A new dedicated Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Business Committee has been launched by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce (WNYCC).

The purpose of the new group is to raise awareness of the work of the Chamber and share the benefits of membership to BAME businesses in the area.

Nasreen Karim, founder of Platinum Partnership Solicitors, and a member of the Bradford Chamber Leadership Group has been closely involved in establishing the group.  Nasreen hopes that the level of engagement between the Chamber and the BAME business community will be enhanced and that BAME business leaders will become more involved in decisions affecting them.

Nasreen said: “If the local economy is to recover and prosper it is crucial that all businesses, irrespective of background come together and work towards a common goal.”

Sandy Newham (L) Nasreen Karim (R)

“We are fortunate to have a diverse range of businesses in this region. If we help and support each other, then it will be more beneficial for the region’s economy and aid financial recovery in a very uncertain marketplace.”

“The new committee will bring together representatives from BAME business leaders and work closely with the Chamber’s Leadership Groups in Bradford, Leeds and York & North Yorkshire. It will also link up with special interest committees across West and North Yorkshire. The group will provide a stronger, more powerful voice to BAME business leaders who to date, have not had a recognised platform on which to speak on behalf of their community.  The group will also encourage more cohesion between all business communities.”

The West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce and offers support to businesses operating across Bradford, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire.

The BAME community makes up around 11% of the population of Yorkshire, rising to 20% in West Yorkshire and more than one-third in Bradford.

Chamber Chief Executive, Ms Sandy Needham, has said that she is keen to bring about change, to demonstrate the help being given to all the businesses communities in Bradford, Leeds and York & North Yorkshire.

She said: “Businesses benefit from our range of services and having a voice with decision-makers is important too. We can only influence if there is true engagement with local companies.”