Expanding The Power of U.S. Latinos

2009 News & Articles

  • 07/12/2017 11:05 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    The grassroots Latino advertising publication El Clasificado was awarded ten Jose© Marta­ awards for publishing excellence at the 25th annual National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) convention, hosted March 12-14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Of the ten, six were top Gold honors for El Clasificado, including Outstanding Circulation Program and Outstanding Classified Section, both of which the company has eight previous gold wins. A seventh gold award was bestowed on El Clasificado’s Al Borde.com for its weekly e-newsletter.

    Particularly significant for El Clasificado was the gold award it received for Percent Increase in Ad Dollars, which was 8% for the 2009 calendar year. Despite the economic slump in a time when ad revenues have plummeted, El Clasificado was still able to grow, not by raising rates, but through aggressive geographic expansion in print and online, stated Joe Badame, Chief Operations Officer and co-founder of El Clasificado.

    El Clasificado penetrated Coachella, the High Desert, and Bakersfield in 2009 alone through print, and it now offers a local version of El Clasificado.com to all major Hispanic markets in the U.S. and Latin America. Now with over 300,000 online monthly visitors going to El Clasificado.com and more than 1.5 million weekly readers picking up El Clasificado, we have created a significant marketplace for advertisers who want to connect with U. S. Hispanic consumers, assessed Mr. Badame.

    To facilitate navigation for media buyers choosing a buyer persona to target from the many print and digital products El Clasificado offers, EC Hispanic Media (www.echispanicmedia.com) –another gold award recipient– was created, and it clearly defines and showcases all the distinct brands in the Hispanic Marketplace: Su Socio de Negocios and Pacos List for small business owners, Quinceanera.com for young Latinas, Al Borde.com for trend setting young Latinos, Salud y Niños for Hispanic families and of course El Clasificado for the overall Hispanic market.

    Were committed to providing the grassroots Latino market with a quality product that works for them, and were working harder than ever to achieve this. Recognitions like that of the NAHP are excellent motivators for which we and the entire El Clasificado team are very grateful,â?? stated El Clasificado CEO, Martha de la Torre.

    The Jose Marti Publishing Awards are presented by the NAHP, Inc., a nonprofit, non-partisan trade advocacy organization representing the leading Spanish language publications in the U.S., including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Jose© Marta­ Publishing Awards are the largest Hispanic Media awards in the United States, with over 90 print categories and 800+ entries received for articles, photos, digital platforms and publications as a whole.

    El Clasificado is a multi-media print, online and grassroots event marketing solutions company that connects buyers and sellers in the Hispanic community through its niche-oriented websites and brands. A verified publication with a weekly circulation of 400,000, El Clasificado print reaches more than 1.5 million Latinos and is distributed in more than 200 cities in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Diego and Kern Counties.

    For a complete list of awards, please contact Mart­a Elena Aguilar (323) 837-4094 meaguilar@elclasificado.com.

  • 09/30/2009 11:04 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, DC, September 30, 2009 As one of the nation’s leading Hispanic small business advocates, The Latino Coalition is concerned with a recent attempt by some corporations to pass industry costs on to consumers. Specifically, these corporate entities are seeking to shift credit card use costs on to consumers and other businesses. While small businesses that accept credit and debit cards benefit from more sales, lower costs and greater profits, it is inappropriate for one industry segment to seek government intervention at the detriment of another.

    Government intervention in the free market invariably brings unintended consequences. If the government artificially reduces interchange fees or merchant fees, cardholders will inevitably be subject to higher credit card costs and reduced benefits. This will not only harm consumers, but also affect more than 2 million Hispanic small businesses owners that use credit cards to run their business.

    Preserving the benefits that electronic payments provide small businesses and consumers should not be overlooked, and the Latino Coalition does not support measures that seek to shift costs to our small business members and their customers.

    About The Latino Coalition

    The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization based in Irvine, CA, with offices in Washington, DC and Mexico. TLC was established to address policy issues that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States. TLC’s agenda is to develop initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance overall business, economic and social development of Latinos.

    For more information, please visit www.TheLatinoCoalition.com

    Media:

    Gustavo A. Bujanda

    gbujanda@theaxisagency.com

    214-244-6440

    Latino Coalition:

    Allen Gutierrez

    agutierrez@thelatinocoalition.com

    949-546-0476

  • 09/14/2009 11:00 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Washington, DC — A federal commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of the American Latino met for the first time on September 18 and 19, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

    The bi-partisan Congressional Act that created the commission was signed into law by President Bush and held its first meetings under President Obama. The Commission consists of 23 members appointed by the President and the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The Commission will study the potential of a national museum in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the art, culture, and history of the Latino Community in the United States. A report outlining a plan for the museum is to be submitted to Congress and the White House within two years of the first meeting of the Commission.

