The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 1:00 am

Greater Fort Wayne, Black Chamber sign pact

'Not a merger,' but cooperation closer

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce and Greater Fort Wayne formalized a longstanding alliance Monday.

Effective immediately the Black Chamber will be able to use Greater Fort Wayne's downtown headquarters at Suite 800, 200 E, Main St. for monthly business meetings and as its mailing address, John Urbahns, GFW president and chief executive officer, said during a news conference to sign a memo of understanding.

“It is not a merger,” Urbahns said of the relationship. Each group will maintain its own identity and membership, he said. But each group will offer members-only pricing to members of the other group, Urbahns said.

The Black Chamber will not be using GFW office space on a daily basis, as the Black Chamber currently does not have an office, he said.

Ramadan Abdul Azeez, Black Chamber president, said that group was interested in having a downtown presence as a signal that developing Black businesses is a citywide effort with support of GFW. The group's address had been on the city's southeast side.

“We already had a great working relationship,” Abdul-Azeez said of the alliance with GFW. “Not only does it free up resources for us to better serve our members, but it brings our leadership teams and members together.”

The Black Chamber has 70 members, he said. GFW has about 1,300, Urbahns said.

rsalter@jg.net


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