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2010 Rhode Island Latino Economic Development Visioning

Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila Milenio Associates, LLC 12/1/2010


Milenio Associates, LLC

© 2010-2013 Tomás Alberto Ávila

Cover Photo: © 2010 Providence Journal photos / Andrew Dickerman Tomás Alberto Ávila of the R.I. Latino Professional Business Network discusses recent Census data on Hispanicowned businesses with state Sen. Juan Pichardo and the state's congressional delegation and economic development officials today.

I'm blessed to have lived and to have matured in career at a time when the Latino community is coming into such prominence in our country and at a time when so many things are possible. I'd like to think my contributions are in the realm of promoting the Latino emergence economically and politically.

Henry Cisneros Latino Magazine December, 2008

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Rhode Island Latino Economic Development Visioning Tomás Alberto Ávila Milenio Associates, LLC

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Table of Contents Prologue ................................................................................................................................................... 14 Economic Development in the Latino Community: Our Path to the 21st Century ................................................15 Our Neighborhoods Economies (ONE)..................................................................................................................19 LCA Economic Development Initiative..................................................................................................................23 Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................23 Objectives .........................................................................................................................................................23 The Initiative ....................................................................................................................................................24 The Latino Economic Development Center .......................................................................................................25 Mission .............................................................................................................................................................25 Statewide Programs and Activities ....................................................................................................................26 Statewide Networking .......................................................................................................................................26 Service Brokering .............................................................................................................................................26 Community Planning ........................................................................................................................................26 Best Practices ....................................................................................................................................................27 Promotion and Development .............................................................................................................................27 Public Relations and Advocacy .........................................................................................................................27 Fundraising .......................................................................................................................................................27 Conferencing ....................................................................................................................................................27 Latinos in the New Millenium Conference ...........................................................................................................28 Millennial Conference ..........................................................................................................................................29 Conference Objectives ......................................................................................................................................29 Conference Programming..................................................................................................................................29

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Economic Development Opportunities ................................................................................................... 30 Riverside Drive (Promenade 05/05/99)..............................................................................................................31 Valley Parkway (Narragansett Landing 05/06/99) .............................................................................................31

RI Latino Economic Development Policy Research Institute ................................................................ 32 Vision/Challenge Statement ................................................................................................................................32 What is the RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute? ...............................................38 The RI Institute for New Immigrants (RIINI) ...................................................................................................41 Community Visioning ...........................................................................................................................................43

First Latino Roundtable Breakfast ............................................................................................................. 46 Our Challenge.......................................................................................................................................................46 About The Latino Roundtable ..............................................................................................................................46 What We Will Do..................................................................................................................................................46 Mission.................................................................................................................................................................46 Approach..............................................................................................................................................................47 Process .................................................................................................................................................................47

First Latino Roundtable Breakfast PR ........................................................................................................ 48 A New Latino Leadership Paradigm........................................................................................................... 49 Positive Economic Indicators for Hispanics Reveal Opportunity to Focus on the Nation’s Working Poor ............51 Latinos' Buying Power Rises, Study Finds .............................................................................................................53 Rhode Island Businesses Owned by Latinos Top Two Thousand ..........................................................................54 Statistics for Selected Places With 100 or More Latino Owned Firms: 1997 ......................................................55 Today Renters: Tomorrow’s Homeowners, Increasing Latino Homeownership ...................................................56 80 Percent of Hispanic Families Are First-Time Home Buyers..............................................................................58 6

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Milenio Associates, LLC About the Latino Community ...............................................................................................................................62 Latino Small Business: The Untapped Potential for Economic Prosperity ............................................................64 Tomás Ávila Certified as First Step Fast Track Facilitator......................................................................................70 Business Coach and Administrator .......................................................................................................................70 Statistics for Selected Places With 100 or More Hispanic Owned Firms: 1997 ...................................................74 Statistics for Selected Counties With 100 or More Hispanic Owned Firms: 1997 ...............................................74 Southside Merchants Association Development ..................................................................................................78 Tomás Alberto Ávila April 14, 2003 .................................................................................................................78 Mission .............................................................................................................................................................78 About Us ..........................................................................................................................................................78 OBJECTIVE .......................................................................................................................................................78 Our vision .........................................................................................................................................................79 Why you should join GPMA... ..........................................................................................................................79 Your issues are our issues..................................................................................................................................79 Programs .............................................................................................................................................................79 Benefits of Membership: .....................................................................................................................................80 Strategic Project Partnerships............................................................................................................................80 City of Providence ............................................................................................................................................80 Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Urban Micro Business ........................................................80 SWAP Condo Project........................................................................................................................................80 Domestic Bank Training ...................................................................................................................................81 Johnson & Wales University .............................................................................................................................81 Providence Chamber of Commerce Latino Council ...........................................................................................81

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Milenio Associates, LLC Strategic Partnerships ........................................................................................................................................81 Initiatives Partnering .........................................................................................................................................81 Achievements ...................................................................................................................................................81 Growth Capital Needs in Hispanic Community .....................................................................................................83

The U.S. Hispanic Market ....................................................................................................................... 84 Latino-Owned Businesses Triples the National Average.......................................................................................85 2006 Primer Paso Press Release ...........................................................................................................................87 ‘Primer Paso’ A First Step For Hispanic Firms .......................................................................................................88 Editorial: Latino Entrepreneurs Looking To Succeed ............................................................................................90

Program Guides Latino Business Owners .............................................................................................. 91 The Decline of Government Support In Minority Private Equity Markets .......................................... 92 1.1.

SBICs: "Turbo-Charged" Returns .........................................................................................................93

1.2.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs as Key Engines of Growth for Cities ...........................................................93

1.3.

Generating Jobs and Tax Revenues ........................................................................................................93

1.4.

Help from Cities Lacking ........................................................................................................................94

1.5.

Capital Crunch ........................................................................................................................................94

1.6.

Micro Lenders .........................................................................................................................................95

Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) ...............................................................................96 Tomás Alberto Ávila Awarded 2007 Rhode Island SBDC State Star at the National Conference of the Association of SBDCs ...............................................................................................................................................................97

Avila Honored for SBDC Services to R.I. Latinos ................................................................................. 98 Avila Honored For Bringing SBDC Services To Latinos ..........................................................................................99 The RI Latino Professionals Business Network (RILPBN).....................................................................................100 Mission...............................................................................................................................................................100 8

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Milenio Associates, LLC Vision .................................................................................................................................................................100 Goals: .................................................................................................................................................................100 At the business level: ......................................................................................................................................101 At the Community Level: ................................................................................................................................101 Possibilities ........................................................................................................................................................101 Issues .................................................................................................................................................................102 Primer Paso Three Year Review Interview .........................................................................................................103

Immigrant Startups Are Maturing In Nature ..................................................................................... 106 PBN EDITORIAL ..........................................................................................................................................106

The MBE Technical Assistance Project (MTAP) ................................................................................. 107 Conceptual Overview: ........................................................................................................................................107 The Vision ......................................................................................................................................................107 Detail the Project Background .........................................................................................................................107 MBE Business Certification ............................................................................................................................109 Evaluation/Assessment ...................................................................................................................................109 Funding .............................................................................................................................................................109 Entrepreneurship in the Green Economy ...........................................................................................................112 The Green Economy: Definitions & Implications ................................................................................................117 Executive Summary ..........................................................................................................................................117 Overview of the Green Economy ......................................................................................................................118 The Green Economy .........................................................................................................................................120 The “greening” of occupations ........................................................................................................................120 Green Increased Demand Occupations. ...........................................................................................................120

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Milenio Associates, LLC Green Enhanced Skills Occupations ................................................................................................................120 Green New and Emerging (N&E) Occupations. ...............................................................................................120 Major Green Economy Sectors ........................................................................................................................121 Renewable Energy Generation ........................................................................................................................121 Transportation.................................................................................................................................................121 Energy Efficiency ...........................................................................................................................................121 Green Construction .........................................................................................................................................121 Energy Trading ...............................................................................................................................................121 Energy and Carbon Capture ............................................................................................................................121 Research, Design, and Consulting Services .....................................................................................................121 Environment Protection...................................................................................................................................121 Agriculture and Forestry .................................................................................................................................121 Manufacturing ................................................................................................................................................121 Recycling and Waste Reduction ......................................................................................................................122 Governmental and Regulatory .........................................................................................................................122 Summary ...........................................................................................................................................................122 Minding Your Green Business ............................................................................................................................123 Importance of Census data on Hispanic-owned businesses discussed at news conference ...............................127 Hispanic-Owned Businesses Economic Census News Conference ......................................................................129 Program .............................................................................................................................................................129 RI Latino-Owned Businesses increased 68.8 percent since 2007 to 5,763 according to the 2007 Economic Census ...........................................................................................................................................................................130

Rhode Island 2007 Survey of Business Owners .................................................................................... 132 Economic Census Information Drives Decision Making ......................................................................................136 10

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Milenio Associates, LLC Census Bureau Figures Show A Sharp Rise In Hispanic-Owned Businesses ........................................................140

Supporting Media Articles .................................................................................................................... 143 Hispanic immigrants make their mark in R.I. ...................................................................................... 144 Latinos find success in U.S..................................................................................................................... 147 Hispanic population, income rises locally in the past decade .............................................................................149

Latinos living the American dream of home ownership ....................................................................... 150 RISBDC Latino Business Initiative Summary ............................................................................................ 152 Latinos in RI ........................................................................................................................................................153 RISBDC Latino Business Initiative Overview .................................................................................................154

Latino Business Model ............................................................................................................................ 155 RISBDC Community Organization Partnerships............................................................................................156 Will sponsor Primer Paso program to strengthen local small businesses ...........................................................158 Progreso Latino Creates Center To Help Small-Business Owners .......................................................................159 Progreso Latino, Johnson & Wales University Honor First Graduates ...............................................................161 Latinos Taking New Entrepreneurial Skills To Market .......................................................................................163 Latino entrepreneurs looking to succeed ...........................................................................................................167 Editorials ...........................................................................................................................................................167 Primer Paso’s new grads already see improvement ...........................................................................................168 ‘Primer Paso’ A First Step For Hispanic Firms .....................................................................................................170 An Entrepreneur’s Dream Requires Some Homework .......................................................................................172 Entrepreneur Is Gearing Up To Grow His Repair Business ..................................................................................174 Lead-Safety Trainer Aims To Open Interpreting Firm .........................................................................................176 Couple Want To Build Their Business Right This Time .......................................................................................178

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Milenio Associates, LLC Big Dreams Begin With Latino Plantain Treats ...................................................................................................180 An Accomplished Latina Wants To Mentor Others.............................................................................................182 Immigrant Sees Potential For Year-Round Pool Firm .........................................................................................184 Software Creator Focuses On Tour Operators’ Needs ........................................................................................186

PBN’s Myers joins 5 others in receiving Metcalf Award ..................................................................... 188 Workshop Draws Fledgling Hispanic Entrepreneurs ...........................................................................................190 Kennedy Secures Funds to Assist with Job Development ...................................................................................192

Kennedy Secures Funds to Assist with Job Development .................................................................... 194 Latino Entrepreneurship Development Program................................................................................................195 Latino Entrepreneurship Development Program Director ..................................................................................196

Latinos Eager to Start Businesses ......................................................................................................... 198 Local Latino investment club says now is a good time to buy stocks ................................................... 200 MoneyTack Season Three...................................................................................................................... 203 RIEDC Latino Business Roundtable Luncheon 06/15/2010 ................................................................. 204 Participants .......................................................................................................................................................204 RIEDC Personnel .................................................................................................................................................204 Keith Stokes Main Points ...................................................................................................................................204 Goals ..................................................................................................................................................................205 Tomás Ávila Recommendations .........................................................................................................................205 Challenges Expressed .........................................................................................................................................205 Questionnaire ....................................................................................................................................................206

The Growth of Latino Small Businesses in Providence ........................................................................ 207 Rhode Island Hispanics: Moving Up ........................................................................................................ 211 12

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Leveraging Rhode Island Emerging Hispanic Market ......................................................................... 214

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Prologue The Hispanic migration has had profound effects on Providence. In vast areas of the city, English has become a minority language. The overall city population, which was indeed headed to its lowest level in a century, reversed direction in the 1980s, thanks to the Hispanics, and now exceeds 170,000. With so many new immigrants in the city population, Providence had a poverty rate in 2000 of 29%, one of the highest rates of any major city in the country. The Hispanic share of the city population, estimated at 36% in 2007, is just a few points below the percentage for non Hispanic whites. The African-American population, which had looked forward to assuming political leadership in the city, is now less than half the size of the Hispanic population; like the Irish and Italians of past eras, the two groups watch each other warily and do not easily work together. Hispanics have also been highly entrepreneurial, transforming Broad Street and other main arteries into Hispanic shopping centers. According to the recently-released figures from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners by the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic-owned companies jumped from 3,415 in 2002 to 5,764 in 2007, an increase of 68.8 percent. Over the same time period, revenues increased by 115.4 percent, from 213.7 million in 2002 to 460.4 million in 2007. County Kent County Newport County Providence Washington

Business 284 214 5,043 144

Sales Receipt

$27,132,000 $12,748,000 $394,945,000 $22,122,000

Perhaps most startling, the Hispanic population, after less than a quarter-century in the city, is already showing evidence of moving up the social ladder. Poverty is decreasing, incomes are rising faster among Hispanics than the rest of the population, and Hispanics are seeking better opportunity for their children in charter schools and in suburban schools. School enrollment data makes clear that Hispanics are moving by the thousands to suburbs close to the Providence border. At a time when whites are leaving the state, many in search of employment, the Hispanic population continues to grow, albeit more slowly than in past decades. Between 2000 and 2008, the number of white Rhode Islanders declined by 41,000, while the number of Hispanics rose by 31,000. As a result, people with roots in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala are increasingly prominent, and they are beginning to enter the mainstream of suburban life. It would not be surprising to find in 2010 that 15,000 Hispanics live in the suburban towns in Providence, Kent and Bristol counties. These trends of assimilation continue, with the election of Angel Taveras as first Hispanic mayor of Providence. Civil wars, poverty and corruption drove many of the Hispanics to leave their home countries in the tropical zone, and head for what they believed would be greater opportunity for them in the temperate zone. Many headed first to New York City, with its huge Puerto Rican and Dominican neighborhoods, or to the small, teeming cities across the Hudson in New Jersey, places like Passaic, Perth Amboy, Elizabeth, Patterson and Hackensack. But crime and drugs in these cities caused many to migrate again, landing in Bridgeport, Hartford, Central Falls and Providence in the 1980s. Between 1980 and 2008, the Hispanic population grew by 520% in Rhode Island, more than in New York City, or the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In fact, Rhode Island’s Hispanic population rose at a greater rate during these years than in California, Texas or Florida, America’s great Hispanic states. Making it in Rhode Island has not been easy. Many Hispanics had very low education levels and spoke only Spanish. Just as the Hispanics began to arrive, the usual employer of immigrants, manufacturing, was beginning its terminal swoon in Rhode Island: factory employment has fallen by 60,000 since 1980. 14

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Economic Development in the Latino Community: Our Path to the 21st Century By Tomás Alberto Ávila November 8, 1997 Providence, RI Building a community requires a strong foundation upon which to develop neighborhoods into thriving productive areas. Frequently community leaders tend to dwell on the problems and deficiencies of their community as their basis for producing a strategic plan to guide neighborhoods and individuals in building their community. Communities are study for these problems and subsequently become consumers of human and social services. Often before embarking on a new project, a need assessment is undertaken to identify and determine the specific needs of a target group or community so that a program can properly be structured to meet those needs. Organizations are accustomed to focusing on the gaps in the community in addressing those related needs. Most of the funding directed to lower income communities is based on the problem-oriented data collected in need assessment. Targeting resources based on deficiencies directs funding not to residents but to service providers. This mentality can also have a negative effect on the nature of local leadership. If for example one measure of effective leadership is the ability to attract resources, then local leaders are in effect being force to belittle their neighbors and their community by highlighting their problems and deficiencies, and by ignoring their capacities and strengths. This direction should be regarded as one of the root causes of the sense of hopelessness that pervades discussions about the future of local communities. Typically, this has been the most common strategy however; a foundation based on deficits makes it difficult to realize the goals of a strong community As the youngest, fastest growing minority group in the country, Hispanics have immense electoral and consumermarket potential. Hispanic consumers already spend over $350 billion a year and their influence will inevitably grow in national and economic affairs. We need to demand the support of business and Corporate America to help our Hispanic citizens realize their great potential, instead of highlighting the problems and deficiencies in our communities. Investing in Hispanic America makes good business sense. In today's global economy, Latin America has emerged as a key region for trade and investment opportunities for the United States. Opportunities exist in almost every sector of the Latin American economy, including: communications, software, construction, transportation, agriculture, health and energy. Hispanic Business in the U.S. continues to expand at a higher rate than ever before, with over 1.3 million Hispanic business owners in the U.S. today, generating nearly 200 billion dollars in annual gross receipts. Through this growth, Hispanic entrepreneurs have become a strategic partner for Latin American businesses. Our community leaders and organizations should proclaim themselves ready to dive deeply into the issue of economic development, with a multifaceted plan to help our people increase their economic self sufficiency. This agenda should signal a clear economic direction for the Latino community in the 21st century. This agenda should focus specifically on the way to shape the economic future of Latinos, and should provide how-to strategies on becoming entrepreneurs, accessing capital, getting involved in urban revitalization and partnering with large companies to engendered self sufficiency and wealth building in the Latino community of RI.

