Multicultural Gateway

Caribbean businesses expand in the U.S.

The growth of Caribbean businesses has spread westward and in many other directions in the United States. “You never know when you might come across a Caribbean business,” says Roy A. Hastick, founder, president, and CEO of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), an organization with more than 1,500 members providing business development seminars; guidance in loan packaging; legal, accounting, and bookkeeping services; and training programs.

There are more than 30,000 Caribbean-owned small businesses in the United States, according to CACCI, and that only includes the English-speaking operations.

Ebony Marketing and Market Research is one of those businesses. Ebony Kirkland, president of the 30-employee company with revenues of $5.5 million in 2000, has clients from many different industries include DaimlerChrysler, Kmart, and Clairol. The 17-year-old marketing firm is a member of the CACCI. “We are a force to be contended with,” suggests Kirkland of her fellow Caribbean entrepreneurs.

Hastick and the CACCI, along with the state and city of New York, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Small Business Association, encourage future growth of the Caribbean business community. “I see a new trend as we move into the 21st century for Caribbean businesses,” says Hastick.

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