The Dekalb Chamber of Commerce (DCC) is breaking away from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce to pursue county-specific global business development.

          All DCC membership functions were previously married with those of the Metro chamber, Dedra Autra, president of the DCC, told GlobalFax. Now, the DCC wants to pursue its own initiatives for international trade and business development, she said.

          “We hope to link small business people to global trade and business opportunities via Web site introductions and face-to-face meetings,” said Keith Melton, the chamber’s vice president for development. “In addition, we’re working to redevelop the Buford Highway corridor to highlight the diverse businesses there.”

DeKalb is starting a pilot global trade initiative called Transatlantic Interprise Ventures (TIV) to help small and medium companies make contacts in new markets in Europe and Canada through virtual introductions to potential partners, an e-commerce marketplace and an annual trade show.

The DCC is also developing the International Village District, the Buford Highway area in north DeKalb County, which is a growing center of commerce for recent immigrants. This corridor has more than 700 immigrant-owned businesses and is the Southeast’s largest concentration of ethnic restaurants, groceries and service businesses.

“Since the Metro chamber represents 20 counties, its initiatives have a regional focus,” said the metro chamber’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, Laura Kane. “We are not abandoning anything, and we will continue to work closely with DeKalb,” she said.

The DeKalb chamber was under the purview of the Metro Atlanta chamber for five years. The metro chamber will continue to supply some funding to the DeKalb chamber over the next three years.

The South Fulton Chamber of Commerce is also splitting from the Metro chamber.

Contact Mr. Melton at (404) 378-8000 or Contact Ms. Kane at (404) 586-8474. Visit and