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Milenio Associates, LLC The organizations will endeavored to build individual and collective wealth, increase business and home ownership, prepare people for gainful employment, and promote academic excellence. The next 30 months should be a time of serious soul searching for Latino organizations. We should be asking ourselves how we could best serve our constituencies in the next century. In most cases, this soul searching should lead to a more sharply defined and targeted approach to achieving our community’s economic objectives. Just like Afro American civil right organizations are shifting their civil right agendas to an economic agenda, Latino organizations need to start focusing on the economic empowerment of our communities. Why should economic development be the agenda of choice for the Latino community and other minority groups? Despite some improvement in the last decade, more economic development is crucial if Hispanics are ever to attain a full and equal place in American society. Latino leaders need to furnish Hispanic businesses with training services and management expertise. Leaders also need to assist entrepreneurs in starting new businesses and helps small businesses expand. Because the current environment has shifted from the government to corporate America and the community entities, the politicians in Washington are a lot more inhospitable now than in the past and it’s tougher getting equal rights laws pass. Since this time is not conducive for government activism, self-sufficiency has become the watchword. With the advent of major corporations’ right sizing, the white working class is suffering from the same anxiety as other ethnic groups, and to just make a statistical statement about needing to hire more Latinos won’t necessarily work. White workers are starting to view this tactics as a power grab, which has lessened the public relations benefit and the moral authority. Economic Development for the Latino community should not only mean accumulation of capital, but more importantly the development of an infrastructure within our communities, economic development, business development, job creation all have to do with developing a community. Economic development is the active participation in the creation of individual and collective wealth in the community where one lives, participating in the economic revitalization of our own neighborhoods as producers’ manufacturers and sellers. A community will remain powerless when it only consumes. Economic development provides the fuel to exercise political clout. For mobilizing our ballots power so that politicians who covet our vote don’t take us for granted. For influencing national elections outcome, which as we have learned the hard way of late, shape the composition of the federal courts that ultimately rule on issues close to home. The Latino leaders should work on developing role models within the business community and invest the capital into educational opportunities. This will empower the participants and the community to create its own jobs, hires Latinos, contribute to candidates of its choice and will exhort Latinos to demonstrate the same entrepreneurial zest that has existed in every community through the following strategies. It should urge Latinos to lessen their dependence in a weekly paycheck by saving and pooling their individual and collective resources and investing them wisely. It should encourage our organizations to build up local business districts in Latino neighborhoods across the state, instead of standing around waiting for the government to do it, while other cash in the financial benefits. With our small businesses and entrepreneurs, we have the right stuff to take advantage of any huge opportunity that’s unfolding under our noses. There is new opportunities downtown, in many urban neighborhoods and nearby suburbs. Increase home ownership in our neighborhoods, and produce more executives in income-producing divisions of corporate America Educate young people that academic excellence is the key to competing at a world-class level, and encourage Latinos to become players of our own destiny, and not just bystanders. We should become involved in the merger proceedings if local banks plan to merge, so they won’t fail to make provisions to establish credit pools for the Latino community and secure that retail and business loans flow to the Latino community. Financial institutions have to go beyond window dressing when it comes to community reinvestment. They have to stop just making donations, and instead 16

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Milenio Associates, LLC make low interest money available to the community. They should start making the process easier. The real spirit of community reinvestment is to do those kinds of things, Institute pilot economic development programs and then make successful models available to other community organizations. In order to secure the success of this agenda, the organization needs to make sure that the adequate amount of resources is in place to support it. Utilizing the community reinvestment Act to its fullest extent to bring capital into Latino businesses and neighborhoods. Mainstream companies are eagerly tapping into the new energy and immense purchasing power in cities. The key question is: Are we going to be players? Shame on us if we let the opportunity slip by, only to moan years from now that we’re still on the outside looking in. Offering the understanding of neighborhood conditions and the long-term focus that the community requires. For example teaching residents about their options and rights concerning housing. Training young Latinos in the various careers involved in the development of the needed infrastructure. Past experiences indicate that significant community development takes place when local community individuals are committed to investing themselves and their resources in a joint effort. Another reason for accentuating the development of the internal economic development of local urban neighborhoods is the dismal prospect for outside help from forces outside the community. The passive action of sitting around and waiting has been exhausted and proven unworthy to the minority communities. Economic development must start from within the community. One of the biggest obstacles facing local leaders today is revitalizing and expanding the economic life of a community. As a result of various cutbacks and downsizing, smaller neighborhoods and communities have been virtually unplugged from the mainstream economy. In order to reenter the economy, communities need a major commitment to economic development. A creative approach works best in situations where traditional methods of economic development haven’t work. Question to consider, while establishing a strategic economic development plan. How may community builders recognize and capture the full economic development potential of all local institutions and organizations? How can community builders capture local savings and expand the availability of vital capital and credit for community economic development purposes? How can local development leaders maximize the creative uses of all the physical assets of the community? Even in most devastated neighborhoods there exist materials needed to construct a path toward economic development. It is necessary to harness the underutilized economic power of local institutions. Non-economic institutions have the potential to be key players in building stronger, healthier economies depending on how they use their resources. Local institutions, which invest in neighborhood, demonstrate commitment to the economic health and well being of the neighborhood. In general there are eight basic methods for local institutions to invest in building their community: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Local purchasing Freeing potential productive economic space Local investment strategies Mobilizing external resources Creating alternative credit institutions Hiring locally Developing new business

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Milenio Associates, LLC 8. Developing human resources Another method that can be utilized to rebuild community economies is to begin looking at physical liabilities and devise alternatives for how they can be transformed into assets. Communities can begin by reclaiming vacant lots and abandoned spaces. This process involves four basic steps:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Make an inventory of vacant and abandoned spaces Acquire the space, using variety approaches, often with the help of partners. Initiate and develop an appropriate project. Maintain a viable ongoing project. Whole Community Mobilization

Concentrating on maximizing local assets and generating new relationship is not enough. The real challenge presents itself in developing comprehensive assets base strategy, one, which might involve virtually the entire community in the complex process of regeneration. Whole community mobilization may be envisioned and may begin being implemented by a five step process: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Mapping completely the capacities and assets of individuals, citizens associations and local institutions. Building relationships among local assets for mutually beneficial problem solving within the community. Mobilizing the community’s assets fully for economic development and information sharing purposes. Convening as broadly representative groups as possible for the purpose of building a community vision and plan. 5. Leveraging activities, investments and resources from outside the community to support asset based, locally defined development. 6. All together these steps comprise the process of achieving an asset based, internally focused and relationship driven community economic development.

Reference Altshuler, Alan A. and Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez. 1993. Regulating for Revenue: The Political Economy of Land Use Exactions. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution. Avila, Alberto, Tomás Community Leadership Development Initiative Structure & Vision, Providence, RI January 1, 1997 Blakely, Edward J. and David Ames. 1992. "Changing Places: American Planning Policy for the 1990s." Journal of Urban Affairs 14:423-446. Bogart, William T. 1993. "'What Big Teeth You Have!': Identifying Motivations for Exclusionary Zoning." Urban Studies 30:1669-1682. Clingermayer, James C. and Richard C. Feiock. 1993. "Constituencies, Campaign Support, and Council Member Intervention in City Development Policy. Social Science Quarterly 199-215 Dear, Michael and Allen Scott, eds. 1986. Urbanization and Urban Planning in Capitalist Society. New York: Methuen. Fleet Bank, 20/20 Vision CRA Symposium, Washington DC November 4-6, 1997 Rodriguez, Ralph, Governor's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs Action Forum Report, Providence RI, November, 1997 18

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Our Neighborhoods Economies (ONE) One Community/One Economic Development Strategy By Tomás Alberto Ávila 09/25/1997

Executive Summary Just as our economic difficulties stem from more than the effects of single factors such as defense down-sizing or selected high taxes, fixing our economic problems will require more than developing a single program here, or passing single legislation there. The New Economy is characterized by political institutions and cultures that are more participatory and collaborative. In the new global economy, "an infrastructure for collaboration" is a key component of success. As Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kantor states in World Class, "politics involves battles over distribution: who gets which slices of the pie. A community's social infrastructure, m contrast, offers the prospect for expanding the pie. Yet, the social infrastructure (for collaboration) is too often neglected; allowing the area to remain fragmented and balkanized1. This social capital, the ability of people to work together for a common purpose in groups and organizations, is a characteristic of successful regional economies around the world, from Silicon Valley in California to the EmiliaRomagna region in Italy.9 These places have begun to work collectively and to see their competition as coming not from another part of the state, but from outside the state, region, and nation. In this environment, the biggest threat becomes the lack of change itself. For example, Silicon Valley, a region most would consider as being free from economic difficulties, was so concerned about the effect of its "culture of blame" on economic development that it made a commitment to work together to develop the "Silicon Valley, Joint Venture Way" a partnership of business, government and community-based organizations to collectively address and solve pressing issues that were holding back the communities' economic future. In fact, successful communities and states are those that are better at responding to economic change -- at developing a shared understanding of changes, at crafting innovative solutions, and most importantly, at coming together to place the collective interest of the community above a narrow interest in maintaining the status quo. Yet, Rhode Island's industrial, political and social legacy has made the development of a more collaborative civic culture difficult. The Rhode Island historian William McLaughlin argued that in the 1800s and early 1900s the legacy of industrialization and patterns of immigration meant that economic and social divisions were magnified by religious and political antipathies. He states: "by 1923, Rhode Island was a bitterly divided state, socially, economically, and politically." In the 1950s, there was "factionalism preventing the consistency and long range planning that might have helped the state out of its economic decline."" In 1977, the Providence Journal wrote "if the

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Rosabeth Moses , World Class (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1995). Francis Fukuyama, Trust (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1995).

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Milenio Associates, LLC people of Rhode Island conclude that 'free for all' individualism must give way to more cooperation, more balance and sharing, more planning in economic, political, and social affairs, the state may be on the brink of a major shift in its patterns of thought and behavior. In that breakthrough may lie Rhode Island's real 'Hope."' In spite of the recent progress, this legacy of division and mistrust remains a central barrier to Rhode Island's economic rejuvenation. These divisions occur at all levels. Business blames government. Government distrusts business and all too often assumes the worst of intentions. Citizens distrust political leaders and the political process. Aquidneck Islanders distrust Capital City interests. But perhaps the largest division is between labor and business. Too many workers see business as selfish, focused only on profit and exploitation of the workingman and woman, and are quick to call up the conflict-ridden history of exploitative mill owners as an illustration of business practices today. For their part, too many business leaders blame unions for all economic and political ills. Yet, both clearly have a stake in a healthy and prosperous Rhode Island economy that generates good jobs, high profits, and a more healthy state fiscal condition. Yet, compared to some other states, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan that have also had a history of contentious labor management relations, Rhode Island has not done enough to put this behind us and begin an era of cooperation." In general, we frame issues too often as win-lose, rather than win-win. Too often valuable political and institutional energies are spent fighting over pieces of a shrinking pie, instead of building a larger pie of more jobs, better wages, and higher profits. Such divisiveness may have been acceptable years ago when there was little interstate competition and when change was slow. Now, it gets in the way of the serious task of building our economy. Developing the sense that all Rhode Islanders -- rich and poor, white and minority, labor and management, north and south, are in this together, is a critical first step in the process of beginning to compete in the New Economy. Recent efforts suggest that we have taken steps in the right direction. But we need to do more. We need to create a culture in which people "come to the table" looking for a collaborative solution, not to stake out an adversarial position." We need to cast off the culture of blame and divisiveness and embrace a culture of responsibility and partnership. Building on the shared vision of all sectors of the Rhode Island economy, we must begin the process of healing the divisions of the old economy, and working together to build hope in the New Economy. Goals 1. Becoming promoters and participants of our community economic development. 2. Empowering our community to envision ourselves becoming economically empowered in order to be able to create wealth in our neighborhoods. 3. Teach community residents to overcome the social mentality and transform such mentality to an economic development mentality. 4. To take control of our economic future, Rhode Island needs to put in place a competitive business climate and a comprehensive and innovative economic development system. 5. Achieving these goals will require a concerted effort on the part of all Rhode Islanders: business, government, workers, and citizens. ONE economic strategy should be based on a comprehensive plan for community-controlled revitalization crafted by community stakeholders. This plan should outline the blueprint for a locally based economic development strategy based on the concept of an Urban Village. Other initiatives around the country have demonstrated that communitybased planning and organizing can produce quality affordable housing and a network of social services increasingly responsive to residents’ needs. The Board of Directors needs to develop a series of Urban Village Visioning sessions to convey the organization’s intention in the neighborhood. One of these visioning sessions should be Community Economic Power, which should identify the key leverage points to move from our vision to the reality of a vibrant multicultural urban village. 20

