Marion and Evansville, though the goal is to continue to expand after its launch by joining with existing chambers or helping establish new ones.

The official launch will be 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Noblesville, 13700 Conference Center Drive South. Tickets are $55. Visit the event page at eventbrite.com or call 317-384-7356 to purchase tickets and learn more.

What: Greater Indiana Black Chamber of Commerce launch
When: 6 p.m. Nov. 20
Where: Embassy Suites by Hilton in Noblesville, 13700 Conference Center Drive South
Cost: $55 per ticket
Information:
Visit the event page at eventbrite.com or call 317-384-7356 to purchase tickets.

Anita Williams, board chair of the Indy Black Chamber of Commerce, said Indiana has been “kind of territorial,” and there hasn’t been enough collaboration among local Black chambers of commerce when it comes to economic development and empowerment.

“We need to believe in ourselves and start making the changes that we want to see,” she said. “We have enough resources available in our communities to do it. We just have to encourage one another.”

Williams said the Greater Indiana Black Chamber of Commerce will have a legislative agenda, though likely not in time for the 2022 session.

The idea for a statewide Black chamber of commerce started about four years ago, according to Indy Black Chamber of Commerce Director Larry Williams, who will also be vice president of the state Black chamber of commerce.

One benefit to a statewide collaboration, Williams said, is a Black business owner in Indianapolis who wants to expand to another city could have an easier time doing that because of relationships that have already been established.

“We feel like we’re stronger together,” he said.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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