    The White House appointees include: Dr. Gilberto Cardenas of Indiana, Emilio Estefan of Florida, Dr. Jose B. Fernandez of Florida, Andrs Lopez of Puerto Rico, Cindy Peña of Colorado, Abigail M. Pollack of Florida, and Cid Wilson of New Jersey. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed Moctesuma Esparza of California, Carlos Ezeta of Nevada, Susan Gonzales of California, and Dr. Emma Sepúlveda of Nevada.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed Dame Sandy Colan Peltyn of Nevada, Ellie Lopez-Bowlan of Nevada, Dr. Eduardo J. Padran of Florida, and Sean D. Reyes of Utah. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Luis R. Cancel of California, Lorraine Garcia-Nakata of California, Eva Longoria Parker of Texas, and Henry R. Muñoz III of Texas. House Minority Leader John Boehner appointed Nelson Albareda of Florida, Rosa J. Correa of Connecticut, Dr. Aida Levitan of Florida; and Danny Vargas of Virginia.

    Members were chosen for the Commission based on qualifications in museum administration, expertise in fundraising, experience in public service, and demonstrated commitment to the research, study or promotion of American Latino life, art, history, or culture.

    Congressman Xavier Becerra of California authored the bill and introduced it in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado, who now serves as Secretary of the Interior, presented it in the U.S. Senate. The bill was co-sponsored by Republicans and Democrats in both chambers and was signed into law in May 2008.

    Secretary Salazar, speaking about the first meeting of the Commission, stated, The National Museum of the American Latino Commission is a select group of Americans that have been called upon to provide a plan for a national museum that preserves and shares a vital part of our nations heritage for the benefit of all people interested in the richness of the American experience.

    -NMALC–

    News Release

    For Immediate Release- September 14, 2009

    Contact: Dennis Vasquez, Program Manager

    202-286-4949

    dennis_vasquez@nps.gov

  • 08/12/2009 10:57 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    AT&T plays an active role in the communities that we serve. In addition to providing communication and entertainment services, AT&T works to improve community development, support education and increase access to vital technology. We would like to keep you informed about our public service efforts and our work on issues we think will be of interest to you. In this issue, we would like to highlight the recent release of our 2008 Citizenship and Sustainability Report, new developments in our broadband efforts, recently released research from the AT&T Foundation as well as some updates about our community involvement initiatives.

    If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us at partners@attnews.us.

    AT&T Invests More Than $865 Million to Strengthen Communities

    AT&T recently released its 2008 Citizenship and Sustainability Report, Connecting for a Sustainable Future. The report spotlights more than $865 million in multi-year investments for important education, environmental and volunteerism programs to help strengthen communities, stimulate economic growth and ensure America’s global competitiveness.

    Click here:

    http://www.att.com/gen/corporate-citizenship?pid=13878

    to view a full version of Connecting for a Sustainable Future or its executive summary.

    Despite a down economy,

    AT&T accelerated its social and environmental investments over the past year. Key initiatives highlighted in this years report include:

    Education and Workforce Readiness: In 2008, AT&T launched AT&T Aspire, a $100 million multi-year education initiative to help stem the United States high school dropout crisis. The program, one of the largest corporate commitments ever to address high school success and workforce readiness, supports four primary components: grants to schools and nonprofits, dropout prevention summits organized by America’s Promise Alliance, dropout prevention research and a companywide job shadowing program.

    Community Volunteerism: In 2008, AT&T employees and retirees volunteered 10.3 million hours of their time, worth more than $200 million, to improve communities where they live and work. For example, during this years National Day of Service, AT&T partnered with the Communications Workers of America to support Share Our Strengths efforts to address childhood hunger by collecting and delivering more than 50,000 pounds of food to local area food banks in 39 metropolitan areas.

    A Cleaner Fleet: Earlier this year, AT&T announced plans to invest up to $565 million to roll out more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. This means removing approximately 211,000 metric tons of emissions from communities where the fleet operates, which is equivalent to removing approximately 38,000 passenger cars from the road for a year.

    The investments we make in our people, the network, communities and the environment can bring prosperity, growth and opportunity to workers, families and businesses. Investing in high-tech jobs, faster wireless and wired networks and important education programs will help stimulate both economic and job growth.