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Milenio Associates, LLC ONE basic approach is to create an environment of opportunity that encourages and supports sustainable business development and asset accumulation, and increases the purchasing power of ONE neighborhood residents. We need to build on the community’s many strengths, and rely on residents to set the direction. This community’s many assets include its unique ethnic composition (African American, Latino, Cape Verdean, and white) to name a few, a widespread interest in gardening and agriculture, the richness of its colonial history as well as the current interest in its revitalization efforts, point the way to certain assets-based approaches. This bottom-up, integrated community approach often puts us at odds with the conventional wisdom in community economic development. A number of observers, most notably Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro in Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality and Michael Sherraden in Assets and the Poor: A New American Welfare Policy explained that many previous attempts to spur the economic revitalization of central cities have fallen short of expectations because they do not address barriers to wealth creation or create asset building mechanisms. They note that in order to truly escape poverty, the so-called economically disadvantaged must not only raise their incomes, but acquire wealth through asset accumulation as well. Conventional wisdom has fostered strategies for urban revitalization that focus on job creation. ONE economic power strategy places the emphasis on both jobs and the creation of wealth. To date no organization has developed a coherent strategy for building both community and individual assets. More importantly, local institutions have given little guidance to communities on how to manage their existing and emerging assets in a way that will stabilize their communities and encourage individual wealth. "Revitalize Communities Through Asset Building" by Ben Hecht. While asset accumulation is crucial to long-term community viability and sustainability, income derived from employment is what families need in order to purchase groceries and pay the bills. A series of surveys conducted by the Harvard School of Business under the direction of Michael Porter estimate that the purchasing power of the residents of Greater Providence is more than $3 billion. Porter’s study also shows that overall; Providence’s urban neighborhoods are currently experiencing a $1 billion trade deficit. That is to say, $1 billion that residents spend on goods and services currently flows out of their neighborhoods. ONE residents shall be willing to take their time and build a sustainable economy whose foundation is composed principally of local businesses owned and operated by residents employing residents. They shall opt to devote the bulk of their energy and resources to generating homegrown economic power as opposed to attempting to import economic development from beyond their boundaries. Following the identification of Community Economic Power as a key leverage point, we shall design a community thinking process to do contingency planning around economic development. In these "What If…?" sessions, we tested various strategies against possible scenarios in order to identify "resilient elements" that helped approaches and projects survive many possibilities. These elements were summarized as: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

build on community diversity local/community ownership and control circulate dollars locally community cooperation more good jobs / livable wage community education personal development

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Milenio Associates, LLC 8. political clout 9. organizational infrastructure 10. harnessing outside resources 11. diverse economic activities 12. sustainability These resilient elements are now being crafted into a community assessment tool so that residents can examine and design projects that have the best chances of survival and the greatest community benefit. We have started to look at our own ideas, as well as other proposals, with this lens. The ultimate goal of ONE sustainable economic development strategy is to create a healthy, safe and secure neighborhood and to create real wealth within the community. Real wealth is created through the development and nurturing of individual and community assets. Economic development is thus seen as a means to an end, not the end itself. The ONE Street strategy for sustainable development is resident-directed and will build upon the community's inherent and acquired strengths and assets which include: its strategic location with respect to Providence and major transportation routes, available labor force, vacant land, a comprehensive revitalization plan, location within Enhanced Enterprise Community (EEC), strong community partners including CDCs, philanthropies, historic landmarks and sites, cultural diversity, and a business base. Implementation One’s Sustainable Economic Development Strategy is a comprehensive approach to create an environment of opportunity that encourages and supports sustainable business development and increases the purchasing power of One’s neighborhood residents. Although we recognize that this plan and the initiatives to support the strategies described above are ambitious, they strategically build on the area's strengths and resources and ONE's capacity to undertake the needed organizing and leveraging of resources to address the needs we have identified through our work in the community. While the bulk of the initial planning and ongoing organizing work associated with this effort will be coordinated and carried out by ONE staff, the successful implementation of our Strategy for Sustainable Economic Development will require the assistance of many others. For example, our community partners -particularly our local community development corporations -- will have key roles to play. We will also continue our work with various levels of government, university-based, and community environmental agencies/organizations to package technical assistance and resources for both existing businesses and to possibly redevelop brownfields for productive use. Wherever possible, graduate students from local business schools and policy and planning programs will assist us with market studies, business planning, and related research. However, we expect that specialists may be required on a contract basis to support implementation of a number of the objectives described in the above plan (for example, to develop ownership structures should we identify worker-owned business opportunities). In addition, the Resident Development Institute (RDI) that is being developed as the cornerstone of ONE's participation in the Annie E. Casey Rebuilding Communities Initiative (RCI) will be the primary vehicle for encouraging resident participation. Currently two RCI staff members and organizing staff are focusing their work on strategy similar to ONE to help develop resident economic power.

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LCA Economic Development Initiative By Tomテ。s Alberto Avila October 30th, 1997

Executive Summary Economic growth and employment creations are crucial variables in any urban revitalization strategy. Jobs -- their quality, availability and location - and access to economic opportunity are critical building blocks on which a city, its people and its businesses depend. It is necessary to understand the nature of both the local workforce and the occupations that local and regional industries will employ so that effective strategies may be developed to ensure that Providence residents will be able to access and compete for available jobs. It is also necessary to understand the economic and financial environment in which employers and entrepreneurs must operate so that effective strategies may be developed to increase the number and variety of jobs in Providence and the metropolitan region, e.g., by attracting businesses to the area, helping existing businesses to grow, and providing the necessary environment, resources, and tools to start new businesses. In light of the major demographic changes our state is experiencing and the explosive growth of Latino businesses across this nation and in Rhode Island, and as we approach the next millennium, LCA's aim is to assist in facilitating a systematic, gateway approach, to economic development in the Latino community and all other sectors that interact with it. The Rhode Island Latino Economic Development Initiative will enable us to attain the following outcomes: Thousands of empowered Latino will advocate for themselves and their families, friends and neighbors at grassroots and policy-making levels. Mainstream institutions provide services to immigrants and minorities more effectively. Detailed information about the Latino community will become available to the general public through reports, briefings, and other publications. Community representation will increase on governing and decision-making bodies. Also, the Latino community will have a stronger economic base from which to effect positive change. LCA's leadership will be expanded as an advocate for positive and effective procurement of business for immigrants, particularly regarding access to funds, collaborative partnerships, and increased economic independence and viability. Objectives LCA will conceptualize and coordinate strategies to link mainstream organizations that provide economic development resources, private sector groups and organizations, Latino-owned business representatives, grassroots organizations, and government institutions. LCA will promote referrals to organizations/institutions that can aid Latino business owners.

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Milenio Associates, LLC LCA will implement a system for continuous partnership creations in order to procure business for Latino-owned operations. LCA will enhance communications between and among our stakeholders: the Latino community, consumers of service delivery organizations, Hispanic businesses, government officials, policy makers and planners, academic institutions, advocacy bodies, school districts, and labor organizations. Increasing and organizing LCA's grassroots network will enable us to mobilize support and influence policy and legislation. Our membership will increase to 500 (300 Individuals, 100 Businesses and 100 Organizations). LCA will work with existing resources to train Latinos with sophisticated, cutting edge, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate information and materials. LCA will serve as an advocate for Latino-owned businesses utilizing technologically advanced methods to gather record and maintain accurate and up to date data and information about the Latino community in Rhode Island and a national level. LCA will organize the first Latino Business Expo in Rhode Island and attract over 50 businesses and 1,000 people to this event. LCA will inform and advocate for Latino businesses to be included in traditional organizations such as the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and to participate in events such as the Taste of the Nation and others. LCA will partner with Progreso Latino the largest Latino organization in the state in order to coordinate efforts and resources at this Initiative. Address problems and issues as well design and implement new strategies through advocacy on economic policies, as well as community and economic development programs and initiatives. The purpose of this project is to create a capacity that perpetuates itself both in our organization and in our community. We will create partnerships that will directly affect our primary target group with this project the Latino business owner, but also will affect the mainstream organizations that service them. This initiative will create a hub for partnerships at LCA that will in the future become a source for additional funding. We are creating this Initiative in order to build capacity within our organization as well as expanding our power base and constituents also. The Initiative Despite some improvement in the last decade, more economic development is crucial if Hispanics are ever to attain a full and equal place in American society. Latino leaders need to furnish Hispanic businesses with training services and management expertise. Leaders also need to assist entrepreneurs in starting new businesses and helps small businesses expand. Because the current environment has shifted from the government to corporate America and the community entities, the politicians in Washington are a lot more inhospitable now than in the past and it's tougher getting equal rights laws pass. Since this time is not conducive for government activism, self-sufficiency has become the key strategy. Economic Development for the Latino community should not only mean accumulation of capital, but more importantly the development of an infrastructure within our communities, economic development, business development, job creation all have to do with developing a community. Economic development is the active 24 ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila


Milenio Associates, LLC participation in the creation of individual and collective wealth in the community where one lives, participating in the economic revitalization of our own neighborhoods as producers, manufacturers and sellers. A community will remain powerless when it only consumes. LCA will work with organizations to build up local business districts in Latino neighborhoods across the state, instead of standing around waiting for the government to do it, while other cash in the financial benefits. With our small businesses and entrepreneurs, we have the right stuff to take advantage of any huge opportunities that are unfolding under our noses. There is new opportunities downtown, in many urban neighborhoods and nearby suburbs. Increase home ownership in our neighborhoods, and produce more executives in income-producing divisions of corporate America

Latino-owned firms are growing at phenomenal rates and represent a significant source of employment and wealth creation across the country. Consider that the number of Latino-owned businesses has doubled in size in the last 15 years; a clear indication of the existence of a large and growing base of entrepreneurial talent within the Latino community. As these enterprises reach a critical mass, it will be increasingly vital to evaluate their sources of success so that policymakers and industry leaders can create strategies to cultivate their continued growth. LCA's approach to examining the economic viability of the Latino community will be focused on determining the needs of businesses for certain skills and employee commitment, and the types of abilities and perspectives presently found among residents of urban Latino communities. In this regard, the Institute will examine the characteristics of the Latino workforce that positively contributed to the financial growth of select firms, as well as conduct an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Latino-owned businesses nationwide as documented but the U.S. Census Bureau. We will institute pilot economic development programs and then make successful models available to other community organizations. In order to secure the success of this agenda, LCA will make sure that the adequate amount of resources is in place to support it.

The Latino Economic Development Center The Latino Economic Development Center is a project of the Latinos for Community Advancement (LCA) whose principal purpose is to promote the economic advancement of the Latino community in Rhode Island. The Latinos for Community Advancement (LCA) in partnership with community-based organizations established the center to address the needs of the Latino small business community. Serving Latino businesses through the existing infrastructure of the agencies located in their neighborhoods, the Center will avoid duplicating existing services by acting as a clearinghouse of available resources as well as developing or coordinating new programs not currently available. The Center will also help larger firms to improve their connections with other Latino businesses and professionals by developing an interactive database and a directory of businesses. Mission The Latino Economic Development Center mission is: "To transform the current business environment in our communities into one of a partnership support system. To improve our communities by supporting the creation and retention of jobs.

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Milenio Associates, LLC The initial programmatic thrust of the Center is focused on the economic development of Latino merchants, with primary emphasis on linking Latino business enterprises with the mainstream economies of the private and public sectors. To that end, the Center collaborates with its partners in developing technical and management assistance efforts that allow business owners to enhance their skills and access networks of federal, state and local resources. Among the principal services provided by the Center in conjunction with its local partners are: Technical and management assistance to existing and emerging Latino small business enterprises throughout the State (such assistance includes the development of business plans, information on private and public sources of financing, operations and management assistance, market and business development); Information and training on the acquiring of minority business certification to successfully access local and state minority set-aside programs. Development of a comprehensive database of Latino-owned business enterprises with Emphasis on creating networking mechanisms for maximum Latino participation in all aspects of economic life; and Development of a computerized database of Latino professionals interested in business development and entrepreneurial opportunities. Statewide Programs and Activities The Center works with the various Latino communities across the state in implementing programs and activities, which have widespread interest and impact. Following are illustrative examples of statewide programs, services and activities: Statewide Networking Successful networking is an important component that propels both formal and informal interaction. The Latino Economic Development Center is the vehicle by which community-based organizations involved in local economic development activities can work out mutual needs. Both the formal and informal nature of the network serves to enhance new relationships that hopefully will mature into new patterns approaching community development.

Informational Database A "one-stop" location where community based organizations, public and private entities can obtain information on wide range of issues relating to community economic development issues, programs, and initiatives. Service Brokering By providing informational linkages to experts in different field of small business development and local community development the Center expects to meet local demand for professional and technical services. The Center will coordinate the services of volunteers in order to provide community-based organizations with professional support conductive to effective and efficient local effort. Community Planning The Center will provide community planning and management assistance to community-based organizations interested in strengthening private sector investment and targeting public sector investment. A key product of 26

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Milenio Associates, LLC community planning is the providing to technical assistance to collaborating organizations in the development of commercial revitalization strategies, which encourage new enterprise formation. Best Practices The Center will, from time to time, examine those critical factors, which lead to successful small business development and create opportunities for neighborhood and community economic development. These will be documented and disseminated to member organizations. Promotion and Development Working with such organizations as the Latino Economic Development Consortium and the Rhode Island Alliance for Small Contractors, the Center will continue its work with business enterprises desiring to seek contracting and procurement opportunities with local and state government entities. Public Relations and Advocacy Working with local communities and organizations in promoting greater social and economic investments in distress neighborhoods. Fundraising Providing social marketing assistance to assist in fundraising initiatives designed to promote the work of the Center on a local and statewide basis. Conferencing The Center is expected to offer a conference on a yearly basis. The purpose of the conference is to bring practitioners, small business owners, and community activist, public officials to discuss community economic development issues. A major focus to the conference is to provide a linkage mechanism for the Latino community in order to fully benefit from public and private resources.

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Latinos in the New Millenium Conference Tomás Alberto Ávila January 31, 1999

As the twentieth century draws to a close, we look to the future with confidence that the advancements in the quality of life of the Latino community in the United States will continue. Our confidence stems from knowing that we possess an array of tools that our communities need to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. Working as equal partners, CHisPA, Progreso Latino and the Governor's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the communities serve, will make major strides in developing expertise among individuals and communities in addressing Latino issues spanning child and adolescent health to economic development and technology. As we enter the twenty-first century, both new and enduring public health, economic and technological challenges confront us. The prevalence of chronic diseases such as AIDS, diabetes, and cancer; the lack of immunization; and, the inability to access health care services loom as significant adversaries affecting the health of the Latinos community and our society at large. A new economy is also emerging: knowledge and idea-based economy where the key to wealth and job creation is largely dependent on the extent to which ideas, innovation and technology are embedded into services and manufactured products. Yet, there is still much we must accomplish. We must ensure that our children finish high school and go on to college and receive post-secondary degrees. We must provide access for our families to quality health care and housing. We must protect our civil rights in the face of a backlash of brutality and hate crimes, increased segregation, and dismantling of fair housing and employment laws. We must develop the assets of our communities to bring wealth and empowerment. We must recognize and mentor the leadership qualities of our youth so that they can lead the nation into the next century and millennium. Finally, we will put increased emphasis on combating the contaminants in the air, water, and earth that impair our health and productivity. Continued environmental degradation, particularly acute in areas where Latinos reside, could reverse long-standing trends of a steadily increasing life expectancy over time. CHisPA, Progreso Latino and the Governor's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs recognize that although these obstacles are serious, they are not insurmountable. The lessons we've learned during the twentieth century have given us the basis for sound solutions to problems facing us today and tomorrow. We know, for example, that community-based models for providing services are proving themselves to be the most efficient and effective means of maintaining and improving health status not just for Latinos communities, but for all communities. Targeted consumer education is helping instruct our children and young adults to avoid the unhealthy lifestyle choices that contribute to the onset of chronic disease. And a growing number of communities are taking control of their local environment to retain what is good and change what is not. CHisPA, Progreso Latino and the Governor's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs is committed to creating the public policy choices that will lead all of us to a better future. Our task today is to make the 28

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choices that set us on the path to the best possible future we can create for our communities and ourselves. This conference proves to be one step toward that goal.

