WASHINGTON, DC May 10, 2010 -- More than 250 Latino entrepreneurs from across the United States and Mexico gathered at The Latino Coalition's (TLC) Economic Summit and Procurement Session, which concluded on May 5th in our nation's capital. The annual event, now a well-known item on Washington's Cinco de Mayo calendar, brought together captains of industry, congressional leaders and procurement officers from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, to connect and inform the record-setting slate of small and medium-sized Latino business owners who look to grow their enterprises through federal contracting and procurement opportunities.
A cascade of new TLC initiatives also marked the event, as the organization rolled out an expanded list of member benefits; signed new agreements with collaborating organizations and welcomed new partners and sponsors.
"It has been a banner year for The Latino Coalition, even during these challenging economic times," noted Hector V. Barreto, TLC's Chairman and Former SBA Administrator (2001-2006). "And I think it's due to the resilience and continued growth of the Latino small business community. I am proud and honored that more and more Hispanic entrepreneurs now see The Latino Coalition as their ally, advocate and go-to-source's on issues related to the welfare and growth of their business."
Among the new agreements signed at the Summit are partnerships with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Indian Trade Foundation, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Latino Leaders Magazine and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation agreement is the first such partnership between this organization and a Latino group in the foundation's history. Individual communiques will expand on the specifics of each one of these new partnerships.
Additionally, the 2010 Economic Summit secured a stellar roster of opinion leaders, elected representatives and government officials as speakers, to address and inform attendees on the most pressing issues confronting small business owners in America. Among these, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich; SBA Administrator, Karen G. Mills; U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and U.S. Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Mike Pence (R-IN) and Pete Sessions (R-TX).
Also exceeding expectations, this year's Procurement Session, which gathered more than 25 government agencies and Fortune 500 companies and secured more than 425 one-on-one appointments for Latino entrepreneurs.
As part of the Summit, The Latino Coalition also announced that its members will now enjoy an expanded and improved list of benefits, which will include a more robust offering of health insurance benefits, exclusive discounts on HP products, and significant savings on all Intuit products, among others. As a signature new benefit, TLC will offer access to small business loans, through its new lending platform with Newtek Business Services, Inc. More information on the specifics of these, and other new benefits, will be released by TLC in the near future.
Capping off the Summit was the presentation of TLC's highest recognition, the "Tributo Award" to California businessman, Castulo de la Rocha, for a lifetime of contributions to Hispanic business and the Latino community across the nation.
"I can't think of a better way to acknowledge this, our most successful summit to date, than by honoring a personal mentor and good friend, Castulo de la Rocha", Barreto noted. "His lifetime of professional achievements is notable, no doubt; but his legacy of service and devotion to Latinos in California and America, places him as a true role model for all of us."
For more information on the 2010 Economic Summit and Procurement Session, or to become a member of the Latino Coalition, visit http://www.thelatinocoalition.com