    AT&T Sets Goal of 100 Percent Broadband Availability and Adoption by 2014

    As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) works to establish a national broadband plan, we believe that every proposal coming before the commission should be filtered through one simple but critical lens: how will it get us to 100 percent broadband. That is why we have recommended that the country move aggressively to ensure broadband access for and enable broadband adoption by 100 percent of Americans by 2014. It is the hope that by establishing this aggressive goal we can also stimulate job creation and economic recovery through infrastructure upgrades. This goal will also help the United States achieve important societal goals, including energy independence and better healthcare delivery.

    To do that successfully, the government must promote and balance a few principles. The plan must: be universal, so that it must be available and affordable to customers everywhere; be open and allow consumers to exchange ideas and communicate freely; respect privacy, so that consumers are in control of how, when and by whom their private information is used and be safe, so that networks and services are protected from harm and consumers are secure when they go online.

    For more information on the 100 percent broadband goal and to see an outline of principles AT&T suggested addressing in their FCC filing, please read the press release here. For the complete FCC filing, please click here.

    AT&T Releases New Study Revealing Educators’ Views on the Nation’s High School Dropout Crisis

    AT&T, in association with Civic Enterprises, Peter D. Hart Research and Americas Promise Alliance, recently released a new study. On the Front Lines of Schools, revealing educators perspectives on the high school dropout crisis. Nearly one-third of all U.S. public high school students fail to graduate each year.

    The research follows two other seminal education studies: “The Silent Epidemic,” which focused on the dropout perspective, and “One Dream, Two Realities,” which focused on the parent perspective. This new study rounds out the reports, which together represent key voices in the dropout debate.

    Expectation Gap

    In “The Silent Epidemic,” two-thirds of dropouts said they would have worked harder if more had been demanded of them in the classroom. However, this latest study revealed that educators did not share that view. In fact, 75 percent of teachers and 66 percent of principals did not believe students at risk of dropping out would have worked harder if more were demanded of them.

    “This expectations gap between students and teachers which our research shows is very real may be one of the most important barriers to closing the achievement gap,” said John Bridgeland, president and CEO, Civic Enterprises, LLC.

    Why Students Dropout

    Teachers and principals recognize that most students that fail to graduate were capable of doing so, but failed to complete high school for a variety of reasons ranging from a lack of support at home and academic preparation to chronic absenteeism and the press of real life events. Sixty-one percent of teachers and 45 percent of principals felt a lack of support at home was a factor in most cases of students dropping out.

    Previous research has shown that nearly one-half of dropouts interviewed said they left school because they found it uninteresting and did not see the relevance of school to real life. The new study revealed that 42 percent of teachers questioned this claim, however half of all teachers and nearly seven in 10 principals felt these former students were speaking to an important cause.

    What Could Help Students Stay in School

    Practitioners express strong support for reforms such as early warning systems, parent engagement strategies, rigorous alternative learning communities, expanded college-level learning opportunities and connecting classroom learning with real world experiences. However, to be successful, all students should be expected to meet high academic standards and graduate fully prepared for college or the workforce.

    “What is really compelling is how the report reveals the vastly different perspectives between teachers and students. “On the Front Lines of Schools” can surely help inform public policy surrounding this issue by highlighting these differences in attitude, and the critical need to bring these groups together,” said Bob Wise from the Alliance for Excellent Education.

    What AT&T is Doing

    AT&T is taking significant steps to help bring these groups together. The Aspire program is underwriting follow-up research, including face-to-face focus groups, to help facilitate and address communication gaps among teachers, parents and students, as well as online dialogues with practitioners and other education experts facilitated through Education Week.

    “We were very pleased to fund this groundbreaking research initiative as part of our AT&T Aspire high school success program, and we are heartened by the response of the education community, which views the findings as critical for charting the course towards increased high school graduation rates,” said Laura Sanford, president of the AT&T Foundation.

    Press Release, AT&T Releases New Study Revealing Educators’ Views on the Nation’s High School Dropout Crisis, June 4, 2009.

    AT&T Offers Tools and Tips for Keeping Kids Safe

    School is out, meaning much more free time for children. Kids all over the nation will be going online to access their favorite Web sites, texting and calling their friends on their cell phones and even channel surfing while mom and dad are at work. With the summer months upon us, AT&T is reminding parents about the tools we have developed to help parents keep their children safe and to empower children to take better control of their own safety.