Millennial Conference Conference Objectives We have built a conference that will: · · · ·

Introduce the Latino community to innovative concepts, practices and experiences in community leadership programming, in order that they can incorporate them into their programs and implement them effectively in our community. Develop new skills, techniques and strategies Latinos can use to operate a 21st Century community leadership development program. Provide the community with avenues for collaboration and sharing of ideas with which to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Renew, revitalize and re-energize the Latino community for the politics in the next millenium.

Conference Programming Effective community leadership for the 21st Century is about leading with one's heart, mind, body and soul. We have developed conference sessions to provide each participant with insights and skills they can use to create more political empowered community. Using a combination of general sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops and social events, we will provide you with an opportunity to explore the many facets of community leadership development. In the general sessions, speakers will bring dramatically different perspectives and ideas on leadership. Workshops and roundtables provide more intimate and interactive opportunities for learning presented by both leadership development professionals and other experts outside the profession. Social events provide informal opportunities for sharing. You may expect an environment wherein you and your colleagues can enhance your skills and understanding in order to become and create community trustees who strengthen and transform communities.

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Economic Development Opportunities Tomás Alberto Avila May 31, 1999 Roger Williams Zoo visitors – Promote South Providence to the thousands of visitors that attend this site throughout the year to visit the businesses located in the Latino community while they’re in Providence. Create a brochure promoting the area, and distribute it to visitors through the zoo services and the city and state tourism agencies. Develop a marking theme that will be catchy and engaging to the visitors and encourage them to detour their initial visit to the zoo into the Latino community of South Providence. The zoo has been named one of America's top ten zoos by Travel & Leisure Family magazine. The facility was chosen for the honor from among 186 accredited zoos in the country. Last year over 768,500 people visited the Zoo, making it the state's number one outdoor tourist attraction. Zoo officials expect another record-breaking year noting that in addition to a full calendar of special events, two major exhibits will open this year. Australia: Where Worlds Collide, Where Worlds Divide, is slated to open July 10. The exhibit will feature the endangered Matschie's tree kangaroo, Bali mynas, visually striking and highly endangered birds from Indonesia, and walking sticks, insects that are about six inches tall. In the fall the Zoo will unveil Habitat RI, an interactive journey through the Meller-Danforth Education Center that will explore Rhode Island native habitats. Roger Williams Park Zoo is open year-round and located off 1-95 in Providence. Providence Place Mall - Development of a targeted co-branded marketing promotion gear towards the increase visitors to the Latino neighborhoods in South Providence. Promote South Providence to the thousands of visitors that attend this site throughout the year to visit the businesses located in the Latino community while they’re in Providence. Possible themes: The Latino Mile, Latino Main St, Main St. Latino, Little Latin America, Latin America Strip, The Latino Village, Broad St. Latino, Nuestra Comunidad, Comunidad Latina, Centro Latino. Amtrak Electrification Project – Development of a targeted co-branded marketing promotion gear towards the increase use of the train mode of transportation by the Latino community, in exchange for reciprocal advertising of Latino businesses in the South Providence community, as well as their financial contribution to RIINI. As part of this promotion and in conjunction with all other schedule promotions I recommend the creation of a travel guide to address the Latino community in particular, that will be distributed to visitors through different channels. New England Connectivity – Regional outlook of the Latino community rather than as a local level. The ‘New Cities’ Initiative Mayor Cianci proposed on his inaugural address that hundreds of acres of unproductive property be acquired at three separate locations located close to the center of the city. He called for complete redevelopment of the acreage for the highest quality commercial, institutional and residential uses. "If we average the creation of only 75 jobs per acre, we will create more than 26,000 new jobs. This would represent a 25 percent increase in the number of jobs in the city," Mayor Cianci said. "The neighborhoods of Providence will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the New City development. Based on past experience, at least one-third of the people who take jobs in the city will also choose to live here. Development of the New Cities will produce thousands of new homeowners who will strengthen our neighborhoods immeasurably." With the redevelopment of these 3 proposed sites, now we must turn our attention to making sure that the Latino community will be an active participant and beneficiary of such developments. What follows is a detail description of the plan developments: 30

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Milenio Associates, LLC Riverside Drive (Promenade 05/05/99) Acres: 120 Total assessed property value: $21.1 million* Current uses: oil tanks, shipping, abandoned industrial coastline, sewage treatment, one large boat maintenance yard. Previously, Cianci has said the Providence River waterfront could be redeveloped to resemble San Diego's. Yesterday he said the area could be revived ``in the manner of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.'' He pitched tree-lined boulevards, river walks, berthing for cruise ships and an outdoor performance space, such as an amphitheater or small coliseum. Other possible uses include an aquarium, hotel, luxury apartment towers, and corporate or medical headquarters. Building heights would be equivalent to Hasbro Children's Hospital, on the other side of Route 95. The current oil fields would be moved out. The southern limit of this area has been under review by Pfizer Inc., which has been considering building a research and development center at Fields Point. Cianci made no mention of the Pfizer talks yesterday. State leaders have been similarly tight-lipped. Valley Parkway (Narragansett Landing 05/06/99) Acres: 211 Total assessed property value: $75.3 million* Current uses: a sprinkling of old industrial buildings, many of which have been or are being demolished to make way for highway access to Providence Place mall, which defines the area's eastern limit. This ``New City'' is likely to show the most progress over the shortest period of time. The mall is scheduled to open later this year, and developers have already been at work on transforming the area into a retail and entertainment district, with shopping, parking and a movie theater. The area's northern edge would be skirted by the proposed Woonasquatucket River Greenway, which the city has been working toward for years. Downcity (Westminster Crossing 05/05/99) Acres: 24 Total assessed property value: $7.7 million* This is the most ambitious and complicated of Cianci's plans, requiring a 12-acre deck to be built over Route 95 between the Atwells Avenue and Broad Street bridges. Its legal hurdles are unexplored to date, but would require approval of both the state and federal governments. The larger plan for the area would also require the destruction of the Bishop McVinney Auditorium, which blocks Westminster Street. Cianci said that once decked over, the area would be redeveloped to include housing, retail space, offices and landscaped urban green space. Narragansett Brewery property -The redevelopment of the former Narragansett Brewery property off Route 10 in Cranston - a critical component of the city's long-term economic development initiatives has received a shot-in-thearm. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has approved a Certificate of Critical Economic Concern for the redevelopment of the 77-acre parcel. The certificate is designed to expedite permit applications filed by the First Hartford Realty Group with state regulatory agencies.

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RI Latino Economic Development Policy Research Institute Tomás Alberto Ávila June 15, 1999

Vision/Challenge Statement Building a community requires a strong foundation upon which to develop neighborhoods into thriving productive areas. Frequently community leaders tend to dwell on the problems and deficiencies of their community as their basis for producing a strategic plan to guide neighborhoods and individuals in building their community. Often before embarking on a new project, a need assessment is undertaken to identify and determine the specific needs of a target group or community so that a program can properly be structured to meet those needs. Organizations are accustomed to focusing on the gaps in the community in addressing those related needs. Most of the funding directed to lower income communities is based on the problem-oriented data collected in need assessment. Targeting resources based on deficiencies directs funding not to residents but to service providers. This mentality can also have a negative effect on the nature of local leadership. If for example one measure of effective leadership is the ability to attract resources, then local leaders are in effect being forced to belittle their neighbors and their community by highlighting their problems and deficiencies, and by ignoring their capacities and strengths. This direction should be regarded as one of the root causes of the sense of hopelessness that pervades discussions about the future of marginalized communities. Typically, this has been the most common strategy however; a foundation based on deficits makes it difficult to realize the goals of a strong community As the youngest, fastest growing minority group in the country, Hispanics have immense electoral and consumermarket potential. Hispanic consumers already spend over $350 billion a year and their influence will inevitably grow in national and economic affairs. We need to demand the support of business and Corporate America to help our Hispanic citizens realize their great potential, instead of highlighting the problems and 4eficiencies in our communities. Investing in Hispanic America makes good business sense. Our community leaders and organizations should proclaim themselves ready to dive deeply into the issue of economic development, with a multifaceted plan to help our people increase their economic self sufficiency. This agenda should signal a clear economic direction for the Latino community in the 21st century. This agenda should focus specifically on the way to shape the economic future of Latinos, and should provide how-to strategies on becoming entrepreneurs, accessing capital, getting involved in urban revitalization and partnering with large companies to engendered self sufficiency and wealth building in the Latino community of RI. We are excited about the possibility this shift in paradigm provides our community. This is the main reason why we as agency look towards supporting business and giving people an opportunity to compete at an equal level. As leaders in the community we want to shift our paradigm to accomplish our mission from a position of strength and not of weakness. The Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy's mission is to lead and influence change that improves the quality of life for Latinos in Rhode Island. 32

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Milenio Associates, LLC The Latino community in Rhode Island has been very successful in establishing and developing a self-sustaining small business community. The Southside of Providence, especially Broad Street is a prime example of what Latinos have accomplished in terms of economic development and community revitalization. However, there exists a need to bring the Latino businesses to the "next level" for the development of this community in Rhode Island to have a healthy and growing economic power base. And when we look at what is going on throughout the country with the Latino community it is astounding to see the growth of Latino-owned businesses. "Explosive" is the only word to describe "the phenomenal growth rate of Latino-owned businesses," writes Hector V. Barreto, Jr. chairman of the Latin Business Association (LBA), in a recent association report titled "Latino Business Dynamics: A 1998 Portrait." According to this report, and as reported by Hispanic Magazine (April 1999), Latinoowned businesses increased 787 percent between 1972 and 1992. The Small Business Association (SBA) recorded a 230 percent growth between 1987 and 1997. The figures are more dramatic for Latinas, whose businesses grew more than 300 percent, as noted by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Also, in the same report in Hispanic Magazine the LBA headquartered in Los Angeles California, reports that the Latino Buying power in this country totals $357 billion. However, with all this buying power and with the incredible numbers of business growth Latino-owned businesses are still struggling and it is also worthy to note that "Latinos are still underrepresented as business owners-they constitute about 11 percent of the population but only 4.5 percent of business owners" says the Hispanic Magazine report. Despite this, we must begin to prepare because if we analyze the fact that "the counted 1.4 million Latino-owned businesses in 1997 which drew revenues of $184 billion. That's a 400 percent increase since 1987." J.R. Gonzalez chair-elect of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) states "the eighties were supposed to be the decade for Hispanics, it didn't happen then, but I see it now." This is what we at RIINI see is happening in the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island had the highest growth rate of Latinos in the entire country during the 1 980s; at 146% the Latino population increased by more than three times the national average! Statistical trends indicate that during the 1 990s we have continued this growth. The Latino community in Rhode Island comprises predominantly young, first generation immigrant families from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, and El Salvador. According to conservative census estimates, their medium income is only about two thirds that of whites, making them the poorest ethnic group in the country.

As a group, Latinos represent a disproportionately higher percentage of the working poor and are more likely to lack health insurance than whites or blacks, despite the existence of such programs as Medicaid and Medicare. In the last decade, the Providence Latino population tripled, rising officially to about 24,000 people. At least half of the Latino population is 18 years old or younger, making up over one third of school age children, and nearly one half of all Hispanic persons in poverty. Unfortunately, dropout rates are nearly forty percent for Hispanic youth, illustrating the drastic need for culturally and linguistically appropriate services. The majority of Latinos in Rhode Island are faced with problems community associated with economically disadvantaged communities, including discrimination, high unemployment, inadequate housing, adolescent parenthood, and poor school performance. If we compare and contrast the trends at the national level as far as the explosive growth of Latino businesses and their successes with the adverse situation that Latinos face we can determine that economic ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila

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development can be a key aspect for improving socio-economic status. So in order to ensure that a community grows and develops in a healthy and comprehensive manner there is a need to address its economic viability. Dr. Robert Franklin, Director of Black Church Studies at Emory University in Atlanta has proposed a theory which is called "Franklin's Configuration of Power" (Appendix A). In this configuration Dr. Franklin explains how the core of a community's power is in its Economics. He states that those who control the wealth, own the land, and have the authority to hire and fire, are the ones with the power.' Power is necessary to affect the changes that can allow a community to grow and develop. Therefore, this project will complement the mission of RIINI. As a young immigrant community in Rhode Island we want to be sure that we have "access" to resources and opportunities and those we can share in the economic power of our state. This is not currently the case here in Rhode Island. We currently have many projects, groups and organizations that offer the economic development services needed by the population. Unfortunately, the providers of these services such as our partners at Southside and the Minority Investment Development Corporation have difficulty reaching Latinos in an efficient and effective manner. We want to be able to help with the outreach planned and become the GATEWAY for business information. This strategy will allow us to tap into existing resources and link them to Latino businesses. The key to this program will be that people interested in either starting a business, or expanding their present operation can work with RIINI to initially assess their operation and then help them navigate through the existing resources until they are linked to the proper program or agency that can help them. We have met with representatives from those existing programs as well as with prospective and present business owners and both agree that RIINI can play a vital role in this relationship. RIINI is an agency that is trusted by the community and understands their needs. Presently, when business owners have a need or want to expand they are confronted with many issues ranging from lack of information or knowledge, hostile policies or personnel, confusing and restricting requirements. They are basically working in a system that is not set up for them, does not understand them and cannot service them properly. This is the catalyst for the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy (RIINI) to create the Rhode Island Latino Economic Development, Policy and Research Institute. RIINI is interested in ensuring that we are prepared in order to provide these services and this project will be a step in the right direction. This project is in concert with the Rhode Island Foundation which states that its mission is "to serve as a catalyst for community" and furthermore that the Rhode Island Foundation wants to be "a responsible agent for change, focusing resources on ideas and actions that improve the quality of life for all the people of our communities." This program will indeed "strengthen the state's economy, promote a healthy private sector and support neighborhood-based community economic development." These are all goals that as stated in the foundation's guidelines book will be impacted by this project. Further, the Rhode Island Foundation can continue to be a part of the exciting phase we are currently enjoying at RIINI. For the last six months we have been joined by a new executive director who brings a myriad of ideas, experience and expertise to the agency. He is a community person who is trusted and well respected in many circles and is working alongside a new President on the board of directors. Both being young Latino leaders bring a shared vision of empowerment, inclusion, innovation and dreams. These are all keys in the foundation's mission to helping 34 ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila


Milenio Associates, LLC community's grow.

RIINI is an agency that has matured and expanded to be one of great influence in the Latino community and beyond. We believe that this partnership between the foundation and RIINI will create long lasting changes that can have a significant impact. All the members of our board and staff as well as our partner agencies are committed to working diligently in this effort. We look forward to establishing a partnership with Rhode Island Foundation to continue our valuable work. Outcomes In light of the major demographic changes our state is experiencing and the explosive growth of Latino businesses across this nation and in Rhode Island, and as we approach the next millennium, RIINI's aim is to assist in facilitating a systematic, gateway approach, to economic development in the Latino community and all other sectors that interact with it. The Rhode Island Latino Economic Development, Policy and Research Institute will enable us to attain the following outcomes: Thousands of empowered Latino will advocate for themselves and their families, friends and neighbors at grassroots and policy-making levels. Mainstream institutions provide services to immigrants and minorities more effectively. Detailed information about the Latino community will become available to the general public through reports, briefings, and other publications. Community representation will increase on governing and decision-making bodies. Also, the Latino community will have a stronger economic base from which to effect positive change. RIINI's leadership will be expanded as an advocate for positive and effective procurement of business for immigrants, particularly regarding access to funds, collaborative partnerships, and increased economic independence and viability.

