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Minority Chambers

SOUND: Latin Chamber of Commerce

PLASKON: The song that greets all visitors to the Latin Chamber of Commerce's web site starts out with a message of unity. Today that message will be extended to the Urban and Asian chamber's of commerce as members of all three meet for the first time. More than 750 members of the minority chambers are registered to attend a luncheon and be addressed by Nevada's Governor Kenny Guinn. Press Secretary Greg Borterlin knows what the Governor will say.

BORTERLIN: Nevada and especially Las Vegas is a very good place to be an entrepreneurial minority and the governor is going to talk a little bit about that.

PLASKON: The Governor also plans to announce that tax revenues from sales and gaming are at their highest levels since 9-11. He'll talk about education, and how the millennium scholarship has changed the environment for education of minorities in Nevada.

BORTERLIN: The quality and health of your minority population is a pretty good indicator of how sophisticated your city is and I think Las Vegas has a lot to be proud of in its minority community."

PLASKON: The Latin Chamber of Commerce has a healthy membership growth from 40 members in 1977 to nearly 13-hundred today. The Urban Chamber of Commerce has nearly 400 members, and the Asian Chamber nearly 200 members. According to Hannah Brown of the Urban Chamber the presidents of these groups have known the benefit of lunches together as they've met often to talk about access to capital and contracts from gaming.

Support comes from

BROWN: To discuss some of the progresses and frustrations we experience as minority chambers."

PLASKON: It was at one of these luncheons they came up with the idea for an event including all the members.

BROWN: If we could do something on a united front then it would probably help us gain more access and I would have to say that all three of our chambers gain tremendous support form the gaming community.

PLASKON: Despite the increased unity marked by today's first-ever luncheon that will include members of all three chambers of commerce, the Latin Chamber plans to continue bringing businesses together according to the chamber's president Elouisa Martinez.

MARTINEZ: And not only with that chamber of commerce I think later on we are going to see if we can do the same thing with the other chambers with the native Americans with the other small chambers if they want to play ball with us. I think it is exciting."

PLASKON: The luncheon of local minority businesses will take place at Balleys today. The chambers hope to maintain it as an annual event.

Ky Plaskon, News 88-9, KNPR

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