    For example, AT&T Smart Limits is a suite of parental control tools designed to address parents’ safety concerns. With features ranging from content controls to channel blockers, these services help you establish sensible boundaries around the technology children use on a daily basis, including cell phones, television, home phones and the Internet.

    To aid in promoting safe practices, we have assembled a comprehensive selection of consumer safety information for each of our services wireless and wireline voice services, high speed Internet access and video options. This information can be found at: www.att.com/safety.

    We have also worked with other companies and organizations iKeepSafe, D.A.R.E. and Symantec to announce the results of a recent study that demonstrates the effectiveness of an innovative educational program that we launched last year to provide children with the knowledge and tools to respond to a cyberbullying situation. The curriculum is taught to children in grades five and six during the school year by D.A.R.E. officers in classrooms throughout the country. Students are taught how to identify cyberbullying and about steps they can take to prevent and combat it. Students learn to protect their privacy and reach out for help if they or friends become victims of cyberbullying. To date, approximately 3,200 officers have been trained to provide the instruction. The study found that the program has been effective with students in preventing cyberbullying.

    _________________

    *AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

  • 07/23/2009 10:54 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, DC, July 23, 2009– The Latino Coalition (TLC) today joins the growing number of civic, business and public policy organizations including elected representatives of his own political party- who have vigorously questioned the scope, cost and proposed implementation of President Barack Obama's endorsed Health Care Reform Bill, H.R. 3200, currently being debated in Congress. Amid the flurry of concerns raised by such an expansive piece of legislation redirecting approximately 1/6 of our national economy and adding a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated 1 trillion ($1,042 billion) dollars to the existing Budget Deficit over the next decade TLCs, Hector V. Barreto, today reiterated the many serious misgivings expressed by Americas Hispanic small business owner community.

    “Much has been said about the gigantic promise made by this legislation to bring healthcare coverage to virtually all of the roughly 42 million individuals in America who today lack it. But our empathy for these individuals would be woefully misplaced if the solution proposed to address their plight places an impossible burden on the back bone of our economy, that is, America’s small and medium-size business owners,” Barreto declared.

    Heralded by supporters as the closest possible legislation to achieve the long awaited goal of universal coverage for all Americans, the 1,017-page Bill is being quickly moved through review by Members of the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives over the strong objections of Blue Dog Democrats, those who represent moderate or conservative leaning and Republican legislators. Barreto echoes these misgivings and urges extreme due diligence on this landmark legislation. Elected officials would be doing their constituents a great disservice if they continue on a path of rushing H.R. 3200 through Congress, not only because of its gigantic scope, but also because of the present state of our economy. With national unemployment at virtually 10 percent, depressed consumption and production, and negative economic growth, this is not the time to be fanciful or to play politics with our diminished tax base.

    Barreto additionally expressed rejection of any proposed legislation that would contain these provisions to ostensibly address our nation Health Care coverage and cost structure problems:

    • Health care rationing to covered individuals
    • Diminished quality of care, or so called cost- benefit care, to patients
    • Universal coverage achieved through unpaid costs or through tax increases that impact our nation’s small business owners
    • Health Care Reform achieved at the cost of trillions of dollars that future generations will have to pay

    Finally, Barreto expressed his sincere hope that legislators will rise to meet the challenge of these times in a bipartisan, but responsible manner. It’s too important to ignore any longer, but even more important to address in an engaged and accountable way.

    About The Latino Coalition

    The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization based in Irvine, CA, with offices in Washington, DC and Mexico. TLC was established to address policy issues that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States. TLC’s agenda is to develop initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance overall business, economic and social development of Latinos. For more information, please visit www.thelatinocoalition.com.

  • 06/18/2009 10:51 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Hispanic BIC Provides Free Bilingual Business Information To Help Hispanic Entrepreneurs Start or Grow a Business

    New York City Mayor Bloomberg Names Hispanic BIC Web Site Integral Part of City’s Five Hispanic Business Initiatives

    NEW YORK (CapitalWirePR) June 18, 2009 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced New York City is implementing five initiatives to aid Hispanic business owners and help strengthen the city’s economy. He announced the initiatives at a press conference June 17, 2009 at the Audubon Partnership for Economic Development. The five initiatives are:

    Promoting the National Hispanic Business Information Clearinghouse, a free bilingual business resource web site, www.hispanicbic.org

    NYC Business Solutions Financing Fair

    A New NYC Business Solutions Satellite Office in Washington Heights

    Greater Access to Pro Bono Legal Assistance

    Seminar to Inform Hispanic Businesses about Services from City Agencies

    “Strengthening and providing the tools businesses need in order to thrive are crucial to our Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan for spurring New York’s recovery from the national economic recession,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “New York has led the nation in the rate of growth for Hispanic-owned businesses, and it’s important to our economy to help even more of these businesses succeed.”