Objectives RIINI will conceptualize and coordinate strategies to link mainstream organizations that provide economic development resources, private sector groups and organizations, Latino-owned business representatives, grassroots organizations, and government institutions. RIINI will promote referrals to organizations/institutions that can aid Latino business owners. RIINI will implement a system for continuous partnership creations in order to procure business for Latino-owned operations. RIINI will enhance communications between and among our stakeholders: the Latino community, consumers of service delivery organizations, Hispanic businesses, government officials, policy makers and planners, academic institutions, advocacy bodies, school districts, and labor organizations. Increasing and organizing RIINI's grassroots network will enable us to mobilize support and influence policy and legislation. Our membership will increase to 500 (300 Individuals, 100 Businesses and 100 Organizations). 35 ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila


Milenio Associates, LLC RIINI will work with existing resources to train Latinos with sophisticated, cutting edge, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate information and materials. RIINI will serve as an advocate for Latino-owned businesses utilizing technologically advanced methods to gather record and maintain accurate and up to date data and information about the Latino community in Rhode Island and a national level. RIINI will organize the first Latino Business Expo in Rhode Island and attract over 50 businesses and 1,000 people to this event. RIINI will inform and advocate for Latino businesses to be included in traditional organizations such as the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and to participate in events such as the Taste of the Nation and others. RIINI will partner with Progreso Latino the largest Latino organization in the state in order to coordinate efforts and resources at this Institute. Address problems and issues as well design and implement new strategies through advocacy on economic policies, as well as community and economic development programs and initiatives. The purpose of this project is to create a capacity that perpetuates itself both in our organization and in our community. We will create partnerships that will directly affect our primary target group with this project the Latino business owner, but also will affect the mainstream organizations that service them. This initiative will create a hub for partnerships at RIINI that will in the future become a source for additional funding. We are creating this institute in order to build capacity within our organization as well as expanding our power base and constituents also.

The Initiative Despite some improvement in the last decade, more economic development is crucial if Hispanics are ever to attain a full and equal place in American society. Latino leaders need to furnish Hispanic businesses with training services and management expertise. Leaders also need to assist entrepreneurs in starting new businesses and helps small businesses expand. Because the current environment has shifted from the government to corporate America and the community entities, the politicians in Washington are a lot more inhospitable now than in the past and it's tougher getting equal rights laws pass. Since this time is not conducive for government activism, self-sufficiency has become the key strategy. Economic Development for the Latino community should not only mean accumulation of capital, but more importantly the development of an infrastructure within our communities, economic development, business development, job creation all have to do with developing a community. Economic development is the active participation in the creation of individual and collective wealth in the community where one lives, participating in the economic revitalization of our own neighborhoods as producers, manufacturers and sellers. A community will remain powerless when it only consumes. RIINI will work with organizations to build up local business districts in Latino neighborhoods across the state, instead of standing around waiting for the government to do it, while other cash in the financial benefits. With our small businesses and entrepreneurs, we have the right stuff to take advantage of any huge opportunities that are unfolding under our noses. There is new opportunities downtown, in many urban neighborhoods and nearby suburbs. 36

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Milenio Associates, LLC Increase home ownership in our neighborhoods, and produce more executives in income-producing divisions of corporate America We will institute pilot economic development programs and then make successful models available to other community organizations. In order to secure the success of this agenda, RIINI will make sure that the adequate amount of resources is in place to support it. Additionally, will offer understanding of neighborhood conditions and the long-term focus that the community requires. For example teaching residents about their options and rights concerning housing. Training young Latinos in the various careers involved in the development of the needed infrastructure. Past experiences indicate that significant community development takes place when local community individuals are committed to investing themselves and their resources in a joint effort. Another reason for accentuating the development of the internal economic development of local urban neighborhoods is the dismal prospect for outside help from forces outside the community. Even in most devastated neighborhoods there exist materials needed to construct a path toward economic development. It is necessary to harness the underutilized economic power of local institutions. Non-economic institutions have the potential to be key players in building stronger, healthier economies depending on how they use their resources. Local institutions, which invest in neighborhood, demonstrate commitment to the economic health and well being of the neighborhood. In general there are eight basic methods we will utilize at the institute to encourage local institutions to invest in building their community:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Local purchasing Local investment strategies Creating alternative credit institutions Freeing potential productive economic space Mobilizing external resources Hiring locally Developing new business

Developing human resources 1. Another method that will be utilized to rebuild the community's economy is we will begin looking at physical liabilities and devise alternatives for how they can be transformed into assets. We will continue to work with other groups to reclaim vacant lots and abandoned spaces. 2. We will concentrate on maximizing local assets and generating new ones, but the real challenge presents itself in developing comprehensive assets base strategy, one, which might involve virtually the entire community in the complex process of regeneration. Whole community mobilization may be envisioned and may begin being implemented by a five step process: 3. Mapping completely the capacities and assets of individuals, citizens associations and local · Institutions. · Building relationships among local assets for mutually beneficial problem solving within the · Community. · Mobilizing the community's assets fully for economic development and information sharing · Purposes. · Convening as broadly representative groups as possible for the purpose of building a community · Vision and plan.

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Leveraging activities, investments and resources from outside the community to support asset based, locally defined development. All together these steps comprise the process of achieving an asset based, internally focused and relationship driven community economic development.

What is the RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute? The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute is a project of the Institute for Hispanic Policy & Advocacy (RIINI) whose principal purpose is to promote the economic advancement of the Latino community in Rhode Island. The Institute for Hispanic Policy & Advocacy (RIINI) in partnership with community-based organizations will established the Institute to address the needs of the Latino small business community. Serving Latino businesses through the existing infrastructure of the agencies located in their neighborhoods, the Institute will avoid duplicating existing services by acting as a clearinghouse of available resources as well as developing or coordinating new programs not currently available. The Institute will also help larger firms to improve their connections with other Latino businesses and professionals by developing an interactive database and a directory of businesses. The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute mission will be: To transform the current business environment in our communities into one of a partnership support system. To improve our communities by supporting the creation and retention of jobs. To transfer economic development and management skills to emerging businesses." The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute will also conduct applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy on a range of macroeconomic issues, monitor social policy and legislation, and disseminate data and information. The institute will also analyze tax policy and its impact on Latino workers, monitoring and influencing economic legislation implementation, and promoting accurate information on Hispanic socioeconomic status in the context of local and national trends. The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute will be a freestanding, policy research organization which will be destined to attain a reputation as the Rhode Island's "premier Latino think tank." Through its strong capacity to conduct primary and secondary data analysis, it will be uniquely position to fill the void in information that exists among policymakers and political leaders regarding the complexities that characterize the Latino population--e.g. Its heterogeneous composition, its bilingualism, and its diverse nativity. The Institute will analyze issues of concern to Latinos, acts as a liaison to the RI Legislature, the U. S. Congress and federal agencies, conducts seminars and studies on topical issues, presents testimony to local governments and develops working relationships with other advocacy groups. The institute will also prepare reports on issues that have an impact upon the social, economic and political well being of Latinos in Rhode Island and the mainland United States. It also will conduct analysis on public policies and legislative proposals in order to empower the Institute's constituency to participate in the formulation of public policies.

What are we hoping to accomplish? As a young immigrant community in Rhode Island we want to be sure that we have "access" to resources and opportunities and those we can share in the economic power of our state. This is not currently the case here in Rhode Island. We currently have many projects, groups and organizations that offer the economic development services 38

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Milenio Associates, LLC needed by the population. Unfortunately, the providers of these services such as our partners at Southside and the Minority Investment Development Corporation have difficulty reaching Latinos in an efficient and effective manner. We want to be able to help with the outreach planned and become the GATEWAY for business information. This strategy will allow us to tap into existing resources and link them to Latino businesses. The initial programmatic thrust of the Institute is focused on the economic development of Latino merchants, with primary emphasis on linking Latino business enterprises with the mainstream economies of the private and public sectors. To that end, the Institute collaborates with its partners in developing technical and management assistance efforts that allow business owners to enhance their skills and access networks of federal, state and local resources. Among the principal services that will be provided by the Institute in conjunction with its local partners are: Technical and management assistance to existing and emerging Latino small business enterprises throughout the State (such assistance includes the development of business plans, information on private and public sources of financing, operations and management assistance, market and business development); Information and training on the acquiring of minority business certification to successfully access local and state minority set-aside programs; Development of a comprehensive database on Latino-owned business enterprises with Emphasis on creating networking mechanisms for maximum Latino participation in all aspects of economic life; and Development of a computerized database of Latino professionals interested in business development and entrepreneurial opportunities. The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute will also seek to influence and promote the design and implementation of effective workforce development models that will enhance the opportunities of Latino workers. It also works to ensure that federal programs adequately serve Hispanics. This project will not only provide a much-needed service to the Latino community; it will also allow various community organizations to leverage individual distinctive competencies given the changing dynamics of the community. Another of The Institute critical strengths will be survey research--ranging from questionnaire and sample frame development, to survey interviewing-which will allow Institute to gauge the attitudes held by diverse Latino populations vis a vis salient policy issues. Another factor that adds to the Institute's unique traits will be its affiliation with the University of Rhode Island, and Brown University. Through these affiliations, The Center for Hispanic Policy & Research Institute will have access to a network of nationally recognized scholars who carry out an array of research projects under the direction of The Center for Hispanic Policy & Research Institute leadership.

At the present moment is there anyone else doing this type of work in the STATE? According to the Southside/Broad St Market Analysis and Economic Strategy report while Latinos own 35% of the businesses on Broad Street, they own 55% of the retail establishments. This niche represents a significant opportunity to promote products and services not found anywhere else in the city. Although many are quite successful, others could benefit from additional skills, professional exposure and a clear voice in contract and policy decisions affecting business. We currently have many individual projects, groups and organizations that offer economic development services needed by the population throughout the state. Unfortunately, these service providers such as our partners at Southside and the Minority Investment Development Corporation have encounter difficulty reaching Latinos in an efficient and effective manner. We want to be able to help with the outreach planned and become the GATEWAY for business information. This strategy will allow us to tap into existing resources and link them to Latino businesses.

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Milenio Associates, LLC RIINI has the experience and connections to be extremely effective within the Latino business community and the Latino general community. We are the natural leaders in defining significant issues and developing comprehensive policies to address specific needs and concerns.

What are we hoping to build upon? This project is hoping to build upon the Latino community success in establishing and developing a self-sustaining small business community in Rhode Island. The Southside of Providence, Broad Street in particular is a prime example of Latinos accomplishments in terms of economic development and community revitalization. Base on such success, there exist a need to bring the Latino businesses to the "next level," making it imperative for the development of this community to have a healthy and growing economic power base. Therefore, we intend to we are looking for the institute to link Latino business owners with present resources available through various means, and also to aid in the development of additional appropriate resources and opportunities to secure the continued success of such business development. Rhode Island had the highest growth rate of Latinos in the entire country during the 1 980s; at 146% the Latino population increased by more than three times the national average! Statistical trends indicate that during the 1 990s we have continued this growth. The Latino community in Rhode Island comprises predominantly young, first generation immigrant families from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, and El Salvador. According to conservative census estimates, their medium income is only about two thirds that of whites, making them the poorest ethnic group in the country.

What are we going to enhance? According to According to the Southside/Broad St Market Analysis and Economic Strategy study, Latino business owners whom obtained bank financing to purchase or construct their business, described their experiences in dealing with the banks as difficult and frustrating and believing that the interest rate they were charged by such banks tended to be higher than normal just because they are located on Broad St. This frustration typifies Latino businessmen experience in dealing with financial and business institutions throughout the state, and has discouraged other potential entrepreneurs from seeking bank finance from financial institutions or Government institutions. The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute will address this situation, by linking such businessmen with the financial institutions and other government institutions, in a culturally and friendly scenario that will improve the quality of service while improving the customer experience in the process and alleviating the customers frustration. The report also exposes a large rate of negative credit histories by the potential borrowers, adding to the frustration and delays confronted by such individuals. Using the model developed for Project Casa, RIINI will avail the business community with credit related education in Spanish to potential businessman in a culturally sensitive setting and help them repair their credit histories prior to applying for credit with a financial institution. Business owners in the Southside neighborhood are in dire need of accessing capital, low cost services, and assistance navigating the financial and government bureaucracies; training counseling about business strategies and many other businesses related services. The business owners have also complained about the difficulties they experienced in finding out about available services even though the existing organizations vested with the responsibility of providing them with such information are in place. The above experiences justifies the need of a local Latino organization such as The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute to fill the existing gaps to the Latino business community in order to improve the development of such businesses, while helping in the development of local community wealth. 40

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Milenio Associates, LLC The Southside of Providence, is a prime example of what Latinos have accomplished in terms of economic development and community revitalization and also serves as a test base of the need to enhance the services the Latino business owners need in order to bring the Latino businesses to the next level, making it imperative for the development of this community to have a healthy and growing economic power base. Therefore, the coalition form by The RI Latino Economic Development Policy and Research Institute and the existing services by local organization intend to link Latino business owners with present resources available through various means, and also aid in the development of additional appropriate resources and opportunities. Developing partnership with such organizations and the local businesses in providing these opportunities in a linguistically appropriate and practical approach that allows them to take advantage of such services will do this.

Why is RIINI the right organization to do this project? RIINI has the experience and connections to be extremely effective within the Latino business community. We are the natural leaders in defining significant issues and developing comprehensive policies to address specific needs and concerns of the Latino community. RIINI is one of the leading groups in Rhode Island when it comes to Latino affairs. We are working closely on several projects as mentioned above with Progreso Latino, but also with other smaller groups such as Quisqueya in Action, Mexican-American Association of Rhode Island, Guatemaltecos Unidos en Accion and others. We will be expanding these relationships and continue to provide meeting and office space at the Juanita Sanchez Institute. We envision being an equal partner, a provider, a leader and a support group for other Latino organizations. The exciting part of this project is that it also gives us the opportunity to partner with groups we have not worked as closely with. These groups include Southside Broad Street for which we will provide connections and outreach to the Latino community. Also, we will create an exciting alliance with the Rhode Island Coalition for Minority Investment (RICMI) and the Minority Investment Development Corporation. We have also been approached by the Dominican Business Association to provide advocacy for their members on a number of issues and also by the City of Providence Office of Planning and Development to help them with outreach efforts. We are also forging a working relationship with the Business Information Institute (BIC) on Broad Street and the newly created Oasis Credit Union. This institute will also give us a chance to strengthen our work with the Providence Plan; PEW Civic Entrepreneur Program and we have recently begun conversations with Johnson & Wales and are looking forward to establishing a partnership with their university.

