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April 2009

In This Issue‌

5 Cover Story: BBA/Greenlinging Meet Finanical Leaders 7 SBA and Economic Recovery 9 L.A. Black Business Expo & Trade Show 10 Port Upgrade Means Jobs 24 Making Your Business More Efficient 41 Travel to Brazil

Pres. Obama Has His... You Get Yours! Black Business News


Now On Sale! A commemorative limited-edition magazine, unlike any other special tribute issued to recognize the election of Barack H. Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America, has been published by the Black Business Association.

To order your copy, call the BBA office at (323) 291-9334 or email to:

Hurry! Buy Your Copy Today - Quantities are limited!

President’s Message Earl “Skip” Cooper, II President/Chief Executive Officer

The First 100 Days -- Authentic Brilliance


ur present economic indicators of labor and trade show the number of Californians collecting state unemployment benefits has climbed another 93,000 people reaching 6.14 million more than double the level in the prior year. The shipment of goods by the United Parcel Service (UPS) reported its’ first quarter revenue for 2009 was down 13.7 percent at $10.9 billion. These indicators make it apparent how it has been a long time since we have depended so much on an incoming U.S. President to make an immediate and long-term impact on our well being. The Black Business Association (BBA) supports the President as a premiere small business advocate for product and service trade at every level of economics from the national defense contacting to retail sales. Accordingly, the BBA members are extremely prepared to meet prospective supply demand challenges, and see the first 100 days of President Obama’s administration as steering us in the right direction. President Obama’s performance is brilliant, demonstrating a high integrity of leadership that is seemingly contagious to his economic managers who are becoming more strong, ethical and empathetic to making a positive change on how to engage small business enterprise. Renewable and alternative energy production of any kind resides as the most significant business of our future, where President Barack Obama recently created a stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that contains about $50 billion in tax credits, loan guarantees and other incentives designed to help renew-

able producers as the economy turns around. Promulgated by the brilliance of President Obama is how our State of California recently sold $6.85 billion in bonds, including $5.2 billion in Recovery Act-backed bonds, where 5,000+ projects will be restarted within the state. The BBA’s trade mission and advocacy in Sacramento will help small businesses benefit from these projects that cover the gamut of highway transportation, school construction, environmental, park projects, stem cell related projects, various housing programs, support clean air (engine retrofits and clean port projects), wastewater treatments projects, improvements to drinking water infrastructure, children’s hospitals, public safety, library grant projects, and additional needs for High Speed Rail. (See for listing) We applaud the state for reactivating their responsibilities through the Obama Administration’s brilliance as we go through the most hampered recessionary period since the early eighties of the last century. BBA members accept this period as a mere economic impediment, planning to emerge from these difficult times more efficient as finely-honed enterprises. Black suppliers are retooling as better global trade partners emphasizing green technologies, taking on the role as integral resources to meet the foreseeable economic surge of business expansion. As in some important manner I helped in shaping the black power economic movement, and going forward I pledge to promote the green power economic movement. In view of that, BBA mem-

bers extend their wholehearted support to all renewable energy and other green innovation projects to compete on the local and international stage with an equal footing. There is no excuse as we have longed awaited this massive change in public and private contracting awards and bid opportunities. The BBA does not want to see a repeat of the black divide or digital divide eras, only to enter an era of the green divide. Therefore, make the one your favorite sites for reviewing green contracting and bid opportunities. Also, we look forward to hearing about your plans and knowing more about what you think the BBA should do better to engage small business enterprises in the greening of America. You can reach me at To greater inclusion.

2009 Events June •Annual Awards Dinner TBD •Trade Mission to Washington, DC September •Black Busines Day Conference & Luncheon October •Utilities Procurement Exchange Summit & Awards Luncheon • Call for information •

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Over 35 years of service Founded 1970

In This Issue… 3 President’s Message

Black Business Association P.O. Box 43159, Los Angeles, CA 90043 323-291-9334 Fax: 323-291-9234



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS T. Fins ▪ R. Gnaizda ▪ C. Collins

PHOTOGRAPHY Ian Foxx ▪ Sabir • N. Osei • N. Vernon

LAYOUT/TYPESETTING Lion Communications Copyright © 2008 by Black Business Association. All Rights Reserved.


Ted Davis, Chairman IsComp Systems, Inc. Nathan Freeman, Vice Chairman Figueroa Media Group, Inc. Eugene Jones, Secretary NVA Financial Group, Inc. Kevin M. Caliup, Treasurer AIA/E-World Strategy Narishimah Osei, Parliamentarian Osei & Associates Gwen Moore, Director GEM Communications Candida Mobely-Wright, Director Voices, Inc. Angela Walton, Director Melador Technologies, Inc. Angela Reddock, Esq., Legal Counsel

STAFF Earl “Skip” Cooper, II, President/CEO Kesha Vontreese, Administrator

COMMITTEE COORDINATOR Starlett Quarles, urban X marketing

Activist’s stance required for businesses to achieve needed change.

CORPORATE PARTNERS AEG Worldwide AT&T American Honda Motor Company Bank of America The Boeing Company California Lottery Citibank Coca-Cola Enterprises Comerica Bank Department of Water & Power Fannie Mae IBM Kaiser Permanente LAEDC Los Angeles World Airports Northrop Grumman Corporation Raytheon Company S.C.R.P.C. Sempra Energy Southern California Edison Swinerton Builders Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. Turner Construction Company Union Bank of California USBank Verizon Walt Disney Company Washington Mutual WellPoint Wells Fargo Bank Lyceum Management Services, Ex Officio Hollis Smith, Ex Officio Paulette Williams, Ex Officio

AFFILIATES African American Unity Caucus Association of Black Women Entrepreneurs Black Women’s Network California Black Chamber of Commerce The Greenlining Institute Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense & Education Fund National Black Business Council The National Association of African American Chambers of Commerce The National Black Chamber of Commerce Pan African Film & Arts Festival Recycling Black Dollars


JUNE 2009

5 Cover Story: BBA/Greenlining Meet Financial Leaders Face-to-Face in DC

6 Economic Recovery Websites 7 SBA Has Economic Recovery Tools Ready

9 2009 L.A. Black Expo & Trade Show 10 L.A. Port Upgrade Means More Jobs 12 US Government Alters Stance on Cuba 22 Africa Focus •Competitiveness in Africa. •Women’s Leadership Training.

24 Make Your Business More Efficient 35 SBA News $15 billion plan

41 Travel Off to Brazil’s Boa Morte Festival

43 Calendar Columns

18 - Financial Management Atty. Caprice Collins

34 - Wendy’s World Wendy Gladney

Cover photo - The White House

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Economic Recovery:

BBA & Greenlining Meet With Administration Leaders in Washington, DC ommendations. First, we urged a Presidential Executive Order, consistent with the President’s call for greater transparency, requiring all federal agencies to report to the President and Congress on contract awards by race, ethnicity and gender. African American-owned businesses receive less than 1% (0.8%) of the federal government’s $650 billion dollars a year in contracts. Instead of less than 1% of the pie, we should be awarded at least 5% of the contract pie, if not more. 5% of contract awards would mean an additional $25 billion dollars a year in federal contracts to African American-owned businesses. Second, we urged a Presidential Executive Order to require all businesses that receive large (insert a base amount here) federal contracts to set goals for contracting with minority-owned businesses (l-r) Earl “Skip” Cooper, II, President/CEO, Black Business Association at Greenlining and, as a condition of receiving a Institute meeting with Ben Bernanke, Chairman, Federal Reserve Board federal contract, provide data by race, ethnicity and gender. We n mid-March, the Black Business As- ness community was being ignored by believe that with rare exceptions, large sociation and a number of other Afri- key government officials and that the federal contractors have either no procan American leaders joined the Green- banking industry is offering little or any grams for African American-owned lining Institute in individual personal credit to African American-owned busi- businesses or award African Americans meetings with a wide-range of Obama nesses. less than 1% of their outside contracts. Administration leaders. The group met Also conveyed was the concern that Third, because diversity at all fedwith Secretary of the Treasury Timo- except for a few high profile African eral agencies, particularly at the senior thy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chair- American appointees in the Obama management level, is inadequate, it is man Ben Bernanke, and with FDIC Administration, African Americans time for President Obama to issue an Chair Sheila Bair. Meetings were also were grossly underrepresented among Executive Order on employment diheld with Congressional leaders such America’s policy makers and on the versity. It could state that every govas Barbara Lee, the Chair of the Con- boards of directors of the hundreds of ernment agency and every large (size gressional Black Caucus, and Barney financial institutions that were directly range) federal contractor should strive Frank, the Chair of the House Financial benefiting from TARP funds. to achieve the commendable diversity Services Committee. Lastly, strong expressions of our con- of the President’s cabinet. That is, Earl “Skip” Cooper, II, President/ cern that African Americans who had forty percent or more of the members CEO, Black Business Association con- been discriminated against through of board of directors of large corporaveyed both the expectations and the subprime loan offerings would be left tions, especially those receiving TARP disappointments of America’s forty- out in regard to future opportunities to funds, should be minorities. Today, three million African Americans. He in- build wealth through homeownership. with a few exceptions, most corporaThe group offered seven major recdicated that the African American busi-


see Washington, DC page 8

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A Few Websites Providing Information and Services for Businesses and Individuals


he websites shown here have been established to provide Americans with information on the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 or are ongoing programs that provide assistance and services.

