In preparing for this article I reviewed the definition of commerce: an interchange of goods or commodities, especially on a large scale between different countries (foreign commerce) or between different parts of the same country (domestic commerce),trade, business.
There are also the intangible benefits that commerce brings that help businesses and communities thrive. These benefits are social relations, especially the exchange of views, attitudes and intellectual or spiritual interchange, what many would call “community.” The simple act of interchange can produce great value.
Domestic commerce is where a chamber resides. Our primary role is to support and promote business development and community. When I decided to launch my own business, I visited and engaged with the different chambers. I appreciated learning what their focus was and how it aligned with my business goals. All chambers add value and are committed to their mission—to support their members. A chamber has its personality and it is those intangible qualities that can make the experience of being part of one invaluable. Any organization or entrepreneur wishing to grow should join a chamber—find what works for you and engage!
In foreign commerce, Southern Arizona is uniquely positioned. Our proximity to Mexico allows businesses to cross border lines, making it easier to do business with someone in Sonora than it might be with someone in New York. Through the benefits of technology, we can do and explore business opportunities anywhere.
It is also important to note that research indicates Mexico consumes 40 to 90 percent of Arizona’s exports in key categories such as electronics, aerospace, mining, plastics, paper and agricultural sectors. This adds value to our businesses and community, while providing the additional benefits of exchange, collaboration, and the forging of new relationships.
Reflecting on the benefits of domestic and international commerce, we are excitedly preparing for the Hispanic Market Outlook in partnership with Telemundo, Wells Fargo, JW Marriott Starr Pass, and other business partners and sponsors. This will mark the seventh year of presenting the Hispanic Market Outlook report in Southern Arizona on Sept. 5 at noon. In Tucson, Hispanics comprise approximately 37 percent of the population with a projected purchasing power of $50 billion in Arizona. In addition to our many attendees from the local and outlying areas, we are excited to welcome to this year’s event businesses from Sonora, Mexico. These business owners will participate in the luncheon, business expo, and will culminate with an evening mixer to take advantage of the intangible benefits of networking and sharing perspectives across border lines.
We will bookend our events in September with our eighth annual Head Over Heels Women’s Business Conference, a great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. We look forward to bringing women together from all industries and organizations for a day at the Desert Diamond Casino at Sahuarita in partnership with Wells Fargo, Comcast, Aetna and all our other gracious sponsors.
Hispanic women are the fastest growing entrepreneur community in the nation. Join us on Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. for a day with women who are influencing, innovating and inspiring our community.
We are committed to creating forums that will allow us to build community and promote business growth in our region.
Isabel Georgelos is the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chamber Administrator.