The RI Institute for New Immigrants (RIINI) The RI Institute for New Immigrants (RIINI) is a nonpartisan, independent organization whose mission is to foster the growth of a new Ocean State in Rhode Island in which all citizens can pursue the American Dream. The Institute develops and promotes policy approaches that result in a growing middle class through four principal Initiatives

The Economic Opportunity Initiative The Economic Opportunity Initiative -- What We Believe RIINI believes that the broad prosperity promised by the American Dream is essential to building a new and better Ocean State. At the same time we know that the now famous phrase "people are working harder and harder for less and less" continues to ring true for many Rhode Island families. Through our Economic Opportunity Initiative we work to improve the overall economic well being of our citizens by examining the state of the American Dream in Rhode Island. Among the questions we ask are: How hard are people

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Milenio Associates, LLC working and for what kinds of rewards? How secure are their futures? How healthy are our families? As importantly, what are the strengths and limitations of state government in promoting economic activity? What is the role of the private sector? And, what are the keys to our future economic success?

Research RIINI's research aim is to better engage the states invaluable intellectual resources to inform the state's policy makers, opinion leaders and active, concerned citizens, about the critical public policy questions facing Rhode Island. We serve as a bridge between those resources and the public policy process.

Our Research Philosophy RIINI's research philosophy is guided by three essential points of reference: Many of our most critical public policy decisions are made at the state level: RIINI is state-focused because public policy in our four Initiatives is largely determined at the state and local levels. Moreover, as power continues to shift from the federal government to the states, many of the most critical public policy decisions in the years to come will be made at the state level. We can leverage our states intellectual resources to make sound public policy decisions: Many of the world's leading public policy experts are here in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, those experts are seldom called upon to focus on the problems of their home state. To better inform our public policy decisions, Rhode Island needs to leverage our already tremendous intellectual capital. Rhode Island must have a credible, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to inform our public policy decisions: In order for Rhode Island to make sound public policy decisions, our decision-makers, opinion leaders, and active, concerned citizens must be well-informed. They must have a resource that they can turn to for guidance -- a credible clearinghouse for the very best ideas our public policy experts have to offer.

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Community Visioning By Tomテ。s Alberto Avila Leadership Rhode Island; Upsilon Class of 2000 January 6, 2000

The Present Rhode Island's industrial, political and social legacy has made the development of a more collaborative civic culture difficult. The Rhode Island historian William McLoughlin argued that in the 1800s and early 1900s the legacy of industrialization and patterns of immigration meant that economic and social divisions were magnified by religious and political antipathies. He states: "by 1923, Rhode Island was a bitterly divided state, socially, economically, and politically."2 In the 1950s, there was "factionalism preventing the consistency and long range planning that might have helped the state out of its economic decline."3 In 1977, the Providence Journal wrote "if the people of Rhode Island conclude that 'free for all' individualism must give way to more cooperation, more balance and sharing, more planning in economic, political, and social affairs, the state may be on the brink of a major shift in its patterns of thought and behavior. In that breakthrough may lie Rhode Island's real 'Hope."4 In spite of the recent progress, this legacy of division and mistrust remains a central barrier to Rhode Island's economic rejuvenation. These divisions occur at all levels. Business blames government. Government distrusts business and all too often assumes the worst of intentions. Citizens distrust political leaders and the political process. Aquidneck Islanders distrust Capital City interests. But perhaps the largest division is between labor and business. Too many workers see business as selfish, focused only on profit and exploitation of the workingman and woman, and are quick to call up the conflict-ridden history of exploitative mill owners as an illustration of business practices today. For their part, too many business leaders blame unions for all economic and political ills. Yet, both clearly have a stake in a healthy and prosperous Rhode Island economy that generates good jobs, high profits, and a more healthy state fiscal condition. Yet, compared to some other states, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, that have also had a history of contentious labor management relations, Rhode Island has not done enough to put this behind us and begin an era of cooperation. 5 In general, we frame issues too often as win-lose, rather than win-win. Too often valuable political and institutional energies are spent fighting over pieces of a shrinking pie, instead of building a larger pie of more jobs, better wages, and higher profits. Such divisiveness may have been acceptable years ago when there was little interstate competition and when change was slow. Now, it gets in the way of the serious task of building our economy.

2

McLoughlin, op. cit, foonote 6, p. 191.

3

Ibid, p. 204

4

Providence Journal, Feb 26, 1977

5

Meeting the challenge of the new economy, RIEPC, Feb, 1997

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Effective 21st Century Communities Developing the sense that all Rhode Islanders -- rich and poor, white and minority, labor and management, north and south, -- are in this together, is a critical first step in the process of beginning to compete in the New Economy. Recent efforts suggest that we have taken steps in the right direction. But we need to do more. We need to create a culture in which people "come to the table" looking for a collaborative solution, not to stake out an adversarial position." We need to cast off the culture of blame and divisiveness and embrace a culture of responsibility and partnership. Building on the shared vision of all sectors of the Rhode Island economy, we must begin the process of healing the divisions of the old economy, and working together to build hope in the New Economy. Transformed communities economic strategy should be based on a comprehensive plan for community-controlled revitalization crafted by community stakeholders. This plan should outline the blueprint for a locally-based economic development strategy based on the concept of a Transformed Communities. Other initiatives around the country have demonstrated that community-based planning and organizing can produce quality affordable housing and a network of social services increasingly responsive to residents’ needs. The state leaders need to develop a series of Transformed Communities Visioning goals and objectives to convey the state leadership’s intention in the neighborhoods. One of these visioning objectives should be Community Economic Power, which should identify the key leverage points to move from our vision to the reality of a vibrant multicultural Transformed Communities. Transformed communities basic approach is to create an environment of opportunity that encourages and supports sustainable business development and asset accumulation, and increases the purchasing power of neighborhood residents. We need to build on the community’s many strengths, and rely on residents to set the direction. This community’s many assets include its unique ethnic composition, the richness of its colonial history as well as the current interest in its community revitalization efforts, point the way to certain assets-based approaches.

Something that is working well in my community: New Latino Leadership Paradigm Since 1996 there has been an evolution in the Latino leadership that has refused to accept the old paradigm and instead have accepted a new leadership of collaboration and coexistence. This new paradigm of inclusive leadership is producing changes in our community’s leadership and I’d like you to become aware of it, in order for you to include it in your speech repertoire in the future. The heart of the new Latino leadership is based in belonging to a community and its common interests. No longer are technique and position enough; rather it is a broader reach for leadership possibility and belonging that win in the new paradigm. Part of the challenge we have overcome has been recruiting capable people into places where they can exercise leadership. The new leadership paradigm in our Latino community has reached out to everybody and called forth the leadership possibilities that exist in people from all circumstances and experiences, reminding them, and ourselves, that we all belong to one community and therefore, we must share in its leadership. We have recognized and promoted the idea that leadership is multidimensional in both application and participation. No longer is it desirable or even practical in our paradigm to build leadership pyramids based on the hierarchical structures of traditional organizational charts. Rather, our task has been to build leadership plazas or open and inviting leadership that draws together a diverse citizenry and inclusive leadership. In my opinion this new concept of leadership, has been advocated and promoted by Victor Capellán, Juan Pichardo, Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, Betty Bernal, Elvys Ruiz, Ernesto Figueroa Dr. José González, yours truly, and other individuals in the community and can be seen in local organizations such as RIINI, Quisqueya In Action and the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee (RILPAC). These individuals and organization have accepted that leadership in its truest form is about collaborating, connecting, and ultimately catalyzing actions focused on common interests. 44

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Milenio Associates, LLC We have also accepted the reality of developing and building skills for inclusive leadership like consensus building, collaboration, deliberation, and strategy and know how to talk together, work together, and act together. Finally, this new paradigm of leadership plaza is based on the principle that Latino communities and organizations must create working principles of process and action that not only allow but encourage opportunities for new leaders to participate in building and executing common priorities and common agendas.

Why is this new paradigm working? The ultimate goal of transformed communities is to create a healthy, safe and secure neighborhood by practicing collaborative problem solving and consensus based decision-making. Based on those goals, I feel that leaders in the Latino community have accepted the reality that we can accomplish a lot more for our community through the development and nurturing of individual and community assets. Collaborative leadership is thus seen as a means to an end, not the end itself. The collaborative leadership strategy has also been resident-directed and builds upon the community's inherent and acquired strengths and assets which include: its strategic location with respect to Providence and major transportation routes, available labor force, small businesses The leadership paradigm shared by early Latino leaders was based on our traditional views of leaders as special people who set the direction, made the key decisions, and energized the troops, which were deeply rooted in an individualistic and non-systemic world view. These early leaders’ prevailing leadership myths are still captured by the image of the captain of the cavalry leading the charge to rescue the settlers from the attacking Indians. So long as such myths prevail, they reinforce a focus on short-term events and charismatic heroes rather than on systemic forces and collective learning. At the heart of the traditional view of leadership has been the assumption that the people are powerless and that their lack of personal vision and inability to master the forces of change, can be remedied only by a few great leaders. Due to this myth, the Latino community has suffered from a lack of collaborating leadership that can work together towards a common agenda that benefits all Latinos regardless of palace of origin.

What could prevent the creation of an effective 21st Century Community? The possibility of not being able to convince organizations and communities that there's a need for many more than one leader. The challenge before us as a community and as individuals is to recognize and promote the idea that leadership is multidimensional in both application and participation. No longer is it desirable or even practical to build leadership pyramids--those closed, hierarchical structures of traditional organizational charts. Rather, the task facing organizations and communities is to build leadership plazas--open and inviting places that draw together a diverse citizenry.

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First Latino Roundtable Breakfast Tomás Alberto Ávila January 15, 2000 Friday May 19th, 2000

Our Challenge No group has a larger stake in the path our community chooses as we begin the new millennium than Latinos. Latinos comprise more than 10 percent of this state, including almost 51 percent of the school age population. It is the youngest and fastest growing minority in the state. Soon after the turn of the century, Latinos will represent the largest minority group in the United States, and within 50 years 20 percent of the entire population will be Latinos. As citizens with a substantial role and stake in the future of this state and nation, we, Latino Americans look forward with hope and promise to a community that truly reflects the "American dream." Conversely, we can become a united and even greater community, a community that values all of its citizens, where communities and families are strong and prosper, where we encourage and build on our rich diversity. We can be an even more prosperous community, where we bring together the enormous productive potential of all of our people, where all have an equal opportunity to contribute to our economy and to our future-to have a decent job, a good education, to be healthy-and to thrive through our enterprise and hard work. We can become a community where every child can have a full and productive life. It is our choice.

About The Latino Roundtable The Latino Roundtable will be a coalition of RI Latino community Leaders that represent the diverse Latino cultures in the state. Roundtable members understand how changes in the world and national economies will affect the Latino community in Rhode Island, and how the public and private sectors can work together to provide support as we look to improve our community. The Roundtable's central purpose will be to pursue the development of public policy that will help Latinos compete in the state economy and provide a high quality of life for the state's citizens. The Roundtable will achieve this purpose by defining strategic goals and objectives, and communicating these objectives to government officials and the public at large.

What We Will Do The Latino Roundtable will identify and define key long-term issues facing Rhode Island in its search for steady and significant improvement of the Latino community. The Latino Roundtable will create legislative and gubernatorial support for certain indispensable elements of our community progress. We will be advocates for points of view. We will be a force for actual shifts in public policy towards those indispensable elements needed for growth. The Roundtable will seek to change many of the anti-Latino attitudes among open-minded leaders for public policies that promote long-term growth of our community.

Mission The overall improvement of the Rhode Island Latino climate through the direct involvement of Latino leaders in order to identify and influence public policy outcomes.

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Approach · Careful selection and prioritization of issues (both short and long term) coupled with commitment of

talents and resources to deliver desired outcomes. · Interact and work in partnership with Rhode Island's government leaders. · Coalesce support among a broad-based coalition of organizations to work in concert promoting a

proactive agenda on issues where there is a consensus on how to achieve change. · Increased awareness about the need for action on key public policy issues. · Commit to both a vision for and technical understanding of the issues, recognizing that substantive

involvement in the public policy arena takes time and that essential broad-based support for reform cannot be accomplished overnight.

Process An issue-oriented task force structure that directs research, supervises preparation of position papers, recommends policy and advocates change to factors affecting Rhode Island's Latinos well being. Outcomes ·

Legislative and corporate reforms bringing decisive, constructive change that places Rhode Island Latinos in a leadership position statewide.

·

Latinos speaking with one voice and working in concert on issues, thus creating a powerful force for an improved quality of life for Rhode Island's Latino community.

·

Rhode Island Latino Roundtable will be identified as coalition with one voice that influences public policy with key opinion leaders.

Sponsored by: Progreso Latino, RIINI & The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs

Agenda 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

REGISTRATION

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM

WELCOME/INTRODUCTIONS Goals and Objectives Organizational Structure

8:45 AM – 10:00 AM

OPEN DISCUSSION Time line Next Steps ADJOURN

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First Latino Roundtable Breakfast PR Tomás Alberto Avila May 5, 2000 Providence-The Center for Hispanic Policy & Advocacy, Progreso Latino and the Governors Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs will be holding their inaugural Latino Roundtable breakfast Friday May 19th, 2000 at the Westin Hotel 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM. The breakfast is being organized to bring together a coalition of RI Latino community Leaders that represent the diverse Latino cultures in the state. The Roundtable members understand how changes in the world and national economies will affect the Latino community in Rhode Island, and how the public and private sectors can work together to provide support as we look to improve our community. No group has a larger stake in the path our state chooses as we begin the new millennium than Latinos. Latinos comprise more than 10 percent of this state, including almost 51 percent of the school age population. It is the youngest and fastest growing minority in the state. Soon after the turn of the century, Latinos will represent the largest minority group in the United States, and within 50 years 20 percent of the entire population will be Latinos. As citizens with a substantial role and stake in the future of this state and nation, we Latino Americans look forward with hope and promise to a community that truly reflects the "American dream." According to Patricia Martinez, Executive Director of Progreso Latino, the oldest and largest Latino organization, “We can be a more prosperous community, where we bring together the enormous productive potential of all of our people, where all have an equal opportunity to contribute to our economy and to our future-to have a decent job, a good education, to be healthy-and to thrive through our enterprise and hard work.” The Roundtable's central purpose will be to pursue the development of public policy that will help Latinos compete in the state economy and provide a high quality of life for the state's citizens. The Roundtable will achieve this purpose by defining strategic goals and objectives, and communicating these objectives to government officials and the public at large. For more information about the breakfast, call RIINI 401-467-0111, Progreso Latino 401-728-5920. ###

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A New Latino Leadership Paradigm Tomás Alberto Ávila 6.8.2000 THE LEADERSHIP STYLE shared by early Latino leaders in Rhode Island was one based on our traditional views of leaders as special people who set the direction, made the key decisions and energized the troops. These ideals were deeply rooted in an individualistic and non-systemic world view. These early leaders' prevailing leadership myths were still captured by the image of the captain of the cavalry leading the charge to rescue the settlers from the attacking Indians. As long as such myths prevail, they reinforce a focus on short-term events and charismatic heroes rather than on systemic forces and collective learning. At the heart of the traditional view of leadership has been the assumption that the people are powerless and that only a few great leaders can remedy their lack of personal vision and inability to master the forces of change. Because of this myth, the Latino community in Rhode Island has suffered from a lack of collaborating leadership that could work together toward a common agenda that benefits all Latinos regardless of place of origin. As Providence Councilman Luis Aponte, D-Ward 10, so aptly put it during the 1996 elections: "Among the frequent mistakes Latino candidates have made over the years is concentrating on immigrants from their own country, instead of attempting to bridge differences." It's true, as he stated, that "candidates and campaigns tend to focus on that one community, and ignore the importance of all the other votes. You can't count on just one community to get elected." Perhaps Hispanics are sometimes their own worst enemies when it comes to developing a unified movement. Immigrants closely identify with their homelands -- the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and at least 15 other Latin-American countries -- making it difficult to agree on a single agenda. These myths were prevalent in the Latino leadership in the 1980s and '90s, during this community's emerging growth. But since 1996, we have seen an evolution in the Latino leadership in Rhode Island that refuses to accept the old paradigm, and has instead accepted a new leadership of collaboration and co-existence. This new paradigm of inclusive leadership is producing changes in our community's sharing of power and agendas. The heart of the new Latino leadership is based on the concept of belonging to a community and its common interests. No longer should techniques and positions be enough -- rather, it should be a broader reach for leadership possibilities and a true sense of belonging that win in the new paradigm. Part of the challenge we need to overcome has been the recruitment of a broad base of people into places where they can exercise their leadership potential. The new leadership paradigm in our community shall reach out to everybody and call forth the leadership possibilities that exist in people from all circumstances and experiences, reminding them, and ourselves, that we all belong to one community and, therefore, we must share in its leadership. We have to recognize and promote the idea that leadership is multidimensional in both application and participation. No longer is it desirable or even practical in our new paradigm to build leadership pyramids based on the hierarchical structures of traditional organizational charts. Rather, our practice should be to build flat leadership plazas or open, inviting and inclusive leadership that draws together a diverse citizenry.