    New York City has one of the largest and most diverse Hispanic markets in the country, with numerous U.S.-born Hispanic entrepreneurs as well as many first-generation immigrant businesses owned by people from all over Latin America.

    “The Hispanic BIC is uniquely situated to assist this growing business community as we provide critical business resources to facilitate strong businesses, economic development and job creation,” said Sal Gomez, Chairman and Founder of the Hispanic BIC. “We’re proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Linares and Commissioner Walsh to be one of the five Hispanic Business Initiatives that will help build a strong Hispanic business community in New York City.”

    “There are over 200,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in New York City and their success is important to the Hispanic community and the economic revitalization of New York City and our country,” said Hispanic BIC President Michael Barrera. “We look forward to working with city agencies, non-profits and Hispanic leaders to promote all five initiatives including a discussion of the initiatives at a Hispanic Business Forum scheduled August 6 at Casa Puebla in New York City.”

    The National Hispanic Business Information Clearinghouse (Hispanic BIC) is a non-profit organization that provides a free, bilingual web site featuring critical information on MONEY, MARKETS, MANAGEMENT, TECHNOLOGY and PROCUREMENT to support the creation and growth of Hispanic-owned businesses. The Hispanic BIC website offers business-related articles, training videos, local city resources, demographic information, a small-business search engine and other tools to help Hispanic entrepreneurs achieve the American dream of owning a successful business.

    The Hispanic BIC is supported by founding sponsors, Western Union and the U.S. Department of Labor, and two platinum sponsors, Microsoft and U.S. Army.

  • 05/22/2009 10:46 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON Small businesses seeking to expand will be able to refinance existing loans used to purchase real estate and other fixed assets as a result of permanent changes to the U.S. Small Business Administrations 504 Certified Development Company loan program. The changes were authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    The permanent changes will allow small businesses to restructure eligible debt to help improve their cash flow which, in turn, will enhance their viability and support growth and job creation. The 504 loan program can be used to purchase business real estate or fixed assets, such as heavy equipment or machinery, and expand current development projects.

    This is one more piece of the Recovery Act that is going to have a direct impact and put more money in the hands of small business owners just when they need it most, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said. Lower interest rates mean lower payments and less money going out the door each month in debt repayments. That means more cash on hand to keep their doors open, their employees working and to even expand and create more jobs.

    Mills pointed out that the 504 programs refinancing changes are the latest in several Recovery Act provisions that have been implemented by the SBA in recent weeks. On March 16, the agency temporarily raised to 90 percent the guarantee level on many of its 7(a) program loans and reduced fees on both 7(a) and 504 loans, and also doubled to $5 million the surety bond guarantee level for small businesses competing for construction and service contracts.

    Additionally, on June 15, SBA ARC loans became available for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship.

    All of these steps, along with other Recovery Act provisions, are aimed at increasing access to capital and giving small businesses just what they need to help lead our nation’s economic recovery, Mills said.

    The 504 loan program is administered through 271 Certified Development Companies across the nation. SBA today began implementation of the changes by publishing them as a permanent rule in the Federal Register.

    The changes announced today include:

    Debt Refinancing: Legislation allows 504 program projects to include a limited amount of debt refinancing if there is a business expansion and the debt refinanced does not exceed 50 percent of the projected cost of the expansion. Expansion includes any project that involves the acquisition, construction or improvement of land, building or equipment for use by the small business. The following are some of the conditions under which borrowers will be eligible for refinancing:

    The debt being refinanced was incurred to acquire land, to construct a building or to purchase equipment. The assets acquired must be eligible for financing under the 504 program.

    The existing debt is collateralized by fixed assets.

    The existing debt was incurred for the benefit of the small business.

    The new financing provides a substantial benefit to the borrower when prepayment penalties, financing fees, and other financing costs are taken into account.

    The borrower has been current on all payments of existing debt for one year prior to the date of refinancing.

    For more information on the 504 loan program and eligibility requirements, go to www.recovery.gov or www.sba.gov/recovery.

    You can receive all of the SBAs News Releases via email.

