Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce is coming to Eau Claire

Ribbon cutting ceremony held for HWCC at the Eau Claire Chamber building.
Ribbon cutting ceremony held for HWCC at the Eau Claire Chamber building.(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A Wisconsin organization centered around helping economically underserved communities is opening an office in Eau Claire.

It was announced Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce will have an office space to work out of in the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce.

This will be HWCC’s third office in the state outside of its Milwaukee headquarters.

Hmong Chamber CEO Maysee Herr says the organization helps those wanting to start or grow a business.

“We know many of the business owners here, but we want to make sure that those relationships are deepened,” Herr said.

Herr says she recognizes there is a wealth gap in the country and HWCC’s mission is to help those at a financial disadvantage.

“We also understand that there’s, you know, a lot of times not our traditional banks don’t always understand the needs of our underserved communities,” Herr said. “So we provide technical assistance or business assistance to businesses, and we also provide lending opportunities and networking opportunities.”

Eau Claire Chamber president, Dave Minor said it felt like a natural fit to work with the Hmong Chamber.

“As we have been looking at EDI, diversity equity inclusion, for the last couple of years, this is a big step to be able to first meet the folks from the Hmong Chamber, but have them want and have a presence here in our building,” Minor said.

Herr says she can already tell that the Eau Claire Chamber wants to further expand its EDI impact in the community.

“What I discovered in coming here to Eau Claire and more specifically to the Eau Claire area chamber, is that those efforts were intentional and true,” Herr said. “As you can see, there’s you know, there’s signage here now that says, zoo siab txais tos, which means we’re happy to welcome you.”

Herr says even though the HWCC predominantly serves the Hmong and Asian-American/Pacific Islander communities, she adds if you have a dream, HWCC is there to help.

“Even if you’re not necessarily someone who is from a historically underserved community, but you have efforts or dreams of starting a business in those areas, we work with you as well as far as technical assistance and businesses, since we actually help anyone,” Herr said.

Herr hopes to have the Eau Claire office up and running in the next few months.

In the meantime, Herr says if you think the Hmong Chamber can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out. To learn more, click here.

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