General The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a variety of business loan support programs. A gateway to government loan information. Information on Federal benefits affected by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Housing and Urban Development Recovery programs including the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. html One-Time Economic Recovery Payment explanatory e-booklet. The Economic Recovery Grants Cen-

ter reports and provides information on grant funding appropriated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; Pub. L. 111-5). A one-stop shop for up to date information on public policy dealing with the economic recovery. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), passed in February, included $3.2 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, which will help fund city and county efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) application forms and instructions are available at this site.

California The State of California’s website The Caltrans website.

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6 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

SBA to Boost Small Businesses thru Recovery Act Tools By Alberto G. Alvarado, District Director, Los Angeles Office

Alberto G. Alvarado, Director Los Angeles SBA District Office

SBA is developing a mechanism for refunding fees paid on loans since then. The Recovery Act also supports guarantees of up to 90 percent on most types of 7(a) loans to qualified small businesses. The temporary loan fee eliminations and 90 percent guarantee provisions will apply to approximately $8.7 billion in 7(a) loans and $3.6 billion in 504 loans. SBA estimates this will cover lending in both programs through calendar year 2009. In addition, the Treasury Department will purchase existing and new SBAbacked loans made by banks, freeing up more capital so these banks can restart SBA-backed lending to local small businesses. Treasury will also commit

a lot of moving parts, but our aim is put these programs in place as quickly and effectively as we can so they have the broadest and most rapid effect possible on small business credit markets. The Recovery Act provides SBA with $730 million in total funding. This includes $375 million to cover the costs of temporarily eliminating loan fees and raising guarantee limits on some loans; extra funding for SBA-backed Microlenders; and $255 million for a new loan program to help viable small businesses with immediate economic hardship make payments on existing loans. The new stabilization loan program called America’s Recovery Capital, or ARC for short, is a temporary program, which will offer deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000 to viable small businesses that need help making payments on an existing, qualifying loan for up to six months. These loans will be 100 percent guaranteed by SBA. Repayment would not have to begin until


resident Obama and the newly confirmed Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Karen Gordon Mills, are taking actions to make a big dent in the small business credit crunch. The Administration and the SBA through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are expediting financial relief to alleviate the current economic crisis for entrepreneurs and lenders. The SBA, on its part, is offering new incentives to small business borrowers and lenders through the Recovery Act and Department of Treasury actions that will help encourage borrowing and lending to all small businesses, including start-ups The SBA is well aware that part of the solution to reviving our economy is jump-starting job creation, encouraging lending, promoting investment in small businesses and utilizing tax incentives. For small businesses, the Recovery Act temporarily eliminates SBA guaranteed 7(a) and 504 loan fees and offers tax credits. For lenders, it temporarily eliminates 504 loan fees. The fee eliminations are retroactive to February 17, the day the Recovery Act was signed.

President Barack Obama confers with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke following their meeting at the White House, April 10, 2009. White House Photo/ Pete Souza

up to $15 billion in TARP funds to help unfreeze the small business lending market, which will particularly benefit community banks, credit unions and other small lenders. SBA staff is working hard to implement the rest of the Recovery Act’s programs for small businesses. There are

12 months after the loan is fully disbursed, giving small businesses time to re-focus their business plans in order to succeed in the long run. Another element of the Recovery Act that is in place is SBA’s Microloan program. These non-profit, communi-

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see Recovery Act Tools page 8

BBA & Greenlining in Washington, DC

Members of the Greenlining Institute mission to Washington, DC meeting with Ben Bernanke, Chairman, Federal Reserve Board from Washington, DC page 5

tions have no more than one African American on their board and generally no African Americans among their key policy makers. Fourth, the Small Business Administration (SBA) should be radically revamped and should be funded at up to $30 billion dollars a year. The reforms that should be made include setting goals for lending by race and ethnicity and providing a wide range of technical assistance and capacity building to enable small minority-owned businesses to effectively compete in a highly competitive global economy. Fifth, up to $100 billion dollars of TARP money and economic stimulus funds should be allocated specifically to small businesses with a special focus on our nation’s 5 million minority-owned businesses. This focus is essential since virtually all African American-owned businesses (98%) are small businesses and small businesses create 60%-80% of all new jobs in America. In fact, some of the federal government’s $4.4 billion dollars in job training funds training for jobs that no

longer exist. The funds might be better spent on training minority unemployed for entrepreneurial efforts such as the creation of new minority-owned businesses in the inner-city. Sixth, we urged that a code of corporate responsibility, including philanthropy to underserved communities and management and supplier diversity, should be a requirement for all beneficiaries of federal funding including giant financial institutions such as Citigroup, BofA, and Goldman Sachs. Lastly, we urged that the government develop creative pro-active approaches to closing the minority homeownership gap. For example, low/ moderate income families should be provided with the same types of tax credits and deductions as are available to the affluent. (Presently the vast majority of low/moderate income African Americans receive little or no tax benefits from homeownership while very affluent families receive as much as $30,000 dollars a year in tax breaks from homeownership.) We also urged renter to homeownership proposals for foreclosed properties. This would create incentives for renters in foreclosed

properties who make timely and affordable payments to eventually own their home. Electing Barack Obama as President has been an historic first step but we have a long way to go before the African American business community or the African American community as a whole participates fully in the American Dream. We believe it would be a mistake for us to leave the heavy lifting just to the President. We must all assist by pressing for change. We can do so by visiting and communicating with our Congressional leaders, including the key members of the Congressional Black Caucus such as Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters and Diane Watson. We can also do so by communicating with our state leaders such as Speaker Karen Bass, and Assemblymembers Mike Davis and Curren Price. As we forcefully informed the regulators and the Congressional leaders during our mid-March meetings in D.C., the African American community will prosper if, for the first time in American history, we are given the same opportunities that have been offered to mismanaged and greedy financial institutions. (This includes a second chance, zero percent interest rates and essentially free equity capital.).

Recovery Act Tools from page 7

ty-based lenders make loans of up to $35,000 to small businesses and startups. Because this program is already operating, you can go to a Microlender today and apply for a loan. The Recovery Act funds $50 million in new loans by these Microlenders, plus $24 million to help pay for the technical assistance and training they provide to loan applicants. The Recovery Act also authorizes SBA to use its 504 program to refinance existing loans for fixed assets as part of a business expansion project; to use its guarantee authority to establish a secondary market for bank loans made under the 504 loan program; and to make loans to broker-dealers who

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see Recovery Act Tools page 10

Black Expo: a Platform for Economic Recovery


he economic downturn will not stop the Black Business Expo (BBX) from showcasing African American businesses, according to BBX President Harold Hambrick. This year’s event – the 20th Anniversary - is slated to be California’s largest indoor Black family reunion and will be held Friday thru Sunday, May 1, 2 and 3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Sponsored by OneUnited Bank, Farmers, the City of Los Angeles and more, this networking extravaganza will enable new and aspiring business owners to obtain pointers from established corporations and vendors who have been with the Expo since it started, said Hambrick. At the same time, African American consumers, whose L.A. County annual spending power is more than four billion dollars, will have the opportunity to talk to owners about their products and services. Media representatives and celebrities, including Wendy Raquel Robinson, Bill Duke and more, will be on hand to meet and shake hands with the residents of Southern California. Events include the Tom Bradley Business Institute; Tastin’ Black Culture Food Court; West Coast Black Music Festival; Black Writers on Tour, the Fit-

