By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — A new business organization aims to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses in the region’s Arab community.
The Greater Rockford Arab Chamber of Commerce announced its formation this week. Chamber President Mustafa Abdall said bringing the group together has been 10 years in the making.
He said there are potentially 688 Arab-American-owned businesses in Winnebago County that the chamber could support. But the goal is to connect with people no matter their ethnicity by working with organizations such as the the Rockford Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Rockford Black Chamber of Commerce and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
“In a community as big as Rockford, we want to be part of the we,” Abdall said. “We cannot be successful if I am I and you are you. If we work as we then we can make it happen.”
Abdall, who is executive director of the Solutions Business Center and a partner in the downtown restaurant Guzel, is part of the founding 10 members of the board. The only woman representing the organization so far is Amina Hussein, who will lead the chamber’s outreach efforts as outreach chairperson.
“We look forward to collaborating with the city, county, chamber of commerce, and other business partners to drive progress and prosperity,” Abdall said in a news release. “Through strategic alliances, we aim to address challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and create a lasting impact on our communities. Together, let’s shape a brighter future.”
The chamber is based inside the Solutions Business Center, 4437 E. State St., and it can be found on Facebook here.