About the Chamber. Sobre Nosotros.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee promotes the start and growth of Hispanic businesses through networking and technical assistance and also serves as a unique link between these businesses and mainstream businesses in this region.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee (HCCET) was founded in 2004 by a group of Hispanic business owners and professionals residing in the Knoxville Metropolitan Area. They recognized the enormous potential that Hispanic businesses represent in the USA today. According to the latest Survey of the Commerce Department's Census Bureau issued in 1997, the Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States totaled 1.2 million firms, employed over 1.3 million people and generated $186.3 billion in revenues. These businesses are quickly emerging as an important and distinct sector of East Tennessee's economy. This rapid growth, in turn, created the need for a new organization that would work to enhance opportunities for the success of Hispanic-owned businesses.
The Chamber was formally incorporated with the State of Tennessee in February of 2004, as a nonprofit organization. In April 2004 it was registered with the Knox County Register of Deeds. The Corporation is organized exclusively to pursue those activities normally performed by a Chamber of Commerce in accordance with Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The primary purpose of the Chamber is to promote the industrial, commercial, social and civic welfare of the Hispanic population of East Tennessee, thereby enhancing the overall East Tennessee community as a whole. The Mission Statement of the Hispanic Chamber provides a more detailed description of these objectives as indicated below.
To advocate, promote and facilitate the success of Hispanic businesses by accomplishing the following:
- Providing networking opportunities between Hispanic business owners as well as seeking strategic relationships between mainstream businesses and Hispanic-owned businesses;
- Creating a setting that fosters quality educational activities and technical assistance to Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs in a bilingual and bicultural environment;
- Monitoring legislation, policies and programs that affect Hispanic businesses and seeking ways to strengthen any of these activities that support the economic development of Hispanic firms;
- Working closely with the Hispanic community and other Hispanic organizations in order to support the advancement, education, and economic growth of the Hispanic community in general.
In October 2004, HCCET entered into a Cooperative Inter-Chamber Agreement with the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership (KACP) to learn and benefit from their experience and advance at a faster rate its goals and objectives. The KACP, on its part recognized this as an opportunity to enhance its mission of driving economic prosperity by welcoming the cultural richness that a diverse and multicultural workforce and its corporate leadership could bring to the region. In order to work more effectively, KACP has leased an office to HCCET in its new Market Square facilities, from where the main activities HCCET are being carried out.