BBX Commemorates 20th Anniversary ness; Health and Sports Pavilion; AfroKids World; Black College Row; GospeLive and Art Zone. Activities are open to the public and include: Friday, May 1st - Opening ceremony and ribbon cutting, with L.A. City officials; Tom Bradley Business Institute, featuring workshops and seminars, including a presentation by Jerome Love, author and President of the Texas Black Expo, Inc.; Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Youth Summit, exposing invited high students to the business development process Saturday, May 2nd - The Tom Bradley Business Institute, featuring lectures and panel discussions; West Coast Black Music Festival. KJLH’s 9th Annual Women’s Health Forum, hosted by Jacquie Stephens, will run simultaneously. Sunday, May 3rd - Hair show and barbering competition and the West Coast GospeLive concert. “Also on Sunday,

we are hopeful that church leaders throughout Southern California will join us in commemorating “Black Business Sabbath,” by promoting Black businesses and introducing or re-introducing business owners in their congregations,” said Hambrick. Founded in 1989 as a way of introducing Black businesses to consumers, share information on entrepreneurism and business development and build long-term relationships, BBX has exposed thousands of small businesses and corporations to nearly a million attendees. Additionally, through the power of the internet, Hambrick founded Black Expos of America (BXA) as a way to raise the profile of Black businesses around the country and educate the public about the power of harnessing their dollars for community empowerment. “In this era of price consciousness, BBX felt it necessary to hold down costs, therefore, our ticket prices have not increased,” said Hambrick. “Tickets are still only $5 for persons 12 and older. Kids under 12 are free.” The exhibit area will be open Friday and Sunday, noon to 6, and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. For vendor booth registration, call 323-290-4743 or visit www.

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Three L.A. Port Projects Will Create Jobs, Boost Economy


n the midst of this difficult economy, there is a trio of good news to report from one of our region’s largest economic engines – the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Three important projects were in the news last week and promise to create thousands of jobs in the future. Port traffic is down around the world as consumers purchase fewer goods, but the global downturn has hit our ports especially hard. As the “loading dock” for the United States, container traffic is down more than 20 percent compared to 2008. The impact is being felt throughout the supply chain from port operators to local warehouses to the transportation industry that moves goods to destinations throughout the nation. These job loses accentuate the importance of these three projects to our economy and our families. The Middle Harbor project at the Port of Long Beach is a 10 year, $750 million project

that will significantly expand port capacity. It will create 1,000 immediate jobs once the shovels go into the ground and will ultimately create up to 10,000 good-paying permanent jobs. This state-of-the-art “green-growth” project will follow strict environmental building standards and utilize new clean technology such as electrical power in place of fossil fuels. It will also take trucks off our roads through a new on-dock rail facility that will quickly and efficiently move goods from the port to regional distribution centers. Up the road at the Port of Los Angeles, the Plains All American Pier 400 project is closer to construction. The $360 million terminal expansion will enable faster and cleaner off-loading of crude oil vital to our economy. It’s the first new facility of its kind at the port in nearly 30 years. The project will include major safety and environmental improvements and its construction will

Recovery Act Tools

cent. Finally, I want to emphasize that all of SBA’s existing programs are open for business – we are backing loans, and providing technical assistance, training, and contract help to entrepreneurs every day. In short, SBA is working overtime to get the final provisions in place and open the flow of credit to small business entrepreneurs, whose proven ability to create new jobs and commerce is second to none, and in whose hands the next phase of our economic recovery rests.

from page 8

buy SBA-backed loans from lenders and pool them for sale to investors on the secondary loan market. Also under the Recovery Act, small businesses that need surety bonds to compete for construction and service contracts can qualify for SBA-backed surety bonds of up to $5 million, more than double the previous $2 million maximum. The bill helps SBA-licensed Small Business Investment Companies by raising the level of SBA funding they can receive to make venture capital investments in small businesses. It also raises the percentage of their investments that must be made in smaller businesses from 20 percent to 25 per-

The SBA Los Angeles District Office is ranked “No.1” in the country in lending and oversees SBA programs to over 12 million people in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. The office manages a total loan portfolio that finances more than

generate 4,800 full-time, one-year jobs. That’s an immediate stimulus with longterm benefits. Finally, the Disney Wonder cruise ship will call the Port of Los Angeles home in less than two years. The move from Florida will generate 2,600 jobs,

contribute $7 million dollars in state and local taxes and bring an estimated 250,000 visitors to Southern California. This is a huge benefit to our local economy that will be felt throughout the region. This good news should just be the beginning for our local ports. There are additional projects in the pipeline that are critical to Southern California maintaining its edge as a major port in the Pacific Rim. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are among our greatest opportunities to create jobs and accelerate the recovery of our economy. Let’s keep the good news coming and moving at a rapid pace. Gary L. Toebben President & CEO Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

LA CleanTech Launched


he Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, leading research universities and many business organizations have launched CleanTech Los Angeles, a collaborative effort to establish Los Angeles as a global hub of clean technology. To be part of the new Los Angeles, visit the website at or contact Alexander Pugh, 213.580.7558 or apugh@lachamber. com.

3,700 businesses and nearly $1 billion yearly and generates annual contract procurements of $589 million. Visit www.sba. gov for more information and to access all of the services available to you.

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AT&T Inc. Named 2009 Outstanding Corporation T&T Inc. is the recipient of the 2009 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The award honors a corporation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement. A&T received the honor on March 31, 2009, in New Orleans at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet during AFP’s International Conference on Fundraising. Since 2000, AT&T has given more than $800 million to organizations that work to enhance education, support community vitality and meet the critical needs of underserved and diverse communities. Just a few of the causes it supports include The Mayo Clinic; the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation; the Martin Luther King Collection of Historic Papers; American Veterans Life Memorial Fund; the Detroit Youth Foundation and the Pentagon Memorial Fund. “The work of the Association of Fundraising Professionals enhances the achievements and establishes the standards of the philanthropic community throughout our country,” said Laura Sanford, president of the AT&T Foundation. “We are truly honored to be recognized by an organization whose membership sustains the all-important nonprofit sector, especially during this economic climate. Working with our local communities, we are committed to continuing to invest in the communities where we live and work to support underserved populations and promote programs that create economic opportunity.” One of AT&T’s most significant initiatives is AT&T Aspire, launched in 2008 with $100 million to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness. The program, one of the largest corporate commitments ever to address


these issues, provides grants to: help students stay in school and prepare for the workforce; a companywide job shadowing program in conjunction with Junior Achievement; funding for 100 community dropout prevention summits through America’s Promise and support of major research examining school dropout rates and solutions. AT&T is also helping senior citizens who wish to reenter the workforce. Its partnership with OASIS, a national nonprofit that works to help mature adults develop new work skills, supports hundreds of classes in 70 locations across the U.S. In addition, OASIS is providing mobile phone training with AT&T volunteers serving as one-on-one mentors. “The sheer volume of AT&T’s giving is inspiring enough, but the company’s strategic approach to philanthropy is what truly makes it stand out above others,” said Gail Freeman, president and CEO of Freeman Philanthropic Services. “Its willingness to invest significant amounts of resources to not just alleviate, but solve critical problems sets the model for other companies. We’re proud to join AFP in honoring AT&T as the outstanding philanthropic corporation for 2009.” Employee engagement is also a critical goal for AT&T. Nearly 325,000 employees and retirees serve as AT&T Pioneers, donating more 10 million volunteer hours in 2007. Employees contributed over $32 million to charitable organizations nationwide in 2007 alone, and the company has supported United Way organizations through more than $83 million in contributions since 2000. “Despite the economy, corporate philanthropy is alive and well, and AT&T is one of the great leaders that is dedicated to giving back to individuals and communities everywhere,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “AT&T’s work is

having a real and measurable impact on countless communities, and it is setting the philanthropic standard for businesses in the United States and worldwide.” *** The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents over 30,000 members in 200 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, go to www. *** Freeman Philanthropic Services, LLC (FPS) with offices in New York City and Boston, is a full-service retained executive recruitment firm specializing in recruitment for not-for-profit institutions and organizations. FPS has a distinguished history of successful partnerships with a variety of clients including hospitals, academic medical centers, universities, cultural organizations, advocacy and social service agencies, and relief aid organizations. For more information about FPS, please visit its website at

