The current update of the strategic plan provides an overall framework for action during a five-year span (January 2011 – December 2015). The plan was developed over a nine-month period in 2010 using the following guiding principles:
- Focus. Emphasize Chamber’s sustainability and growth, particularly in the present economic environment;
- Local and regional shared interests. Advocate for economic, workforce and community development; the strengthening of science, technology; education, mathematics and management; regional improvements on public and private transportation including roads and rail; environment including the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay; air and water quality improvement; and, emergency preparedness;
- Theme. Plan should reflect our interest in preserving regional, national and global leadership;
- Clarity. The plan should be easy to understand, clear on its goals, and accountable in terms of providing to the Board of Directors, Board of Advisors and members a progress report once a year;
- Inclusivity and Transparency. Ensure that a variety of voices are heard in the process, including those of leadership, advisors, staff, members, corporate sponsors, economic development agencies, volunteers and community partners; and,
- Relevancy. It should reflect Chamber vision, mission and values as well as the desired direction of leadership.
The plan’s development process included the following steps:
- Information gathering (April – June 2010)
- Identification of areas of emphasis (July and August 2010)
- Draft Development - Draft development (September and October 2010)
- Board of Directors Review of Draft Plan (November 2010)
- Board of Directors Final Approval (December 2010)
The information gathering process encompassed the opinions of the Board of Directors and the Board of Advisors, Economic development agencies, regular members and corporate sponsors. The staff, consultants, volunteers, members and business and community partners reviewed historical data. Best practices from local, state and national business organizations were also examined. Overall, more than 200 pieces of data were gathered and hundreds of pages of information reviewed during the information gathering process.
Collectively, the various stakeholders believed the Chamber should:
- Continue to go forward in its quest to become one of the best minority business organization in the Mid-Atlantic region;
- Build on current momentum while at the same time increasing focus and inclusivity;
- Continue to be a catalyst, as well as a connector that collaborates with other business and community organizations and government agencies;
- Emphasize the recruiting of larger-sized Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses as members to achieve a better balance in membership, but never at the expense of start-up and small-sized businesses.
Stakeholders felt that there was a feeling of strong positive momentum at the Chamber. They believe that in the next five years the Chamber would become a stronger catalyst on important issues to business, be inclusive on a variety of levels and better document the collaborative role the organization plays.
As a result of these efforts nine goals has been established for the next five years:
- Grow a diverse membership by providing exceptional value and service;
- Establish a Procurement Opportunities and Training Center to help our members succeed in the contracting sector;
- Serve as a catalyst for business development in the Mid-Atlantic Region;
- Develop leaders and articulate the Chamber’s leadership and collaborative role in accomplishing goals;
- Advocate and actively contribute to excellence in public education and in the preparation of the region's future workforce;
- Operate the Chamber with excellence, innovation and efficiency;
- Advocate to improve the global competitiveness of the Mid-Atlantic Region;
- Assist small-business growth and development and,
- Collaborate with organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and enviromental government agencies towards the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and the improvement of air quality in the region.
To be knowledgeable, strong and influential leaders in advocating the needs, concerns and aspirations of small, woman, disabled veteran and minority-owned businesses in the Nation's Capital and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
As a regional organization, the Chamber intends to unify and strengthen small businesses in the Mid-Atlantic Region by:
- Promoting economic development in general, and helping members start, grow, finance and manage their businesses;
- Expanding training opportunities for present and future entrepreneurs;
- Advocating for increased workforce development in business, science and technology;
- Providing successful networking opportunities;
- Providing personalized, high-value services to our members in order to reduce entry barriers that hinder new business formation and to increase access to new markets here and abroad;
- Facilitating access to capital to start new businesses or to expand existing ones; and,
- Advancing the overall socio-economic and political interests of the Hispanic community.
The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will anticipate and/or listen to the needs of its membership, and will seek to influence the political, economic, cultural, educational, and regulatory environment necessary to ensure that Hispanic businesses have every opportunity to succeed and that Hispanic youth and adult entrepreneurs have every opportunity to prepare themselves for a successful and productive professional life and/or a career in business.
We value and love our Nation, our state, our communities, and our members’ entrepreneurial spirit, love for family and community, work ethics and unique heritage.
To be recognized as the leading voice representing the interests, aspirations, and advancement of small businesses in general and minority, women and veteran-owned businesses in particular, in the Nation's Capital and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
“To build the membership, organizational infrastructure, political influence and financial sustainability of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.” Board of Directors
Corporate Gorvernance – The Chamber is committed to the highest standard of corporate governance practice at both the Board of Directors and Executive Management, s reflected in our By-laws and our Code of Ethics, and by conducting business in accordance with the highest legal, ethical and moral standards.
Members – We cherish the recruitment, advancement, and retention of our member companies, and the active participation of the entities and persons that support them.