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Milenio Associates, LLC This new concept of leadership has been promoted by some people in our community and can also be seen in some of our local organizations, such as the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee. These people and organizations have accepted the idea that leadership in its truest form is about collaborating, connecting and ultimately catalyzing actions focused on common interests. We shall accept the reality of developing and building skills for inclusive leadership such as consensus building, collaboration, deliberation and strategy. We will know how to talk together, work together and act together. Finally, this new paradigm of leadership is based on the principle that Latino communities and organizations must create working principles of process and action that not only allow but encourage opportunities for new leaders to participate in building and executing common priorities and common agendas. We can become a united and thus a greater community, a community that values all of its citizens and leaders, one where communities and families are strong and prosperous, and where we can encourage and build on our rich diversity. We can be a more prosperous community, in which we bring together the enormous productive potential of all of our people. Our community can be a place where we all have an equal opportunity to contribute to our leadership and to our future -- to have a decent job, a good education, to be healthy, and to thrive through our enterprise and hard work. We can become a community where every citizen can play a full and productive leadership role, and be positive and contributing voices in our community. It is our choice. Tomás Alberto Ávila, an immigrant from Honduras, is a policy analyst with the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy in Providence. Copyright © 2000 The Providence Journal Company

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Positive Economic Indicators for Hispanics Reveal Opportunity to Focus on the Nation’s Working Poor Tomás Alberto Avila October 1, 2000 Central Falls, RI -- Data released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau show that the combination of a strong U.S. economy and hard work has continued to pay dividends for America's Latino families. For the fourth consecutive year, median income of Hispanic households rose while poverty for Latino families dropped. Data show that between 1998 and 1999 real median income for Latino households increased by 6.1% from $28,956 in 1998 to $30,735 in 1999. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for Hispanic families declined between 1998 and 1999 from 25.6% to 22.8%. "This is good news for the nation, not just for Latinos, because our country's economic progress is linked to the well-being of Latino workers. The better off the community is, the better off we all are," said Tomás Alberto Avila, Executive Director. The data also show that in 1999 the poverty rate for Hispanic children (30.3%) dropped to its lowest level since 1979 (28.0%). In addition, poverty declined for Hispanic families with children under 18 from 28.6% in 1998 to 25.0% in 1999, and between 1989 and 1999 real median income for Hispanic households rose by 5.0%. As Avila pointed out, "For too long we saw poverty climbing and income falling for Latino families, but for the past four years the indicators have been going in the right direction. This means that the economic strength of the Latino community is finally being tapped and that critical domestic investments in Latino workers and families are paying dividends." However, while the data show that Latinos are making strides and are reaping the benefits of their hard work, comparative data show that there are still significant gaps between Latinos and other Americans. For example, while the poverty rate for Hispanic married-couple families in 1999 (14.2%) dropped to its lowest level since 1979 (13.1%), it remained almost four times that of similar White non-Hispanic families (3.3%). Moreover, the real median income for Hispanic female-headed households increased by 10.1% between 1998 and 1999 ($20,765), but remains significantly lower than for their White counterparts ($29,629). As Avila emphasized, "A strong economy and hard work are not enough to level the playing field. Avila cited the challenges facing the working poor, a large share of who are Latino. "Now that income is on the rise and poverty is down, we should turn our attention to closing the gaps between Latinos and other Americans." For instance, the poverty rate for families with children under 18, with a worker working fulltime, dropped between 1998 and 1999 for Hispanic families to 11.5% but remains three times the rate for comparable White families (3.7%). Low-income workers have a more difficult time accumulating wealth and becoming more secure financially and economically mobile. "Differences in wealth mean that pieces of the American Dream -- like homeownership -- are not yet within the grasp of all Americans. This affects communities and neighborhoods; it diminishes our economic strength and ultimately affects the prosperity of all Americans."

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Milenio Associates, LLC These data are especially relevant to ongoing debates on the budget and taxes, including proposals to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which new poverty data demonstrate helped to reduce the after tax poverty rate for Hispanics by 4.1 percentage points in 1999. In addition, these data are crucial to understanding the effects of welfare reform implementation. "Hispanic women continue to have low income and high poverty rates, even as they are working harder than ever before. If we strengthen economic opportunities for families headed by women, we can ensure a more productive workforce and fewer poor children." "We have made strong gains on income and poverty for most groups, and our country has the tools to tackle other economic disparities. With the nation's attention focused on the differences between the presidential candidates on issues of greatest concern to all Americans, there is no better time to make commitments to close these gaps," advised Avila.

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Latinos' Buying Power Rises, Study Finds Tomás Alberto Avila October 15, 2000 Central Falls, RI --Buying power among blacks, Asian Americans and American Indians has skyrocketed in the past decade, a University of Georgia study said. Disposable income for the three groups is projected to reach $860 billion in 2001, up more than 95% from $400 billion in 1990, it said. Buying power for Hispanics--which the study considered separately from the other groups--was projected to more than double to $452 billion from $207.5 billion in 1990. Overall buying power in the United States has increased by 70% over the same period. The study, an analysis of Census Bureau data and government economic statistics, looked at the amount of spending money available after taxes. Over the past nine years the nation’s Hispanic buying power has increased 84.4 percent from $208 billion in 1990 a percentage gain that is substantially greater than the 56.7 percent gain projected for African American buying power. In the same report, the Hispanic buying power by place of residence shows that between 1990 and 1999, the Rhode Island Hispanic population buying power grew 48.9 percent to $785 million, from $401 million the report estimates show, representing 3.3 percent of the state total buying power from 2.3 percent in 1990. "This is good news for the nation, not just for Latinos, because our country's economic progress is linked to the well-being of Latino consumers. The better off the community is, the better off we all are," said Tomás Alberto Avila, Executive Director of Progreso Latino. The Hispanic buying power in Rhode Island followed a decade in which the state’s Hispanic population grew by 50 percent according to U.S. Bureau of the Census to 68,644 people, even as the state’s total population declined slightly raising the Hispanic percentage to 7 percent of the total state population. "Indeed, a golden opportunity exists for those corporations that recognize the power of this burgeoning market, and partner with Progreso Latino and other local Latino organizations to ensure their success." Avila said According to the Terry College of Business the nine year, 84.4 percent gain in the nation’s Hispanic buying power will outstrip both the 56.7 percent increase projected for nominal GDP, and the 37.4 percent increase projected in Hispanic population. The U.S. Consumer Price Index will increase 28.7 percent during his same period, but Hispanicbuying power will grow nearly three times as fast as inflation. From a business perspective, such unprecedented population and economic growth is reflected daily in the marketplace. A burgeoning number of Hispanic men, women, and children patronize supermarkets, automotive dealerships, general and specialty stores, and restaurants. They also conduct business in banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and real estate and travel agencies. Despite Hispanic’s lower average income levels, Hispanic households spend more on food consumed at home, telephone service, apparel, and personal care products. Of the many forces supporting the substantial growth of the Hispanic buying power, perhaps the most important are better employment opportunities. The increasing number of Hispanics who are successfully starting and expanding their own businesses also helps to increase buying power. Favorable demographic trends also reinforce these positive economic forces.

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Rhode Island Businesses Owned by Latinos Top Two Thousand Tomás Alberto Avila May 5, 2001 Providence - According to, a report released by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau, the Latino owned business in the United States totaled 1.2 million firms, employed over 1.3 million people and generated $186.3 billion in revenues in 1997. Latino-owned firms made up 6 percent of the 20.8 million nonfarm businesses in the nation and 1 percent of the $18.6 trillion in receipts for all businesses. The data for the state of Rhode Island shows that the state has a total of 2,186 Latino owned businesses with total sales and receipt of $207,036,000 annually. It also shows that the state has 447 firms with paid employees with annual sell receipts of $157,405,000 and employing a total 1,890 individuals and annual payroll of $31,264,000. The Census Bureau, an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, collected the information from 1997 tax returns and from 2.5 million questionnaires completed by business owners. The bureau collects the data every five years and in the coming months will provide similar information about other ethnic groups and by gender. The report’s Statistics for Selected Counties With 100 or more Latino Owned Firms shows that Providence County has the largest amount of Latino owned businesses with a total of 1,780 businesses with total sell receipts of $166,964,000 and a total of 377 Latino businesses with paid employees totaling 1,538 with an annual payroll of $23,854,000, follow by Newport County with 139 firms and sales and receipts of $8,760,000 and Kent County with 103 Latino owned businesses. The City of Providence has the largest number of Latino businesses according to the information released by the Census Bureau, with a total of 731 and $61, 893, 00 Annual sales and receipts and 124 businesses with paid employees with $39,796,000 annual sales and receipts employing 445 with annual payroll of $6,619,000. Follow by Cranston with 274 businesses and $18,606,000 annual sales and receipts, Pawtucket with 190 and $46,167,000 and Central Falls with 100 businesses with annual sales and receipts of $6,060,000. The Broad Street commercial corridor in Providence stretches for 2.6 miles south from downtown Providence to the Cranston line and is dotted with Latino businesses. The same can be seen in Dexter Street in Central Falls and many other streets across the state. "This is good news for the state, not just for Latinos, because our state's economic progress is linked to the well-being of Latino businesses. The better off the community is, the better off we all are," said Verouschka Ventura, Executive Director of Southside Broad Street, an organization dedicated to promoting economic development in the Southside. The survey data shows that four in 10, or 475,300 Latino businesses, had receipts of $10,000 or less; slightly more than 2 in 10, or 273,300 had receipts between $10,000 and $25,000; while 26,700, or about 2 percent, had sales of $1 million or more. Receipts per firm averaged $155,200 for Latino-owned firms compared with $410,600 for all U.S. firms, excluding publicly held corporations and firms whose owners' race or ethnicity were indeterminate (e.g., mutual companies whose ownership is shared by its members). The largest number of Latino-owned firms (1 million) were sole proprietorships, unincorporated businesses owned by individuals. C corporations, all legally incorporated businesses except for Subchapter S corporations (whose shareholders elect to be taxed as individuals rather than as corporations), numbered 78,500. But C corporations ranked first in receipts ($71.8 billion) among all Latino-owned firms, the report showed. C corporations were included in the Latino portion of the Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises, source of the data, for the first time in 1997. 54

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Milenio Associates, LLC Receipts of Latino-owned firms rose 49 percent, from $77 billion in 1992 to $114 billion in 1997, compared with a 40 percent increase for all U.S. firms of the same type over the same period. The data in the report were collected as part of the 1997 Economic Census from a large sample of nonfarm businesses filing tax forms as sole proprietorships, partnerships or any type of corporation, which had receipts of $1,000 or more in 1997. This increased in Latino businesses, is in line with the doubling of the Latino community during the 10 years since the last national population count was taken, jumping from 45,752 in 1990 to 90,820. Latinos now represent 8.7 percent of Rhode Island's total population. According to the data released by the bureau, eighty percent of the increase in the Hispanic population occurred in three communities: Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. All Firms¹ Rhode Island

Firms with Paid Employees

Firms

Sales and

Firms

Sales and

Employees

Number

Receipts

Number

Receipts

(Number)

Annual Payroll ($1,000)

($1,000)

($1,000)

Total 2,186 207,036 447 157,405 Kent County 103 20,767 37 19,037 Newport County 139 8,760 12 6,413 Providence 1,780 166,964 370 124,172 County 1 All firms data include both firms with paid employees and firms with no paid employees.

1,890 166 49 1,538

31,264 4,883 1,285 23,894

Source: Minority Owned Business Enterprises Table 3. Statistics for Latino Owned Firms by State: 1997, U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census Mar. 6, 2001

Statistics for Selected Places With 100 or More Latino Owned Firms: 1997 All Firms¹ Firms Sales and

Firms

Rhode Island Number

Receipts

Firms with Paid Employees Sales Employees Annual and Payroll

Number

(Number) Receipts

($1,000)

($1,000) ($1,000) Total 2,186 207,036 447 157,405 Central Falls 100 6,060 24 4,564 Cranston 274 18,606 18 8,867 Pawtucket 190 46,167 32 42,068 Providence 731 61,893 124 39,736 1 All firms data include both firms with paid employees and firms with no paid employees.

1,890 25 69 542 445

31,264 833 1,784 7,024 6,619

Source: Minority Owned Business Enterprises Table 3. Statistics for Latino Owned Firms by State: 1997, U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census Mar. 6, 2001, pg 108

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Today Renters: Tomorrow’s Homeowners, Increasing Latino Homeownership By Tomás Alberto Ávila REALTOR 04/13/02 America's minority homeownership rate set a new all-time record of 48.8 percent in the second quarter of 2001, with 13.2 million minority families owning their homes, according to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez. The overall homeownership rate of 67.7 percent tied the all-time record high. A total of 72.3 million American families owned their homes in the second quarter of this year the most at any time in American history. The new 67.7 percent homeownership rate ties the previous all-time record set in the third quarter of 2000. Even with this new record, minority homeownership continues to lag significantly behind the near-historic national average. While more than two- thirds of Americans own their own home, fewer than half of African-American and Hispanic families are homeowners, we must do more. According to former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, “the Latino homeownership rate is the fastest increasing homeownership rate of any segment in America”, and that is a great thing. It is a great thing because homeownership in our nation is the way in which people tap in to the American dream. Home-ownership and homes are lot more than just physical structures. It is a lot more than just framing and walls and plumbing and providing shelter. Now it is that and that is very important. But in my opinion what it means for people to have a home in America is access to the levers of wealth. Homeownership is a building block of this nation, bringing wealth, pride, and prosperity to families and communities. For most Americans, the sum total of their net worth, if you did an analysis and actually calculated what Americans have as their net worth, for the majority of Americans it is the equity they have in their home. That is what they are worth. The rest of what we have is credit card debt and school loans and cash that goes out for all kinds of sources. The major instrument of building some kind of personal assets is what people have in the equity in their home.