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Our Economic Recovery Plan


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BBA Advertisers & Member Businesses

U.S. Government to Allow Travel and Money Transfers to Cuba By JENNIFER LOVEN - AP White House Correspondent


tough, they go back to Washington, and nothing changes in Cuba.” “Never, in my lifetime, have the people of Cuba known freedom. Never, in the lives of two generations of Cubans, have the people of Cuba known democracy,” he said then. “This is the terrible and tragic status quo that we have known for half a century _ of elections that are anything but free or fair; of dissidents locked away in dark prison cells for the crime of speaking the truth. I won’t stand for this injustice, you won’t stand for this injustice, and together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba.” He also promised to engage in direct diplomacy with Cuba, “without preconditions” but with “careful preparation” and “a clear agenda.” Some lawmakers, backed by business and farm groups seeing new opportunities in Cuba, are advocating wider revisions in the trade and travel bans imposed after Fidel Castro took power in Havana in 1959. But Obama is keeping the decadesold U.S. trade embargo against Cuba in place, arguing that that policy provides leverage to pressure the regime to free all political prisoners as one step toward normalized relations with the U.S.

resident Barack Obama directed Party members remains prohibited. his administration Monday to allow Restrictions imposed by the Bush adunlimited travel and money transfers ministration had limited Cuban travel by Cuban Americans to family in Cuba, by Americans to just two weeks every and to take other steps to ease U.S. three years. Visits also were confined restrictions on the island, a senior ad- to immediate family members. ministration official told The Associated Other steps taken Monday include Press. expanding the things allowed in gift The formal announcement was be- parcels being sent to Cuba, such as ing made at the White House Monday clothes, personal hygiene items, seeds, afternoon, during presidential spokes- fishing gear and other personal necesman Robert Gibbs’ daily briefing with sities. The administration also will bereporters. The official spoke on condi- gin issuing licenses to allow companies tion of anonymity so as not to upstage to provide cell and television services the president’s announcement. to people on the island, and to allow With the changes, Obama aims to family members to pay for relatives on create new space for the Cuban peo- Cuba to get those services, the official ple in their quest for political freedom said. and a democratic government, in part Also in that Miami speech nearly a by making them less dependent on the year ago, Obama promised to depart Castro regime, the official said. from what he said had been the path Other steps taken Monday include al- of previous politicians on Cuba policy lowing gift parcels to be sent to Cuba, _ “they come down to Miami, they talk and issuing licenses to increase communications among and to the Cuban people. About 1.5 million Americans have relatives in Cuba. Obama had promised to take these steps as a presidential candidate. It has been known for over a week that he would announce them in advance of his attended this weekend of a Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. “There are no better ambassadors for freedom than Cuban Americans,” Obama said in a campaign speech last May in Miami, the heart of the U.S. CubanAmerican community. “It’s time to let Cuban Americans see their mothers and fathers, their sisters and brothers. It’s time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime.” Sending money to senior gov- President Barack Obama greets people at the Port of Spain airport before departing ernment officials and Communist for Washington, D.C. on April 19, 2009. White House Photo/Pete Souza

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African First Ladies Health Summit


irst-ever and largest gathering of African First Ladies in the United States convened by US Doctors for Africa & African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering. Over six years ago, 22 First Ladies and their representatives from across the African continent came together for unity. Recognizing their unique position as First Ladies, leaders and philanthropists, these women committed to building alliances and directing resources towards their populations’ most dire needs, in particular HIV/ AIDS, maternal and child health, and education. Through this alliance, the non-governmental organization African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering was founded in 2002. Since then, African First Ladies from across the continent have been honored for their work under its mandate, and many have continued to increase their involvement in local, regional and international

initiatives fighting for improved health and development in their own countries and beyond. Key African Synergy initiatives include: •Founding of 55 PMTCT sites, fully equipped with antiretroviral drugs, HIV counseling, and rapid testing diagnostics throughout Guinea, Niger, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Mali and Cameroon. •Development of a youth education program focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, for children ages 7-15 years old. •Founding support programs for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), providing them education, health, social and psychological assistance, for example the Junior Farmer Field and Learning School to develop agricultural and life skills among OVC. Expected First Lady attendees include current members of African

Synergy and other active First Ladies from across Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and more. US Doctors for Africa (USDFA) is a non-profit organization that unites the African and American medical communities in a shared fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. In light of their shared visions, the First Ladies of African Synergy and USDFA have come together to form an international partnership focused on women’s health and development in Africa. This partnership will be launched through this first African First Ladies Health Summit, to take place in Los Angeles, California, April 20-21, 2009. For an opportunity to be a part of this historic event please visit http://

13 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

see Health Summit page 14

Caltrans District 7 Procurement Fair


altrans District 7 is planning a Spring Procurement Fair for Thursday, April 30, 2009. The event will be located in the quad area of the Caltrans District Office at 100 S. Main Street in Los Angeles. All vendors are welcomed and encouraged to come and sell your commodities to our District buyers. A sample listing of supplies and commodities to be purchased includes, but is not limited to: Office Supplies Computer accessories Janitorial Supplies Printer Supplies • Ink Cartridges Electrical Testing Equipment Safety Gear Copiers • Fax machines Consulting Services Paper Goods Be prepared to bring copies of your brochures, business cards and catalogues to the fair. This is an opportunity for you as a small business to sell directly to Caltrans. “Small Business is Smart Business.” Caltrans understands that small business is the engine the keeps California’s economy moving. It is our business to Keep California Moving. For information contact: Thomas L. Knox, Jr., Small Business Administrator, Division of External Affairs, Caltrans District 7 at 213.897.0597.

White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families


his Task Force is targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America. It is comprised of top-level administration policy makers, will hold regular meetings, and conduct outreach sessions with representatives of labor, business, and the advocacy communities. Vice President Joe Biden, Task Force Chair, has opened www.AStrongMiddleClass. gov to receive your questions of and suggestions for theTask Force.

First Ladies Summit from page 14

Support the

w w w. i m m i g r a n t m a g a z i n e . c o m / AfricanFirstLadiesHealthSummit. htm or contact Charles Anchang at 310-382-4567 or publisher@

14 T April 2009 T Black Business News T



he 2009 Housing Finance Institute™ (HFI) is providing you with more opportunities for learning than in past years. The HFI team has updated existing courses and developed new ones to ensure you are kept informed of the latest market and policy changes. Don’t miss out on these educational opportunities–register today at www. (Training & Education/Housing Finance Institute). Get started by selecting the region you are interested in visiting. Or, if you are

unsure of the course or courses you would like to attend, simply select the course title that interests you to read a brief course description. Also review course fees. 2009 HFI Session Locations • Pasadena, CA: Old Pasadena Courtyard by Marriott • March 24 - 26 • Boston, MA: Metro Meeting Centers • May 19 - 21 • Chicago, IL: University of Chicago – Gleacher Center • July 21 - 23

California Black Chamber of Commerce/Chamber Foundation

2009 Annual Events and Activities Calendar June 19th Juneteenth Community Educational Fundraiser Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento, CA A program dedicated to our young adults to celebrate the history of the African American contribution to the United States and California. August 19th-21st Ron Brown Business Economic Summit & Youth Scholarship Awards Wyndham Hotel, San Jose, CA This is our main event and major fundraiser for the Chamber & Chamber Foundation. The Summit addresses supplier diversity issues, corporate matching efforts, state and federal contracting & procurement opportunities. Our Youth Entrepreneur Summit & Scholarship Awards will climax the Ron Brown Memorial event topped off with exceptional world renowned entertainment.

35th Annual Black Business Association Awards Dinner • June, 2009 Quote of Note... “There is increasing acknowledgement that our national security and global security will not be garnered by force alone. In fact, it cannot be secured without investing in people through education, health care and poverty reduction.”