Communications – We listen to our members, our community, our government, and we speak to our common interests and shared values.
Services – We provide visible, tangible and real-world business benefits to our members through our innovative services, products and programs .
Business climate – We believe in:
- A business-friendly environment that encourages entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system;
- An environment that supports fair and equal access to government procurement and to business-to-business transactions (supply diversity);
- Access to our elected officials in order to petition for the implementation of laws that facilitate the economic development of small businesses and the economic empowerment of the entire community;
- An efficient and effective government infrastructure that promotes commerce, research and development, and economic, workforce and community development; and,
- Reasonable regulatory and taxation policies that furthers the establishment, development, and retention of successful Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses.
Goverment – We view government, at all levels, to be a partner for progress with Hispanic and other minority businesses.
Quality of life – We seek safe and attractive neighborhoods, accessible public transportation, a sound public education where students begin a path of life-long learning and solid citizenship, decent and affordable housing, and a clean environment in the Mid-Atlantic States and the Chesapeake Bay we all share.
Education – We stand for a quality public education, striving for a 100% graduation rate and earning a college education or a trade as the minimum standard necessary to prepare our children to be the next generation of successful business leaders.
Diversity and inclusiveness – We celebrate our ethnic, cultural, racial, gender, religious, and language differences, and we honor and respect the richness and diversity of mankind; and, for that reason, we will oppose any measure or activity that degrades the dignity and right of a person to lawfully earn a living or to be an equal participant in community, civic or government life according to personal interests and abilities.
Change – We embrace change as a prerequisite for the advancement of the Hispanic business community and we seek to promote it in a manner that ensures the constitutional right of every American to achieve the diverse manifestations of the American Dream.
Ethics – We are members of the National Character Counts! Coalition and the Better Business Bureau. As such, we must be and are a transparent, accountable and ethical organization. There is never a justifiable reason to compromise the integrity of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, our businesses, or our own personal ethics as Chamber officers or members.
Community Investment – We are a nonprofit organization that must be managed as a business and, at the same time, it must serve the public interest. Being good neighbors is of paramount importance to the Chamber and its members. The Chamber will continue to expand programs youth programs, summer concerts, community fairs, relief efforts, etc. throughout its service area in partnership with such organizations like Boy Scouts, American Red Cross, Hearts & Homes, etc..
Short -Term Objectives
- Research and publish a document on “Hispanics and Hispanic Businesses– A Profile of the Hispanic Community in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Region”;
- Establish quarterly high-level discussions with public officials at the local, state and federal levels;
- Enhance relationships with the US Small Business Administration and other economic development agencies at the city, county and state levels;
- Establish a formal process to respond publicly and adroitly to business-related issues impacting on women, veterans, and minority communities;
- Work with the US Congress, particularly with Congressional Delegation in the Mid-Atlantic States, the White House, the US Chamber of Commerce, the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and state chambers in our area of service to advocate for an equitable and comprehensive immigration reform; and,
- Advocate before local and state legislative bodies legislation that ensures fair participation of all businesses in government procurement and in laws that enable Hispanic and other minority communities to advance socially, economically andeducationally.
- Sponsor value-added chamber events to generate new business opportunities for members
- Expand business education seminars and workshops;
- Team up with financial institutions to create and disseminate throughout the Hispanic community economic and personal financial information in order to economically empower them; and,
- Help Hispanic entrepreneurs obtain required licenses so that they may operate their businesses within the framework of the formal economy.
Local, State and Federal Procurement
- Register Members into Minority Procurement Databases at the local, state and federal levels.
- Conduct 8(a), DBE/MBE, and Hub Zone certification Seminars and workshops taught by successful government procurement experts who “have been there, done that” and assist member companies to become certified; and,
- Collaborate with government agencies to provide government procurement forecasts.
- Strengthen relationships with existing strategic partners such as the Better Business Bureau, the Small Business Administration, Maryland Business and Economic Development Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and,
- Develop meaningful and productive partnerships with local and state Chambers of Commerce and with technology associations.
Leadership, Infrastructure, and Financial Development
- Identify, recruit, and hire a full-time Office Manager and additional support staff ; and,
- Expand and continue to diversify the Board of Directors through the diligent work of the Nominating Committee.
- Develop high-quality brochures and related material to promote membership recruitment and Chamber programs and services;
- Develop a “Membership Card” program to allow members to participate in special business-to-business discounts;
- Increase paid membership by at least 20%;
- Develop an interactive, next-generation Hispanic Business and implement an aggressive marketing campaign to increase brand recognition of the portal in order to make it the preferred online site for Hispanic business; and,
- Increase the number of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Corporate Members by at least 30%.
- Hispanic Business Leadership Summit;
- Annual Business Gala Banquet and Awards;
- Annual State Legislative Business Reception;
- Business Education and Networking Conferences; and Job fairs to bring together local Hispanic workforce and prospective employees.