    To subscribe, visit http://web.sba.gov/list and select Press Office

    Contact: David J. Hall (202) 205-6697

    Release Number: 09-44

    Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

  • 05/19/2009 10:18 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Ioana Sherman's Music School Strikes the Right Chord:

    Wins $25,000 Grant to Grow Business

    Summary: Ioana Sherman of Chapel Hill, N.C., wins the $25,000 grand prize in Intuit Small Business United Grant Competition. Four runners-up each win a $10,000 business grant. All winners also receive $2,500 in Intuit products and services.

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.  June 4, 2009 Ioana Sherman always had a passion or music. As a 10-year-old, she begged her mom for a clarinet so she could join the school band. Now, 19 years later, she plans to transform a home into a music school for children using a $25,000 grant as the grand prize winner of Intuit Inc. Small Business United Grant Competition. Ioana, whose name is pronounced E-wanna, will also receive $2,500 in Intuit products and services, such as the best-selling QuickBooks® financial software, to help her fulfill her dream of sharing her gift of music.

    Born in Bucharest, Romania, and immigrating to the United States with her parents at the age of three, Ioana family had no money for music lessons. But somehow, her family got her that clarinet. Later, a family friend donated a piano. With her grandmother encouragement, she taught herself to play and a career was born, even if she didn't know it at the time.

    In college, Ioan taught music to earn money for tuition while earning her bachelors and masters degrees in music education and musicology. After graduation, she continued giving lessons while looking for that real job when she made a discovery.

    I finally realized I was living my passion and I had a real job this whole time,Ioana says. Combining her passion with her business savvy, she opened Ioanas Music Lessons in Chapel Hill, N.C. With more than a decade of experience, I'm ready to move forward and create a musical haven for children and adults alike.

    Ioana's story was one of the nearly 2,000 submitted for the Small Business United Grant Competition. She was among 50 finalists who each received a $5,000 grant and were invited to create videos telling their personal business stories. Judges selected the grand prize and runner-up winners based on quality, creativity and public ratings.

    Four runner-up winners will each receive a $10,000 business grant, plus $2,500 in Intuit products and services to support their growing businesses. They include:

    Melissa Baswell, Mountains of the Moon (Chicago): a sustainable design and apparel organization aimed at creating chic, high-quality eco-friendly clothing.

    Jana Chang, Haute Fan Couture (St. Augustine, Fla.): a designer of custom created gameday dresses, made to order in ones favorite sport teams colors.

    Dina DiNucci, Park Place Coffee and Crepes (Gresham, Ore.): a coffee and crepe restaurant that's all about community.

    Cathy Henry, Peter Henry, and Josh Henry, J-Dig Cards (Dallas): a greeting card manufacturer whose cards combine pop culture, sharp humor and unpredictable word plays that appeal to both sexes and all age groups.

    The Small Business United Grant Competition brought the small business community together to share stories, give and receive advice, and inspire each other, said Kiran Patel, executive vice president and general manager of Intuits small business group. Ioana's passion, talent, and hard work sets a great example for the rest of the small business community. Shes a classic example of the American dream. We congratulate her and thank all of the businesses who shared their stories.

    The competition is part of Intuitâ??s Small Business United initiative, launched earlier this year to give Americaâ??s 27 million small businesses a boost. More than 1 million people have visited the Small Business United Web site to seek advice from their peers and to take advantage of the campaignâ??s other offerings, which include free Intuit products, services and resources.

    Quick links:

    View Ioana Shermans video: http://community.intuit.com/contests/bsCKCOy68qllvkab8P4pmk

    View Melissa Baswells video: http://community.intuit.com/contests/dBMIJmwrqqllvkab8P4pmk

    View Jana Changs video: http://community.intuit.com/contests/c9qV_kluSr3QVhacfA8pyY

    View Dina DiNuccis video: http://community.intuit.com/contests/daZOM4A8mqllvkab8P4pmk

    View Cathy, Peter and Josh Henrys video: http://community.intuit.com/contests/cwJyAcE0Kqllvkab8P4pmk

    About Intuit Small Business United Campaign

    Intuits Small Business United campaign is designed to bring America’s entrepreneurs together and to fuel their growth by providing free products, services and resources that help them attract customers, save money and make money. Visit www.smallbusinessunited.com for more information about the initiative and information on how to redeem free business tools and products from Intuit.

    About Intuit Inc.

    Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax® software, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit’s leading tax preparation software suites for professional accountants. The company’s financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.

    Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $3.1 billion in its fiscal year 2008. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.

    Intuit and the Intuit logo, among others, are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries.