Rep. Donald M. Payne U.S. Congressman

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For more information, contact the Black Business Association at: 323-291-9334 6 6

Financial Management:

Tough Times Could Be Tougher by Attorney Caprice L. Collins


ark clouds are all around us. The stock market is down. Real estate values are down. Layoffs are up. But, it could be even worse! With tough economic times, people often look to hold others accountable for their difficulties. Which is why lawsuits tend to rise as the economy sinks. In fact, a 2008 survey of corporate law departments shows increased expectations for litigation. So, what can you do to protect yourself? First, consider placing your business or rental property in a limited liability entity. Let’s say you own a corner market. If you own it directly, then someone who is injured on the premises could collect against all your assets, including assets not involved in the business. This could include things like your home and the money you’ve set aside for your children’s education. Let’s say your business has assets of $500,000, you have a home worth $500,000, and you have brokerage accounts with $500,000. The entire $1.5 million could be in jeopardy. However, if your business were owned by a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC), for example, the injured person could only collect against the $500,000 of assets in the entity, regardless of the amount of the damages awarded to the injured party. Your home and brokerage accounts would be safe. Second, consider liability insurance. If someone sues you, that is your first line of defense. There is separate liability coverage for your home and your auto. In addition, you may need a separate policy for a rental property or any business-related liability, like malpractice insurance for a doctor. In addition to these separate liability policies, consider an “umbrella” policy which

provides coverage on top of the underlying coverage. If you had a premises liability policy for your corner market, that policy would protect you up to the policy limit, let’s say $300,000. This would pay first. Then your umbrella coverage would add its limit, let’s say $1 million, on top of that. So, you would be protected for the first $1.3 million of court award against you. However, that would still leave some exposure to li-

ability above the $1.3 million, if you did not have a limited liability entity. Third, leave assets to your children in a manner which protects them. A trust can protect your children and the assets you leave them from your children’s creditors, their future ex-spouses, taxes, and even their own misjudgment. A qualified estate planning attorney can help structure a plan that limits liability for you and your family. Attorney Caprice L. Collins is a member of the BBA, a Harvard Law School graduate, a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and has been engaged in the practice of law for the last 29 years. For more information or to attend an upcoming seminar, call (310) 677-9787 ext. 5 or visit the firm website at www.

Order Your Copy Today by calling 614-481-7300 or visit the product website at

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Has the Market Crash Ruined Your Estate Plan? If Your Portfolio Took A Pounding in 2008, Your Estate Plan Probably Needs Some Attention. Join us at this FREE Trust Review Seminar as we discuss… • How to leave your spouse with enough assets to live on comfortably. • Beneficiary designations filed years ago with banks that have since gone through mergers are simply lost. Are your beneficiary designations in order? • How to cover your family’s financial obligations after your death. • How to provide “Remarriage Protection” to safeguard assets for your children from outsiders. • Have there been changes in YOU!

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8722 Crenshaw Boulevard Refreshments served! Inglewood,will CAbe 90305 Caprice L. Collins is a top rated Harvard Law School trained attorney, fellow alumni with President Barack Obama and a noted speaker on Living Trusts and Estate Planning. Ms. Collins’ law practice is devoted exclusively to estate/business planning and Trust Administration. She is the only South Bay member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, a distinguished organization of attorneys recognized by Money Magazine and Suze Orman as a first choice for Estate Planning legal services. Her seminars are said to be “entertaining and easy-to-understand.” CAPRICE L. COLLINS ATTORNEY AT LAW

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21 T April 2009 T Black Business News T


World Bank to Provide $500m to Boost Trade, Competitiveness in Africa


he World Bank has indicated that it is prepared to approve an additional US$360 million over the next three years for a total of US$500 million in support of Africa’s North-South Corridor (NSC) program. The World Bank’s Vice President for Africa Ms. Obiageli Ezekwesili told a conference in Lusaka, Zambia attended by several African heads of state that the Bank has already approved US$140 million in support of the core investment requirements of the Corridor, and is prepared to commit the additional funding over the coming three years. The remaining US$500 million will be for non-core projects that are complementary to the NSC. Core Corridor projects already being funded by the World Bank include the Tanzania Integrated Transport Project, and the Zambia R o a d s R e h a bilitation and Maintenance Project. Existing complementary projects include the Beira R a i l w a y, and the R o a d s a n d Coastal Shipping Projects in Mozambique, and

the Malawi Infrastructure Sector Investment Project. Planned complementary projects include a multi-modal transport project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Meeting Monday in Lusaka, African leaders lauded donors for pledging up to US$1 billion for the NSC program, which is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business in 23 countries. The World Bank said it is committed to the NSC because of its vital role in inclusively developing Africa. “The Program is creating a new paradigm for economic development in the region – one that deepens collaboration among regional economic communities, takes a holistic approach to trade facilitation and transport infrastructure, and builds new relationships with development partners and the pri-

vate sector,” said Ms. Ezekwesili. She applauded the member economic blocs of the NSC - the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - for their concerted effort in making the region more competitive in the wake of a global economic crisis. “At a time when the global economic crisis severely threatens Africa’s recent economic achievements, the Program highlights the central importance of focusing on regional solutions. More than ever, regional integration is an essential strategy for redressing the impacts of the current crisis, unlocking economies of scale, and sharpening competitiveness in Africa,” she said. She, however, reaffirmed that unleashing economic growth through the see World Bank page 26

North South Corridor comprises the Dar es Salaam Corridor linking the port of Dar es Salaam with the Copperbelt; and North-South Corridor linking the Copperbelt to the southern ports in South Africa. Together with its adjacent spurs, the corridor services eight countries - Tanzania, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Women’s Leadership Training Program Announced


oremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa is pleased to announce its call for applications for the 2009/2010 Moremi Leadership Empowerment and Development (MILEAD) Fellows Program. The MILEAD Fellows Program is a one-year leadership development program designed to identify, develop

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see Leadership training on page 23

“A FEW NOTES ON AFRICA” $7.5 Million Grant to Sister Cities International Sister Cities Intern ational announced the launch of a major program to support urban communities in Africa. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, totaling $7.5 million, cities across the United States will work with their sister city counterparts throughout Africa to address development issues over the next three years. The foundation grant represents the largest grant ever received by Sister Cities Intern ational. Information about the new program can be found at www.

Rwanda Signs Treaty Rwanda recently signed on to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC is an international treaty to secure

Leadership Training from page 22

and promote emerging young African Women leaders to attain and succeed in leadership in their community. The one-year program targets dynamic young women interested in developing transformational leadership skills that help them tackle issues affecting women in their communities. Applications are welcome from young women living in Africa and the Diaspora.

action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. It is governed by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) which adopts International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs).

Electric Car Optimal Energy, which manufactures the electric-powered Joule, indicates that a pilot fleet will be on the road by 2010. The company is capitalising on South Africa’s technological prowess, its track record of building

Libya and Algeria Prepare for Upturn in Oil Needs Libya will invest US$10 billion to US$12 billion in its oil industry this year, exceeding its total investment from last year. Also, Libya purchased Canada’s Verenex Energy Inc, blocking China National Petroleum Corp’s deal to acquire the company. While, Sonatrach, the Algerian energy group, has increased its domestic and international investment programme by 41% in anticipation of a recovery in demand for oil and gas.

South Africa to Offer an MILEAD fellowship awards will be made to as many as 25 young women between the ages of 19 and 25, with exceptional qualities who have exhibited leadership potential in their community, organization, and/or profession. To be eligible for the one-year program, an applicant must be African, living on the continent or in the Diaspora; agree to participate in all required activities related to MILEAD including a three-week residential Summer Institute in August; and, commit to a community leadership service project and internship. Specific requirements of the program and related dates are outlined in the application.

premium cars for the export market, and the immense progress in battery technology. After the pilot fleet is launched, the company plans to begin mass production in 2012. SEE YOU ON THE CONTINENT.

Applications are welcome from young women living in Africa and the Diaspora. We invite you to nominate emerging young African Women leaders with the potential to help transform their community. Application package is available at: The deadline for completed MILEAD Fellows applications to be submitted for review is April 30, 2009. Interested applicants should submit the following materials by the application deadline: 1.Completed MILEAD Application Form 2. Resumé/Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) 3. Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic contacts For more applications or information, please contact: MILEAD Program Coordinator P.O. Box CT 5604, Accra, Ghana Email: Tel: +233 21 770 736 Ghana) +1 404 502 1006 (USA)

23 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

ously on multiple devices, so customers reach the right person the first time. Your staff can access all their communications from anywhere, checking for e-mail, voicemail, and faxes from just one inbox.

Business Management:

Ten Tips for Making Your Business More Efficient from Cisco Solutions

3. Create effective business processes with partners. Some large companies make efficient, secure business processes a prerequisite for doing business with them. To meet the business needs of your partners, you need a secure, reliable network.

