Arab American Business & Professional Association

The Community Retail Association is a network of Illinois retail business owners working together to insure there is equity and inclusion on a city, state and federal level.Our mission is to organize Retail owners in Illinois to communicate as a united entity. Furthermore, advocate for our retail owners in all aspects including taking action on unjust treatment on our business owners, to organize and mobilize our members when opportunities become available.

Why CRA? 

For far too long retail owners have operated on an individual basis when dealing with matters that arise on a city, state or federal level. In most cases, business owners have been ignored or even mistreated when addressing concerns dealing with their municipalities. Why does this happen? Sadly, the majority of owners accept the outcome they have been dealt because they simply do not have the time, knowledge and resources to take action.  The Community Retail Association will represent retail owners and can communicate as a united front. The CRA will serve as the voice for Retail owners in Illinois. Our retail owners will communicate their concerns or issues they are dealing with. Our team will determine the plan of action to take. In addition, The CRA will build relationships with individuals and organizations that work in the retail sector.

How is the CRA structured?

The CRA will create a platform for its members to address any concern or conflict they are facing via online form submission or calling our CRA phone number to speak with a representative to submit a case. Once the case is submitted it will go to our committee for review.

The CRA has created an Outreach Council will be comprised of store owners from every aspect of retail including Grocery, Gas, Apparel, Beverage, Restaurants, tobacco, and communication services. Since each retail category has different needs and concerns the committee has a representative from all different areas of retail.

After careful review, the committee will determine what is the best action to take.

Consulting Businesses 

The CRA will also serve as a consultant for aspiring retail business owners. Our committee of business leaders will consult new owners with all the important steps to take  including obtaining permits, accounting, taxes, construction of store front, and marketing the business. It is our duty for CRA to help develop the next generation of small business owners!

Negotiating on goods

The CRA believes our strength is in our numbers. As our organization grows, we want to engage vendors in which CRA members purchase goods from and negotiate pricing as a single entity. This is a top priority for CRA.

What are the qualifications to join?

-You must own at least one business in the retail sector located in Illinois

-Business must be registered in the state of Illinois through the IL Secretary of State office


Cost to be a member of the CRA

-Single store membership-$600/yearly 

-2-5 stores $750/yearly 

-6-10 and up stores cost more increase-$1,000/yearly

-11 stores and up-$1,500/yearly

What’s included in membership fee?

*Serve as the advocate entity for our members

*Communicate concerns or discrepancies to officials on city, state, and federal level 

*Negotiate certain goods for a discounted price 

*Consult business owners with growing their business

*Share information about business development opportunities coming from city, state, and federal level 

*Organize members only events with key officials that have influence in the retail sector