WASHINGTON - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Latino Coalition (TLC) has announced a collaborative agreement which will bring more than one hundred TLC members to the 2011 America’s Small Business Summit, to be held on May 23-25, in Washington D.C. As part of this new partnership, TLC will host a new component to the U.S. Chamber’s Summit: a B2B National Procurement Matchmaking that will connect Summit attendees with procurement officers from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies to increase small business participation in future procurement opportunities.
“American small businesses and the U.S. Chamber have a strong partner in The Latino Coalition,” said Tom Collamore, senior vice president of communications and strategy and counselor to the president at the U.S. Chamber. “For our economy to grow and create jobs, the Latino community’s small business owners must be part of the solution.”
“The Latino Coalition’s national roster of Latino-owned small and medium-sized enterprises and its recognized leadership role in the areas of entrepreneurship and small business growth for U.S. Hispanics, coupled with the emerging power of this market, makes this a logical and promising partnership,” continued Collamore.
According to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2009 Small Business Procurement Scorecard, 21.9% of contract dollars, or about $97 billion, went to small businesses, falling short of the government wide goal of 23%. Only 9 of the top 24 federal agencies reported improved performance in 2009 over their 2008 figures.
“We have a real opportunity to generate growth in this arena,” added Collamore. “We’re looking forward to connecting Summit attendees with companies and agencies capable of steering major contracts to their businesses.”
As former Director of the SBA (2001-2006), TLC’s Chairman Héctor V. Barreto has devoted his professional career to the advancement and empowerment of Hispanics through the expansion of entrepreneurship opportunities for them. During his stewardship, the SBA exceeded all previous records in small business loans, women and minority owned business support, disaster relief and private-public sector procurement opportunities from a portfolio of direct, guaranteed disaster loans totaling more than $45 billion.
“We are honored and excited as we launch this groundbreaking collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” said Barreto. “Our national network of hundreds of thousands of minority-owned small and medium-sized businesses will not only benefit from the breadth of services and experience the U.S. Chamber offers, but will also add to its strength and influence throughout America.”
The 2011 America’s Small Business Summit will bring together more than 500 small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs from across the country to network, learn, and advocate for policies that support small business growth.
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 California, with offices in Washington, D.C.and Guadalajara, 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.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.