7. Reduce unproductive travel time. All too often, time spent on the road is time lost. A networked phone solution that offers video calls and Web conferencing can help reduce the time and expense of traveling to offsite meetsee Ten Tips on page 45

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2. Deliver anytime, anywhere access to employees on the go. To stay productive on the move, your employees need to be able to reach the people and information they need—anywhere, anytime. With tools like virtual private networks (VPNs), your employees can work outside the office and still enjoy safe access to the business network.

5. Enable employees to take their phone systems wherever they go. Missed calls create project delays, wasted opportunities, and lost revenues. With a networked voice and data solution, your employees can have one phone number that rings simultane-


1. Give employees secure, consistent access to information. You have an advantage over larger competitors because you can react quickly to business changes. But you can quickly lose this edge if your company network is frequently down, sluggish, or unsecured. A secure, reliable network based on intelligent routers and switches lets your employees access the information and tools they need to keep ahead of competitors.

4. Make it easy to work together. Smooth collaboration between employees, partners, suppliers, and customers is a sure-fire way to boost efficiency while also reducing costs. An intelligent network lets your business take advantage of interactive calendaring, videoconferencing, unified communications, and other technologies for easy collaboration.

a Ye


o keep pace in an increasingly competitive world, your business needs to run as efficiently as possible. “Sooner or later, any company not operating efficiently will be out of business,� says Laurie McCabe, vice president of small and medium business insights and solutions for research firm AMI-Partners. Efficiency is even more important for small and medium-sized businesses, McCabe adds, because their resources are limited compared to large global companies. Here are 10 tips for using network technology to help your business work more efficiently, cut costs, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition.



6. Streamline customer communications. Delivering fast, knowledgeable service is the best way to keep customers satisfied. Linking your network phone system to a customer relationship management (CRM) solution is a great way to enhance customer communications. When a customer calls, a pop-up window with their records appears on an employee’s IP phone screen, computer screen, or both.

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World Bank from page 26

NSC program requires policy administrative reforms supported by political will. She cited administrative reforms required to pull down national barriers in trade such as reducing cross-border clearing procedures, which lead to delays for both road and rail freight. She bemoaned the operational barriers be-

tween national rail networks. “The Southern railway system is physically integrated, yet locomotives from one country are not allowed to travel on another country’s network – we estimate the resulting delays in shipments cost as much as US$120 million a year,” Ms. Ezekwesili told the conference She, therefore, stressed the

Ms. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, Vice President for the Africa Region, World Bank at conference in Ghana need to revisit contractual relationships and access rights linking the railways along the Corridor to make them more beneficial to trade in the region. Earlier the African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Mr. Erastus Mwencha told the conference that delays are not only at the border posts but at sea-ports as well where it takes an average of 23 days for a ship to offload. One stop border crossings, such as the Chirundu post between Zambia

and Zimbabwe, have been commended as an efficient way of reducing delays across borders. The Africa Vice President applauded the four Heads of State who attended the conference, saying their leadership is key to the region’s development. The host of the conference, Zambian President Rupiah Banda, was joined by President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya who is the chairperson of COMESA, South African President Kgalema Montlanthe

chairperson of SADC, and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni who represented the EAC. Several other donors also attended the conference, including the European Union, DFID, USAID, and Japan For more information about the World Bank in Sub-Saharan Africa, please visit:

Support the

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28 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

If you’re having trouble making your house payment, you’re not alone. Call us. We may be able to help. If you’re a Countrywide mortgage customer having a difficult time making your house payments, call one of our specially trained Home Retention Specialists. Countrywide wants to help you to keep your home. The sooner we can talk, the sooner we can try to help.

Call Countrywide Mortgage Help: 1-888-200-5872 Reference number: 222 5 AM – 9 PM PT, Monday – Thursday 5 AM – 7 PM PT, Friday

Equal Housing Lender. © 2008 Countrywide Bank, FSB. Member FDIC. Trade/service marks are the property of Countrywide Financial Corporation, Countrywide Bank, FSB, or their respective affiliates and/or subsidiaries.

Inc. 500|5000 Awards - Make the 2009 List


he Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing privately held companies has been published by Inc. magazine

since 1982. In 2007, the list expanded to the Inc. 500|5000, giving readers a deeper, richer understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape and capturing a broader spectrum of success. For companies who make the list, Inc. will share their story with the world. The top 5,000 will be profiled on, while the top 500 will be covered in the September 2009 issue of Inc. magazine. The Inc. 500|5000 also recognizes the top 100 companies in every metropolitan area and industry area, as well as categories such as Women Owned and Minority Owned business. All honorees are invited to our annual Inc. 500|5000 conference and celebration. You could be a winner!! But you can’t win if you don’t apply. Apply for the 2009 Inc. 500|5000 by April 15th at com.

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African Marketplace Boutique

Crenshaw-Baldwin Hills Mall, Crenshaw & King Blvd. Los Angeles, California USA

Queen Aminah’s Clothing

New Location! BALDWIN HILLSCRENSHAW MALL African Marketplace Boutique, Suite #285 323-293-3277

A Royal Blend of all natural West African herbs and fiery spices

Specializing in quality products for the whole family imported directly from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Mali including: •Cultural Clothing for men women and children •Arts, Sculpture, Masks from the African Diaspora •Authentic Jewelry from African Designers Queen Aminah’s Clothing also offers Community Outreach Services: •Fashion Shows for Churches, Organizations and Civic Associations •Black History Presentations for Schools, Churches, Corporations and Government Agencies •Rites of Passage Programs for AtRisk Teen Girls, Teen Mothers, and Adult Women

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323-389-0075 3rd Annual Leimert Park Village Book Festival Saturday, June 6th • 10 am – 6 pm Leimert Park Village Theatre Parking Lot (43rd Street & Degnan Blvd.)



Writers, storytellers, spoken word performers, poets, publishers, artists, illustrators, booksellers & literary vendors Special Highlights: •Four Presentation Stages •Meet the Authors •Children’s Village & Reading Corner •Music, Entertainment •Food Pavilion Court


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A must read book. A must know story.

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Eso Won Books

African American Books 4331 Degnan Ave., Leimert Park, Los Angeles

“Give Books as Gifts to Friends & Family” Check out our unsurpassed collection of books, music, video, children’s books, and games!

323-294-0324 // for Calendar of Events welcome to




deserve every opportunity to succeed.

You are proud. You are committed. You are a leader. You are an ethnically diverse business owner, and you deserve a bank that can help you fulfill your dreams. Union Bank of California’s Business Diversity Lending program recognizes this and offers a variety of smart financing options and flexible, less restrictive lending requirements.Whether you need short-term financing to help run your day-to-day operations, or long-term financing for new equipment or building improvements, your dream of running a successful business is well within your reach. Invest in you ®

To see if you qualify, stop by your local branch, call 1-888-818-6060, or visit Crenshaw Branch: Karen Smith, Branch Manager, 3501 W. Jefferson Boulevard, (323) 737-3483 Ladera Heights Branch: Renee Givhan, Branch Manager, 6719 La Tijera Boulevard, (310) 342-1779 This is not a commitment to lend. Financing subject to credit and any applicable collateral approval. Other restrictions may apply. Eligible borrowers must meet all criteria for the Business Diversity Lending program. Financing available to businesses located in California, Oregon or Washington.Terms and conditions subject to change. ©2008 Union Bank of California, N.A. Member FDIC

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Meeting Management:


Wendy’s World

Plus Awards 2009 Sponsors

by Wendy Gladney


he month of April has a lot to offer the business professional that wants to promote what he or she is doing via giving back to the community. No matter what your background, experience, or interest, there’s something for you…check out the following topics for the month of April. •Workplace Conflict Awareness Month


PLUS Awards 2009

Where the plus is not just more… It's the Difference!