  • 05/14/2009 10:15 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    A STRONGER SMALL BUSINESS SECTOR, FOCUS OF ECONOMIC SUMMIT

    The Latino Coalition Praised by Small Business Owners for National Business Matchmaking Program

    WASHINGTON, DC May 14, 2009-The setting resembled a speed dating event. Dozens of numbered tables in a hotel ballroom, with seated men and women eagerly waiting to meet a counterpart, as a line of well groomed suitors formed outside, anticipating their turn. But at last week’s Latino Coalition’s annual Economic Summit and Business Matchmaking event in our nation’s capital, romance was hardly in the air.

    What procurement officers for some of the nation’s largest government agencies and Fortune 500 companies -and the more than 250 small business owners present from across the nation- expected was a match of a different sort. A match that would help expedite the transfer of the more than 80 billion dollars in government contracts that federal agencies and the private sector assign to small businesses (those with 20 or less employees) every year.

    For the last 2 years, The Latino Coalition (TLC), under the leadership of its Chairman and former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Hector V. Barreto, has been at the forefront of ensuring that economic opportunity flows quickly and equitably to small business owners, and most especially, to Minority Owned Enterprises (MOEs). “I am gratified by our turnout: more than 30 federal agencies, more than 250 small businesses and billions of dollars in opportunities that will help small businesses, as they’ve always done, bring us out of this downturn and restore health to our economy,” said Barreto.

    Also announced at the summit were key partnerships and programs aimed at equipping small businesses with resources for their success:

    – Signed a strategic partnership with SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide.

    – Signed a strategic partnership with Women Impacting Public Policy, a national bi-partisan public policy organization that advocates for and on behalf of women and minorities in business in the legislative processes of our nation.

    Announced new relationship with following firms that will offer competitive pricing in the area of Healthcare and financial services:

    o Empyrean Insurance Services, which distributes, administers and supports leading health insurance and benefit programs for employers and associations.

    o Newtek Business Services, which provides access to the leading commercial insurance carriers in the country in addition to placing all lines of commercial insurance, including commercial property, casualty, auto, umbrella, professional liability and workers compensation, among others for all industries and company sizes.

    The Latino Coalition also announced the launch of a new initiative entitled “Exito,” an ongoing, multi channel direct marketing outreach program targeting over 1 million Hispanic owned small businesses nationwide. Exito focuses on “just in time” marketing and starts with the freshest data available and the quickest turnaround for initial communication with the audience. The program mails weekly to ensure your message reaches the target audience at that critical time when they are more likely to purchase your products or services.

    The matchmaking event was preceded by morning sessions, where attending small business owners listened to panels of experts discuss some of the most important issues facing small business in this economy: the cost of employee healthcare and international growth opportunities for small enterprises, among them. At the luncheon session, another key issue was highlighted by U.S. Senator John Thune, who, in his keynote address alerted a packed ballroom on the impact that passage of the so called ‘Card Check’ legislation would have on small business. “The cost you would have to bear would be too great, and your prospects adversely affected, if this legislation passed,” Thune noted.

    To the small business owners in attendance, the event proved to be an ideal forum for professional networking, quick assessment of issues impacting their sector and, most importantly, a face-to-face opportunity for new business growth. Alex Fortunati, a small business owner of Support Services of America, Inc. company in Los Angeles, CA, summarized it best: “As a small business owner, I need to be informed of the issues impacting me and I need to know the legislators who are working on my behalf; but, most importantly, I need the opportunities to earn contracts. The Latino Coalition has the mix right.”

    For more information on the new partnerships or Exito program, please visit www.thelatinocoalition.com, or contact Allen Gutierrez at 949-546-0476.

    About The Latino Coalition

    The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization based in Irvine, CA, with offices in Washington, DC and Mexico. TLC was established to address policy issues that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States. TLC’s agenda is to develop initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance overall business, economic and social development of Latinos. For more information, please visit www.thelatinocoalition.com.

    Media: Melissa Alvarez Latino Coalition: Allen Gutierrez

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    A STRONGER SMALL BUSINESS SECTOR, FOCUS OF ECONOMIC SUMMIT

    The Latino Coalition Praised by Small Business Owners for National Business Matchmaking Program

  • 04/15/2009 10:08 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Preparations in High Gear for Stations Going All-Digital This Week

    FCC Seeks to Protect Access to Analog News and Emergency Information Washington, D.C. With 421 television stations still planning to terminate analog broadcasts on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission, broadcasters and others are working overtime to prepare consumers for the digital transition and to try to ensure that consumers who arena ready for the switch will continue to have access to vital television news and emergency information.

