One of the core missions of the MAHCC is to advocate for the economic development of its dues-paying members. Connecting businesses to opportunities and resources is a key function of the Chamber.
The MAHCC has a distinguished record of serving women, veterans, and minorities in creating and growing their businesses. Moreover, the largest buyer of products and services in the mid-Atlantic region is the Federal government and our members are increasingly participating in this marketplace.
The Great Recession had a devastating impact on minority-owned businesses and the communities they serve. Despite that, women, veterans, and minority entrepreneurs are opening new businesses at a rate that surpasses other better established communities. Numerous studies show that women across all races and ethnic origins are opening more businesses than ever before. The same is true for African-American and Hispanic males, with the latter surpassing all racial and ethnic groups in new business formation.
The MAHCC is often consulted by large corporation on how to penetrate and market to minority communities and with jurisdictions interested in increasing minority participation in local economic development. And, as more Fortune 500 companies see the diversification of suppliers as being critical to their operations, the MAHCC works to engage, organize and support its minority businesses.
In today's global marketplace where science and technology often drives economic development, the MAHCC has strategically oriented itself to meet an emerging need for specialized talent by developing programs that focus on meeting those needs through STEM initiatives. The MAHCC actively recruits, connects and mentors members who have small or new companies centered on science, engineering, and technology-based products and services.
The MAHCC teams with city, county and state economic-development agencies; county, state and national chambers; and local and regional financial institutions to help develop economic strategies that benefit its members.
An important additional factor for local and regional economic growth is the ability for members to trade abroad. Although some MAHCC members are already marketing their products and services to Latin America, Europe and the Middle and Far East, the primary emphasis has been to encourage trade with Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Iberian Peninsula. The MAHCC has actively and successfully advocated before the US Congress for the creation of trade agreements in Mexico, Central America, the Dominican Republic and South American countries.
Additionally, the MAHCC advocates for organizations such as the Export-Import bank, the World Bank, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Commerce, and the Minority Business Development Agency. Trade activities are monitored by the chamber's international trade committee.