•Autism Awareness Month •World Habitat Awareness Month •Alcohol Awareness Month •Resurrection Day! •Easter So no matter what you like or what touches your heart there’s something you can get involved with to make a difference. If you don’t know where to start, you can always “google” to learn information about any of the above. April is also very important to me because we will be celebrating the 2nd Annual PLUS Awards benefitting our charity, “Forgiving For Living, Inc.” that helps women and girls overcoming issues of abuse and abandonment. The event will be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on April 25, 2009! Come join us as Vanessa Bell Calloway is our Emcee, Saxophonist Mark “Panther” Felton will be our entertainment, Danny Bakewell, Jr., is our Event Chair and we’ll be honoring community advocates such as Bunny Wilson, Ms. Shabazz, Tony Wafford, Lois Buckman, Dorothy Randle & Jasmyne Cannick! To keep up with what’s happening with Wendy and PSP check out our blog PSP’s Calendar of Events… •Joseph Business School Seminar – April 18, 2009 •The PLUS Awards – April 25, 2009 •CLBCF Conference – May 13 – 16, 2009 •NBBC/Break the Cycle Reception – June 11, 2009 •Joseph Business School Summit – June 24 – 26, 2009


The PLUS Awards links together gatekeepers in the political, corporate arena, and community advocates to recognize their achievements and efforts in making a difference in the lives of others. The PLUS Awards is an annual fundraiser that benefits Forgiving For Living, Inc. - a nonprofit organization designed to give solutions to issues of hate, anger, bitterness and the inability to forgive. FFL Inc.'s objective is to help promote and restore mental wellness and provide mentorship to individuals who have dealt with issues of abuse, abandonment, and low self-esteem while aiding in the restoration of one's self-confidence and direction in life on the path to forgiveness.

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won’t just be more, it will be the difference!


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Wendy Wendy, a BBA member, is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company. Visit . You can also hear Wendy on Dominique DiPrima’s “KJLH Radio Front Page” Friday Mornings @ 5:00am.

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$15 Billion Small Business Plan


resident Barack Obama and his economic team unveiled a $15 billion plan to assist small businesses that will temporarily eliminate lending fee and boost bank liquidity to unfreeze credit markets. During a meeting with lawmakers and business leaders, the president reiterated his commitment to small business, calling the sector the heart of the American economy. America’s small businesses have generated about 70% of net new jobs annually over the past decade, says the Obama administration. The small business plan aims to jumpstart credit m a r kets for small businesses by purchasing up to $15 billion in securities, temporarily raise guarantees to up to 90% in the SBA’s 7(a) loan program, and temporarily eliminate SBA loan fees to reduce the cost of capital. “By increasing the SBA loan guarantee to 90% and temporarily eliminating fees on 7(a) and 504 loans, President Obama’s plan will reduce the risk lenders face when they make new loans while making those loans more affordable to small business owners,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “By getting capital flowing again to small businesses, we will help get the country out of the economic crisis.” The administration also said that the 21 largest banks receiving government money must report monthly on how much money they are lending to small businesses. All other banks getting government assistance must report quarterly on small business loans. And those banks that aren’t taking government funds were told to make more

of an effort to increase small business lending. The Internal Revenue Service will now also allows businesses with gross receipts of up to $15 million to “carry back” their losses for up to five years – up from two years, effectively allowing them a rebate on taxes paid in previous years. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this measure will increase liquidity for small businesses by $4.7 billion by September 30, 2009. To get the ball rolling, by the end of see $15 Billion on page 36

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Alberto G. Alvarado, Director Los Angeles SBA District Office

$15 Billion from $15 Billion on page 35

March, the Treasury Department will begin making direct purchases of securities backed by SBA loans to get the credit market moving again, the White House said, and it will stand ready to purchase new securities to ensure that community banks and credit unions feel confident in extending new loans to local businesses. These purchases, combined with higher loan guarantees and reduced fees, will help provide lenders with the confidence that they need to extend credit, knowing they both have a backstop against their risk and a source of liquidity. “The government’s promise today to purchase up to $15 billion worth of SBA loans is a jolt in the arm for community banks. I would expect hundreds and hundreds, probably into the low thousands, of community banks to jump back in the SBA [loan] business and spur development on Main Street,” said Cam Fine, president and chief executive of the Independent Community Bankers of America. “One of the reasons many minority banks are struggling is that the local bank, the bank on the corner, is unable to extend credit because their balance sheets are clogged up because they can’t get loans off of their books into the secondary market. This initiative will unclog that market and get credit flowing down Main Street.” As the flow of credit has dried up during this recession, many small business owners who acted prudently and responsibility have been affected by the reckless behavior of others in that they’ve had loan applications denied and lines of credits reduced or canceled. As a result, SBA guaranteed loans, which are usually about $20 billion a year, will likely be below $10 billion this year. In addition to eight small business and community bankers, the elected officials in attendance were Landrieu; Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R. Maine),

ranking member of the Senate Small Business Committee; New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez, chair of the House Small Business Committee; and Missouri Rep. Sam Graves, ranking member of the House Small Business Committee. Although his company is larger than the average minority business, Albert Fuller, chairman and CEO of Integrated Packaging Corp. (No. 30 on the BE Industrial/Service 100 list), says his company has been severely affected by the credit crunch. For the past two years, in fact, it has had to fund most of its capital projects using its own financing and internal cash sources. Integrated is in the process of expanding both of its plants, for which it is putting in about $10 million of capital. Fuller, who attended today’s White House conference, thinks the initiatives announced will remind bankers that lending is a high priority for the Obama administration and that it is watching. “We’re outside of the SBA realm, but we are applying for loans from some of the larger banks that have received TARP money. This occasion and others like it will be very helpful in making those conversations more fruitful,” said Fuller. Sterling Crockett, chairman and CEO of Sterling Construction Services Inc., in Baltimore, is one of the few lucky small business owners who hasn’t been hurt by the frozen credit market. Crockett, now in the last two years of the SBA’s 8(a) program, has previously used SBA loans and plans to in the future. He was particularly interested in the provision that eliminates capital gains taxes on private investment in small businesses. “That is very encouraging and helpful because we’re exploring all options; nothing’s off the table,” said Crockett, who also attended the White House event. He’s heartened by today’s news because it will help him expand both the company’s capacity and its reach, enabling him to be fully prepared for any American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of and other contracting opportunities that he hopes will soon come his way.

Thursday Blues at

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Come by for lunch and relax to blues and jazz from our house band! 2560 S. Lincoln Blvd. Marina del Rey North East corner of Washington & Lincoln

“LA Times Magazine favorite cajun food”


Our Economic Recovery Plan Do Business with

Joyce Jones contributed to this article.

36 T April 2009 T Black Business News T


Member Businesses & Advertisers

Zizini Safaris, Inc. Zizini Safaris provides the traveller with an unsurpassed and memorable experience of a lifetime in Tanzania. We share with you the beauty of Tanzania; its rich natural resources, warm, friendly people, and a wealth of cultural experiences; offer the opportunity to gain an appreciation of the flora and fauna of these beautiful lands, which will evoke the need to protect and enhance these experiences for today and future generations.

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Don’t have the Africa Channel in your area? Call Time Warner at: 1-888-8922253 and ask that the Africa Channel be broadcast to ALL regions of California. For information on the Africa Channel visit or send an e-mail inquiry to

37 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

38 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

Shop with BBA Advertisers & Members

39 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

Leimert Park Village

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Black Business News International Edition Four issues a year Winter • Spring • Summer • Fall

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323-291-9334 or e-mail:

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75th Anniversary Annual Conference

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Ex-Im Bank’s Africa team’s feature panel “Africa: Opportunities in the Big 5” will explore commercial opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa with a special focus on Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Representatives from each country’s mission in the United States will discuss projects in their homelands, focusing on prospective U.S. sourcing and Ex-Im Bank financing assistance. For information: w w w. e x i m . g o v / n e w s / a n n u a l conf/2009/index.cfm

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Festival of the Boa Morte 2009

terests of their followers and represent them socially and politically. Search on “Boa Morte” for more information. To take part in this tour and experi-


he Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) and several other organizations are leading tours to Brazil in August 2009. The focus of the tours is the annual Boa Morte celebration that takes place in Bahia, Brazil. In Bahia, Africa abounds! Salvador is the “most” African of all of the Brazilian cities. 90% of the population of over two million people has African ancestry. The local cuisine, musical traditions, dance forms and Bahia’s vibrant visual arts are all testaments to this permeating African influence.