    Of the nation's nearly 1,800 full-power televisions stations, 220 will have terminated their analog signals before Tuesday and another 421 will terminate their analog signals on Tuesday before 11:59 pm, for a total of 641 stations, or about 36% of all full-power stations nationwide. The FCC has dispatched staffers to 72 markets across the nation where the impact is expected to be the greatest, while broadcasters who are shutting down analog signals intensify efforts to notify and educate the public.

    This is not just about whether people can watch their favorite reality show,â?? said Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps. It's about whether consumers have access to vital emergency alerts, weather, news and public affairs.

    Finding that the public was not ready for the transition to digital television, Congress earlier this month delayed the deadline for termination of analog signals from February 17 to June 12. But Congress also directed the FCC to give broadcasters the flexibility to make the transition early, including on the original February 17 date.

    The FCC is seeking to ensure that even where all or most stations in a market are terminating analog service, consumers who are unprepared for the switch will continue to have access to critical local news and emergency information. To accomplish this, the FCC examined each market in which stations planned to end analog service to try to ensure that at least one affiliate of the four major networks ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC would continue broadcasting in analog after February 17. Many had such a station, but in those instances in which there would be no top-four affiliate remaining in a market, the FCC attempted to ensure that analog local news and emergency information would remain available generally through what is being called a enhanced analog nightlight a service. Under a enhanced analog nightlight,a the top-four affiliates must keep at least one analog signal on the air to provide programming that includes, at a minimum, local news and emergency information.

    We are trying to make the best of a difficult situation, Copps said. While this staggered transition is confusing and disruptive for some consumers, the confusion and disruption would have been far worse had we gone ahead with a nationwide transition on Tuesday.

    Remember where we were little more than a week ago, Copps explained. We potentially had all 1,800 full-power stations seeking to terminate analog service on February 17. Then the major network owned-and-operated stations, along with some of the major group owners, stepped up and declared that they would keep their analog signals on the air. Those decisions undoubtedly had a restraining effect on the other stations in their markets. Of the stations that told us they still planned to terminate on February 17, we identified 106 stations in 41 markets as being particularly problematic. Within the last few days, 43 of those stations reconsidered their decision and will stay on the air with analog service. That reduced the number of problematic markets from 41 to 20. With respect to those remaining markets, we have attempted to ensure that analog viewers continue to have access to local news and vital emergency information. I recount these numbers not to minimize the potential consumer disruption that is about to occur, but to recognize that the scope is far less than it might have been.

    While FCC staffers have conducted DTV outreach in every television market in the country, this week they will specifically target 72 markets where one or more of the top-four network affiliates are dropping analog broadcasts. In the coming days, staff will visit stores in those key markets to assess the availability of digital converter boxes, distribute key â??how toâ?? information for consumers making the switch, and assist in DTV walk-in centers where consumers can get hands-on transition assistance. Outreach continues to be targeted to consumers most at risk: senior citizens, low income families, people living in rural and tribal areas, non-English speakers, and the disabled.

    The FCC has also boosted staffing in consumer call centers, providing 2,506 information specialists to answer consumer questions about the transition and an additional 1,759 agents through industry partners. All calls will be routed through a single number, 1-888-CALLFCC, and agents will have the ability to refer callers to local contacts for information regarding particular reception issues.

    The Commission has also provided new web resources to help consumers address digital reception problems. Information and a DTV reception map that allow consumers to check reception at their own homes are available at http://www.dtv.gov/fixreception.html.

    Broadcasters continue to have the most critical role in educating their viewers about the transition. In addition to extensive on-air efforts, many local stations have engineers and employees devoting significant time to helping individual viewers resolve their transition problems.

    We applaud broadcasters who have worked with us and who have worked together as we scramble to best serve the public under this new law, Copps added. We also applaud broadcasters who are continuing to provide analog service through June 12, which is the surest way to make sure that viewers have time to prepare. And we applaud our FCC volunteers who have had to be away from their homes and families for extended periods in order to make this transition as smooth as possible for their fellow citizens, Copps said.

    Attached is a complete list of all full-power stations, with those making the transition on or before February 17 in bold type.

    -FCC-

    News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found

    on the Commission's web site www.fcc.gov.’

    NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:

    Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253

    Email: mark.wigfield@fcc.gov

    Edie Herman, 202-418-2035

    Email: edie.herman@fcc.gov

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