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Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Addresses Community Diversity, Strengthening Local Businesses

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

As with any Chamber of Commerce, the one in Grand Prairie works to promote local businesses and organizations and provides a network of communication within and between those businesses/organizations and customers. They do this through their four pillars of interest: engagement, diversity, workforce development and strategic partnerships.

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce serves a community comprised of largely minority groups (mainly Hispanic but also African American and Asian) where there are different challenges to address. Language barriers, economics and business size all play significant roles in how the Chamber functions and represents its over 500 members. Its pillars of interest work towards promoting businesses and creating bonds that bring these many businesses together to help each other.

Grand Prairie's Dragon Boat Festival

Standing tall, the four pillars address community business engagement, even developing an after-hours social at a local restaurant and revitalizing downtown activities. Workforce development is done through the Grand Prairie Independent School District that gives students career pathways for later internships prior to high school graduation. Strong relationships with city, school district, and state representatives allows business community expansion.

The Chamber voices "business-related issues and concerns to legislation" to take into account its memberships' diverse needs. For instance, Director of Operations Alex Sprinkles explains, "A larger business may want to show community support through event sponsorships, where as a small business who doesn't have a large advertising budget may benefit more from the website business listing and networking meetings."

Taste of Gran Prairie

The Chamber of Commerce raises funds by memberships dues and fundraising events, such as the seasonal Pictures with Santa. The Golf Tournament in May is pure fundraising and networking where, Sprinkles tells us, "the golfers get to connect with fellow colleagues or potential clients and have a day away from the office." Business owners gain visibility to customers and other businesses that could use or refer your business by joining the Chamber.

Membership benefits include its many monthly and annual events and networking functions and mailing labels of Chamber members to promote yourself. As part of membership, get Hot Deals discounts, ribbon-cutting ceremony for your new business, conference room rental once a month, job postings, listing on the Chamber website and more helpful perks.

The Grand Prairie Chamber also help others. School scholarship fundraisers are a big part of their strategy to improve business and government relationships within the community. The Dragon Boat festival and CTE Scholarship Luncheon both raise money for student scholarships and the Chamber. Partnering with the school district, "the Chamber organizes a live and silent auction to raise money," says Sprinkles.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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