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New Diversity Business Initiative coming to the city of Elkhart

ELKHART, Ind. -

 The Elkhart Chamber of Commerce is putting together a new initiative to make sure all kinds of businesses can flourish in the area.

Kyle Hannon, the president of the chamber of commerce, says it’s more than just important; it’s necessary for the overall economy of Elkhart and for the diversity of the chamber.

“I’ve been to too many meets of board members asking why we don’t have Latino representatives, well do you know anybody? Why not? Let’s start doing this now,” he said.

On Wednesday, Hannon explained the  newly developed Diversity Business Initiative, aimed to get minority business owners involved.

Everyone is kind of welcome and open to the impact of this community, but there seems to be a gap. So how do we bridge that gap?” asked Hannon.

Hannon says the Diversity Business Initiative will help bridge the gap between businesses all over the city of Elkhart. “Not just the Anglo part, not just the Latino part, not just the African-American part, let’s build all of it at the same time.”

According to Hannon, several years ago they tried to do something similar but weren’t successful. So this year, he says they decided to do things differently.

We have a few Latino businesses in the chamber already, we started with them to see how we could do this. Let’s figure out where the barriers are and try to reach them.”

That’s the main difference, asking what’s missing instead of just talking about it. “I’ve been involved in other groups saying let’s do this and this. We said, let’s ask,” said Hannon.

Jason Moreno, president of Encapsulate Consulting a new IT networking business in Elkhart, says this initiative comes at a great timing because minority business owners haven't been represented.

“That’s been something that has been of great concern because they haven’t been able to get the networking businesses that other businesses have been able to enjoy,” says Moreno. “Businesses in Elkhart are the life blood of the city of Elkhart.”

Hannon says no social issues within the minority business owners will be discussed because right now their main focus is growing businesses and building business connections.

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