PORT ARTHUR – A Port Arthur man has created a new chamber of commerce for minorities which will be open next month to help minority businesses in the community.
President and CEO Roosevelt Petry said he wants to reach out to the minority businesses to help them network and grow in the community.
He said he feels like minorities are not getting enough representation at the current Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.
“One reason is because there is a lack of minority representation and participation,” said Petrey. “We needed this in the chamber for many years, this minority chamber is the first minority chamber in Jefferson County ever.”
Minority business owners like Phuong Tat said she thinks this will be a good idea for the community.
“We have to start to build our future for the next generation again,” said Tat.
Tat said she remembers the first time she came to Port Arthur from Vietnam several years ago. She is a a successful landlord who enjoys helping out young professionals in her free time.
One professional said she enjoys helping her friend Chi Luong who owns her own hair salon.
“She helped me a lot, when you come to the country and don’t know anybody it’s really hard,” said Luong.
With Tat’s help, she was able to open up her business and has been running the “Chi Hair Salon” for the past five years.
“When I started the business she taught me how to grow up and to keep going,” said Loung.
Tat said she thinks a new Chamber of Commerce will help business owners like Luong by teaching them how to grow their business in the community.
She said she feels like the current chamber of commerce does not focus on minorities enough.
“I don’t think they have anything to do with minority business right now because they are more concerned about the industry and refinery,” said Tat.
Petry said he wants to help minority businesses get certifications like the Minority Business Enterprise Certification and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification. He said the MBE will help certify a business’ minority status and give them the opportunity for more business.
“We want to feel like the minority businesses are included in business deals and it will give us a chance to network together,” said Petry.
Petry wants to emphasize that the Port Arthur Greater Minority Chamber of Commerce is open to anybody who wants to join.
Bill McCoy who is the president of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce said Petry has the right to create any chamber he would like to. He explains the current chamber represents their members and does not exclude any businesses from joining based on race or any other reason.
McCoy said he would also be willing to assist Petry if he needed help with the chamber.
The chamber plans on having their first meeting during the first week of July.
If you are interested in learning more about the chamber you can the office at 7980 Anchor Drive in Suite 300A in Port Arthur.
The number to the business is 409-433-0010 and their website is www.pagmcc.com