Cachoeira Bahia Festivals Festa de Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte Festival falls on the Friday closest to 15 August and lasts three days. Organized by the Irmandade da Boa Morte (Sisterhood of the Good Death)—a secret, religious society of African-Brazilian women—the festival is celebrated by the descendants of African slaves, who praise their liberation with dance and prayer and a mix of themes from Candomblé and Catholicism. It is perhaps the most important festival in the African Heritage calendar in Bahia and is a living tribute of African culture and

Diaspora to the New World. The festival is part of the history of mass importation of blacks from the African coast to the cane-growing Reconcavo region of Bahia. The former slaves have demonstrated enormous adroitness in worshipping in the religion of those in power without letting go of their ancestral beliefs, as well as in the ways they defend the in-

ence the past and the present, honor and better understand our heritage in one exciting tour package. Contact the ASCAC tour service provider: CONSOLIDATED TOURS ORGANIZATION, INC., 1675 Virginia Avenue, Suite 200, Atlanta, Georgia 30337-2845 USA, Tel: 404-767-2727 or via e-mail: info@ Reservations must be completed by June 9, 2009.

41 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

Calendar April… 3rd The Greenlining Institute’s 16th Annual Economic Summit The annual event will be held at the Center at Cathedral Plaza, 555 West Temple StreetDowntown Los Angeles. Confirmed speakers include: Richard Davis, CEO, US Bank and Randall Stephenson, CEO, AT&T. The Greenlining Big Brain Award will be presented to Earl “Skip” Cooper, President/CEO, Black Business Association. Register Now at www.greenlining. org/summit.

25th African Goodwill Recognition Awards & Induction Ceremony The awards ceremony to be held at the Veteran Auditorium Complex in Culver City showcases the challenges and accomplishments of men and women whose commitment in great measure has given hope to the poor in Africa, the Caribbean and in American inner cities. The event emphasis is on bringing communities and businesses together to continue the commitment in helping people in need. The African Family Induction Ceremony initiates eminent African Americans into African families in different African countries. The ceremony serves as a conduit through which the artificial barriers that exist between Africans and their relatives in the Diaspora may be erased and lays a foundation for the formation of a new African family that is inclusive of our cousins outside the geographical boundaries of current African continent. For information on awardees and inductees as well as ticket information visit the website at or call 310-676-7300.

May… 7th 2nd Annual Spring Green Fair Metropolitan Water District hosts this free fair at 700 N. Alameda, downtown from 9 am to 3 pm. Benefit from a day of meeting Green vendors and attending workshops on susainability topics. Contact the Business Outreach Office for information: 213)-217-6719, and

14th International Trade Outlook Get up-to-date insight into the international trade outlook for 2009. International trade continues to provide more than 281,000 jobs in the region. During 2008, goods valued at more than $357 billion moved through the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex and LAX/Ontario airports. Register at Early Bird prices until May 1st. 8:00-10:00 am at Keesal, Young and Logan - 14th Floor, 400 Oceangate - Union Bank Building, Long Beach, CA 90801-1730. .17th-20th 14th Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference & Expo “Shifting Gears: New Markets, New Opportunities” will be held in Detroit, Michigan at the Detriot Marriott in Renaissance Center. The power confernce for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to find new markets and new opportunities in these volatile economic times. Hundreds of deal makers are expected to attend—from aspiring business owners to top-tier professionals—all looking to build networks and seek growth opportunities. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek into the products, trends, and services you’ll need to know about to stay competitive. Find information and registration at

25th AFRICA DAY Worldwide celebration of African heritage. Check your local organizations for scheduled events.

28th BBA’s Annual Awards Dinner Call 323-291-9334 for detailed information.

tion at

July… 22nd-25th 13th Annual International African American Hotel Ownership / MultiCultural Tourism Summit & Trade Show The 4-day summit will take place at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa. Topics include means of becoming a hotel owner or investor and participating in the tourism industry. Register at www. or call 323-291-9334 for detailed information.

August… 9th-16th Bahia, Brazil - Festival of the Boa Morte 2009 Experience the culture of Afro-Brazil on this exciting tour. See details on page 49 For information send an e-mail query to info@ctoinc. com.

27th Leon H. Sullivan Summit Awards Celebration - Africa Rising The gala awards dinner will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. For information visit

September… 3rd-7th BlackEnterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge 2009 JW Marriott Grande Lakes, Orlando, FL. Go to

For a complete listings of events around Southern California visit


27th-July 1st 2009 Annual Conference - Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund The conference will take place at the Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. Get information or register at or call 773-373-3366.

29th-30th G8 Corporate Africa Infrastructure Investment Conference The conference will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington in London. Get informa-

43 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

Send your event notice to:

Calendar at

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Please complete then submit this form with your payment. Please type or print. Name: Title: Company: Address: City: State: Zip Code: Telephone: E-mail: URL: Type of Business: W/MBE Certified by:


Year Established:

NAICS Codes: Briefly describe your products and/or services

‰ New membership ‰ Renewal Membership

Select Type of Membership ‰ Regular Member-$200 annual dues 51% African-American owned, Voting membership

‰ Corporate Member-$2,500 annual dues Major corporation, Non-voting membership ‰ Associate Member-$100 annual dues Non-business owner, Non-voting membership ‰ Student Member-$25 annual dues Full-time registered student, Non-voting membership Amount enclosed $ Payment type: ‰ credit card ‰ Visa ‰ MasterCard Card #: Signature Fax Payment to: 323-291-9234

Exp. Date


Payment type: ‰ check/money order—make payable to: Black Business Association Mail to: P.O. Box 43159, Los Angeles, CA 90043 USA For information Call: 323-291-9334 Email: Website:

VERACITY REALTY, INC. “Dedicated to Truthfulness” Let us see what we can do for you in both Commercial & Residential finance!


Jonathan Thompson, Commercial Broker Phone: 800-455-2142 Cell: 323-309-2885

Rhonda Thompson, Residential Loan Officer Phone 800-455-2142 Cell: 323-387-9439 CA Dept. of Real Estate, Real Estate Broker: 01781216 *APR: Includes appraisal, title insurance, escrow, points & other loan cost is 6.487%

Open Supplier Certification Process

Ten Tips from page 24

ings and training sessions. Instead of spending time traveling, you can use the time to get work done with technology. 8. Employ a managed service provider. Is managing a network the best use of your employees’ time? In some situations, it is advantageous to hire a managed service provider for network administration. Working with a managed service provider can free your IT staff to focus on other IT tasks and use their time more effectively. 9. Improve employee satisfaction. Aging phone systems and slow networks can frustrate your employees

and annoy your customers. In some cases, an employee might become burned out and decide to move on. To help ensure that employees are productive and satisfied, your business needs a secure, reliable, and fast network. 10. Develop a long-term technology plan. The process of replacing obsolete hardware can interrupt your employees and bring the office to a standstill. You can minimize such disruptions by carefully determining short- and long-term business objectives and working with your network vendor to deploy technology that matches them.

The Verizon Communications Corporation is seeking to identify a greater share of African American-owned and operated businesses to match to potential operating contracts. The data base that Verizon procurement management personnel are instructed to review is the California Public Utilities Commission Clearinghouse. BBA members wanting to expand market opportunities with a telecommunication company should consider completing a supplier certification application. To obtain an application go to the Internet web address and visit the supplier diversity page for an online application. The BBA encourages all members to participate in this process that works to create greater opportunities for all African-American owned and operated firms. Last year the California Verizon Company reported an annual spend with African American owned suppliers in excess of $40 million.

45 T April 2009 T Black Business News T

Reach Thousands Leaders in Business and Government YOUR LINK TO BLACK BUSINESS ENTERPRISE and the AFRICAN GLOBAL ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (GAEC) The Black Business Association, SBA 2007 Journalist of the Year, is pleased to invite you to be an integral part of our publication. Black Business News - International. The Black Business News is the official voice through which public and private entities advertise business and investment opportunities, gain access to a highly affluent target market via outreach and advertising opportunities.

Black Business News International Edition


ional Ed

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ism indust : Investment in Africa ’s all across ry is active, vit al and is tourthe con evident tinent.

Feature Ar “Strateg ticles: ie Engage s For Construc m tisve African ent with the Diaspora ” “Diaspor a Engage Remittan m ces & Be ent: yond” Investm en t Pr of the Re public of oƤle: Moyo Dis Ug

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Choose to care. Choose to celebrate. Choose to dream. At Comerica Bank, we choose to care about the dreams and visions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We choose to celebrate equality and diversity among all people, and we’re dedicated to ringing the bells of freedom. Choose to celebrate the dream with us.

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BBA News April 09  
BBA News April 09