GARAPAN Saipan — The Saipan Chamber of Commerce is working on trying to attract other ethnic groups into its organization. The chamber has translated its brochure to encourage Chinese Korean and Japanese businessmen in the Northern Mariana Islands to join the business group.

Christine Parke executive director of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce told the Journal that the move is part of the chamber’s continuing effort to increase membership and create a bigger voice in the community.

“We are always trying to encourage more members. We think that chamber members will benefit from their membership by keeping them up to date with what’s going on. It also benefits the chamber when it has more members —the more the members the stronger the voice ” Parke told the Journal.

The proposal to translate the membership brochures to Chinese Korean and Japanese was raised at a June 27 meeting of the Chamber’s membership committee by Kyong Won Lee special projects manager for the Saipan World Resort; and chairman of the committee.

Lee said copies of the translated version would be presented at the chamber’s general membership meeting in August.

She said the chamber has only a few Chinese Japanese and Korean members. “We are trying to invite more. We are targeting for more diversity ” she said.

According to Lee the translated brochures will come with a chamber accomplishment report to inform prospective members about the business group’s activities. 

Lee said that members of her committee have approached Korean Japanese and Chinese businesspeople to explain the benefits of being a chamber member.

These include workshops for small businesses regarding tax and labor laws training on how to run a business seminars for beach concessionaires about existing regulations and regular updates on pending legislation that affect the business community.

Other benefits include inclusion in the “discount brochures” that are handed out to personnel of visiting military vessels.

According to Parke the chamber has approximately 150 members. Annual dues vary from as low as $250 for small businesses to $2 500 for corporate members. Payments can be made on a quarterly basis to make it easier for small businesses to afford it Parke said. MBJ