The difference between renting and watching that money go out to somebody else's account versus being able to create equity in a banking institution, a mortgage institution that then can be leveraged into a loan for college, for children, or a loan to start a new business, or any other, the step up to the second home, is hugely important. So what this represents is a strategy for providing Americans the first taste of the American dream in the form of wealth. For those Americans who are denied homeownership, it is just that many people who are locked out, at least temporarily, of the American dream of the ability to put some money away and begin to create wealth. In this country there is a vast difference between income and wealth. Income is what we earn in a paycheck and it goes right back out in monthly expenditures. Wealth is what we begin to put away and have an estate to be able to pass on to our children, have something to build up, and that is what homeownership represents to the first time homebuyer. According to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals “Top 5 Barriers to Hispanic Homeownership Survey” Not, affordable housing and down payment shortcomings finished near the top of the survey 56

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Milenio Associates, LLC as barriers to the Hispanic Community. However, perhaps the biggest surprise was that the large majority of survey respondents did not feel that income and job stability was a significant barrier. While many felt that traditional methods to verify income or determine credit worthiness presented a significant challenge, most respondents believe that the majority of their prospective clients possess the necessary income to own a home. Lenders, HUD and the GSE's should continue their efforts in understanding how Hispanic culture influences financial behavior, and work to integrate these practices to create alternative underwriting models. Respondents expressed the belief that many Latinos do not believe that owning a home is possible, mostly because of a lack of understanding of mortgage lending dynamics. Additionally, some members felt that many Latinos are apprehensive about revealing personal financial data to strangers. However, very few respondents believe that Latinos do not possess a general desire to become homeowners. It is very difficult to help people with any other need they have in their life, whether it is getting a better education or getting a better job or stabilizing their children if they don't have a place to stay. If they haven't settled the question of where those babies are going to put their head on the pillow at night, and that is what a home is all about. Hispanics will soon become the nation’s largest minority group, increasing from a little over 11 percent of the population to approximately 15 percent in 2010. This growing Hispanic population is poised to significantly contribute to the economic progress of our nation. I believe the sheer size of the Hispanic market and the $454 billion dollars spent by Hispanics should be impetus enough for the creation of a comprehensive home buying education that is specifically targeted to Hispanics and the incorporation of the Spanish language in all real estate documents. With the Hispanic population growing faster than any other ethnic group in this nation, Hispanic consumers are becoming increasingly important to the real estate industry. Lower interest rates, better housing programs, and the realization that homeownership is the cornerstone of a family's wealth are all factors that contribute to greater participation of Hispanics. According to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population will triple from 35 million in 2000 to 98.2 million in 2050. Under this scenario, the percentage of Hispanics in the total population will rise from 12% to 24% over this period.

Tomás Alberto Avila, 61 Tappan Street Providence, RI 02908 Phone 401-274-5204 Email: avilatomas@hotmail.com

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80 Percent of Hispanic Families Are First-Time Home Buyers 06/23/2002 BY AVIS GUNTHER-ROSENBERG Journal Staff Writer In 1969, at age 15, Tomás Alberto Ávila moved with his family to the U.S. from Honduras. Thirteen years later, he purchased his first home after seeing his parents save for and buy a house. "Because I saw my parents do it, I knew it was a step I was going to take," says Avila, an agent with DeWolfe, North Providence, who lives on Tappan Street in Providence's North End. At the time, none of Avila's friends owned their own homes, but he began to notice a ripple effect. "I gave them the incentive that yes, they could be home owners. From that decision, about 60 percent of my relatives, friends and coworkers became home owners." While more than two thirds of American families own their own homes, fewer than half of Hispanic families are home owners, despite record highs in minority home ownership. Last year, a record-breaking 48.8 percent of minority families owned their own homes, still significantly lower than the national average of 67.7 percent, according to a Housing and Urban Development report. The fastest growing population of home owners is Latinos at 45.5 percent. The Census Bureau does not break down Latino home ownership rates for each state. The HUD report notes that home owners accumulate wealth as their investment in their house grows, that they enjoy better living conditions and are often more involved in their communities. It cites educational studies that have shown children in families that own their own home do better in school and are less likely to be involved in crime. Recently, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals did a survey of the top five barriers to Hispanic home ownership. The largest barrier, according to the poll, was lack of education regarding the home-buying process, followed by lack of a down payment, lack of affordable housing, language fluency or comprehension and unverifiable income. Other issues noted included trust (fear of being "ripped off"), consumer confidence and prejudice/racism. Surprisingly, most of the agents who responded felt that income and job stability were not significant barriers. Rather, they felt that many Latinos who would qualify for mortgages lacked understanding of mortgage-lending dynamics and did not consider themselves candidates for owning their own homes. One of the people Avila inspired to buy a house is Margarita Guedes, executive director of Southside Broad Street (a nonprofit agency founded to revitalize the Broad Street area). Guedes, 33, bought her first home -- on Burns Street off Douglas Avenue -- in December.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Guedes moved to the U.S. in 1982 from Columbia. She is divorced, and has a 7-year-old daughter. Like Avila, Guedes has seen more of her friends buying houses now that she's made that step. "I'm a walking commercial," Guedes says. "If I can do it, you can do it." Buying your first house can be intimidating, Guedes says. There is a fear of where the money will come from each month to pay the mortgage, whether there is enough in the bank to cover a down payment, and if your credit history is good enough to even qualify. "I wanted to buy a house for a while, but I was engrossed in survival mode," Guedes says. "Then I met Tomas and he prompted me to explore. I want to invest in something more than a bank account. I want to give my child a safe future." Guedes looked for the same things most parents seek: a safe neighborhood, places for her child to play. The quality of local schools was not an issue, because Guedes's daughter attends private school. "It felt so good to sign the papers," Guedes says proudly. "This house is mine!" Sebastian Naz, 38, bought his first house in April. Naz, who works for a paper company in Mansfield, Mass., bought a house off Webster Avenue in Cranston. He has been in the U.S. for 16 years, moving here from Guatemala. He and his wife have four small children. Guedes and Naz represent two very different segments of the Latino market, Avila says. "Margarita is someone who pretty much grew up and was educated here. Sebastian is what I call the 'new wave of immigrant.' He's lived in the same neighborhood for nine years, has been at the same job 14 years. He never really thought about buying a house until a mutual friend referred him to me. We looked at his credit, at his savings, and he was surprised that he could buy a house. He started as a very green person, and today he is a happy home owner." Naz, who has not yet begun the naturalization process, speaks very little English and spoke through a translator. Asked why he chose to purchase a house rather than continuing to rent, Naz said, "I felt we weren't doing anything for ourselves. We wanted to live in a safer area with a good school system." Because Naz has a Social Security number and a work permit, he was able to purchase a house in this country, Avila says. "You do not need to be a citizen or to speak English." However, most of the information about real estate and mortgages is in English. Lenders like Fannie Mae and Fleet Bank have begun to offer translations in Spanish. Avila, who became a U.S. citizen in 1979, is the former executive director of Progreso Latino. He is addressing the issues of discrimination and dissemination of information through a series of seminars geared at increasing Latino home ownership in South Providence. The seminars are planned in conjunction with Providence En Espanol -- a weekly Spanish-language newspaper -- and Fannie Mae. The mortgage lender has pledged $2 trillion in flexible financing for 18 million families who historically have been underserved in housing finance, including $420 million slated to finance three million minority households. Fannie Mae's participation is part of a $3 billion Rhode Island investment plan destined to finance affordable housing for 24,000 Rhode Island families. "The Latino community has doubled in the state since the '90s," Avila says. From 1990 to 2000, census figures showed that Rhode Island's Hispanic community grew from 45,752 to 90,820. Hispanic children make up 50 percent of the school population in Providence, and Hispanics account for about 30 percent of the city's total population. And,

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Milenio Associates, LLC for the first time, the 2000 census showed that in Central Falls and Providence, minority groups outnumber nonHispanic whites. "Eighty percent of Hispanic families are first-time home buyers, and we want to make the home buying process easier for them," Avila says. "The most effective way to improve Hispanic home ownership rates is to empower the firsttime buyer with information." Interestingly, one thing that holds Latinos back from buying their own homes is a cultural perception of what it takes to be a home owner. "When you buy a home in my native country, you die in that house," Guedes says. "It's so unaffordable." In many Latin American countries, the idea of accumulating equity to save for your dream house does not exist, Avila explains. There is no such thing as a "starter home." "I know people who have been here 20, 30 years, and I ask them why didn't they buy a house 20, 30 years ago," Avila says. "They don't understand the equity concept and how much it would be worth today. In this country, the idea is that your first house is what's going to give you your dream home. That's been part of my education process." Avila coaches clients with steady jobs, an average salary of $25,000 and savings of $5,000 to take advantage of incentive programs for first-time home buyers. "I have worked with people who make $18,000 a year, even $15,000, who qualified to be home buyers," he says. "I work with them on building a credit history. If they have no credit history, we use alternatives like utility bills, insurance, even your cell phone bill. There's very little that can't be fixed regarding credit." According to recent report from the Homeownership Alliance -- a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of more than a dozen organizations committed to ensuring support for the American housing system -- the increase in minority families onto the home-buying scene has helped to fuel the strong housing market. "The future of the housing market in Providence-Fall River-Warwick depends on minority populations succeeding in today's economy," Homeownership Alliance chairman Bob Mitchell, a past president of the National Association of Homebuilders, said. "Expanding home ownership among minorities is good for the housing market, and therefore good for the economy." In the Rhode Island area, the minority population is projected to increase 13 percent in the next several years with the largest increase expected in the Hispanic population. The Homeownership Alliance projects that the Hispanic population will increase 16.4 percent from 71,501 in 2000 to approximately 83,225 by 2005. In contrast, only 2 percent to 3 percent of real estate agents are part of a minority group. But having a Latino Realtor does not insure that the client will get the best service. "A couple I know was looking for a house, and their Latino Realtor showed them the worst houses, assuming they couldn't afford better," Guedes says. Avila has seen it, too. "People have come to me, and said that the Realtor looked at them and decided they don't qualify for much," just from their accents or features. "As Realtors, we're not supposed to be discriminating. We're supposed to deal with everyone." 60

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Milenio Associates, LLC Avila, who has dark skin, has also experienced the other side of discrimination. "Someone will call the office to list or buy a house, and I'll meet with them for the first time, and they'll call the office and say, 'That's not what I expected.' I was given one referral to a potential seller, and when I met with them, I saw their reaction. The next day, they called the office and asked for someone else." How did Avila handle that? "You deal with what comes to you," he says. "The Latino and the immigrant community is the market I am called to serve. It just encouraged me to do more."

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About the Latino Community Tomás Alberto Avila May 5, 2002 The U.S. Census figures show a marked explosion in the ethnic segment category of the United States population now represent about a third of the United States population. Yet, corporate America appears somewhat blind-sided by the fact that Hispanics have recently been sized as the largest minority segment. These statistics are driving CEO’s and Boards of Directors to ask, “Are we investing enough in the Hispanic market to fully maximize shareholder value?” The 2000 U.S. Census establishes that the U.S. Hispanic population constitutes the largest minority group in the country. It also confirms that the United States is becoming a country characterized by an increasing degree of diversity. This situation is also reflected in the population growth projections for the United States. Given present trends, by 2060 the U.S. non-Hispanic white population will be less than 50 percent of the total population, constituting another minority, while the Hispanic population will represent 27 percent, African Americans 13 percent, and Asian Americans 10 percent. The rapid growth of the U.S. Hispanic population has occurred during the past 50 years. Every ten years that the U.S. Census has been conducted, the Hispanic population has experienced a percentage increase higher than that of the total U.S. population.

For year 2002, the Hispanic population holds over $550 billion in purchase dollars – an enormous amount of money for U.S. businesses not to be tapping into with the right level of investment. Effectively mining the staggering economic clout from the 42.5 million Hispanic market, including Puerto Rico, can easily redefine corporate leaders from laggards. It represents a ready-made consumer opportunity capturing everyone’s attention, and should capture yours too. The Hispanic market rapid growth in size and economic influence, two to twelve times faster than the African American and overall markets in the top 10 states generates constant new growth opportunities to be captured by corporations. Between April 2000 — 2001, fresh growth of the U.S. Hispanic will reward smart American businesses with 1.7 million new consumers, over $200 million in additional expenditures, and nearly one-half million newly formed households. And, by April 2002, the Hispanic market opportunity for corporate America will have surpassed $600 billion6. These numbers should all be a wake-up call to your company as a whole to recognize the value of the Hispanic consumer, evaluate their multicultural market opportunities and develop more sophisticated strategies to increase their reach to this burgeoning market. Latinos Awareness Breakfasts will help you explore some of the values of Latinos while allowing you and your company to gain an appreciation for the role of cultural diversity in the process of multi cultural relationship with the Latino community.

6 Santiago & Valdez Solutions, Census 2000 +1 +1 Implications for Corporate America: “Right Investing” for Latino Dollars

AHAA annual Conference presentation, September 2001

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According to Charles B. Fruit, VP, Director Media & Marketing Assets, the Coca-Cola Company. " It’s inconceivable that a marketer in one of the top urban markets today can succeed and not pay particular attention to the Hispanic market, "Darwin's Law will work out here, and those who are not cognizant of the Hispanic market will ultimately become extinct over time." 7 Despite conventional wisdom, for most products and services, newly arrived Latino immigrants represent a more lucrative opportunity than already established U.S. Latinos. Between 1990 and 2000, Hispanic households grew 30 percent from the influx of new immigrants and new marriages (vs. 10 percent for non-Hispanic). Between 1998 and 2003, 18 percent growth in Hispanic households is anticipated (vs. 3 percent growth for non-Hispanic). Many corporations often see Latino immigrants mistakenly as an unattractive consumer target. Nevertheless, they represent brand new households to furnish, cars to be purchased, children to be clothed, mouths to be fed.

The structure of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2002 shows that the Hispanic population is young in comparison with non-Hispanic whites, as is shown in Figure 2, Thirty six percent of the U.S. Hispanic population is under 18 years of age, and only 5 percent is over the age of 65. In comparison, only 24 percent of the non-Hispanic white population is under 18, and 14 percent of the population is over 65. The overall structure of the U.S. Hispanic population presents a significant opportunity not only for the Hispanic market but for the U.S. market as a whole. Thirty two percent of U.S. Hispanics are between 26 and 35 years old, known as generation x. They are integrated within the labor market and are at a productive point in their working lives. Twelve percent of the population is between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, known as generation y. They are at a point at which they are completing their education and being incorporated into the labor market. The reward for those corporations that revisit and tackle the Hispanic market at the right level of investment for the power it offers is sustainable returns to shareholders from creating new added value for these ready customers. Shareholders mandate quick, successful corporate transformations are necessary to catch up with the new business realities of America’s multi-cultural marketplace.

Armed with ambition plus the means to make their ambitions a reality, the nation’s Latinos will continue to grow and make their mark in the market place. Now is the time to make your mark on them. We help leading-edge businesses gain a competitive advantage by providing strategic information to reach America's fastest growing ethnic and multicultural market, and you can be part of this outreach as a sponsor. This is your opportunity the first of a quarterly breakfast series about the fastest growing segment of the population the Latino market! We are writing to request your financial support for the First Annual Latinos Awareness Breakfast. This Breakfast will draw hundreds of activists, leaders and politicians from the Northeast United States.

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Latino Small Business: The Untapped Potential for Economic Prosperity Tomás Alberto Ávila Milenio Associates, LLC 12/23/02 At the end of the 20th century, the accelerated global integration of production, management, investment, markets and labor has produced five interrelated problems confronting the human community: rising levels of structural unemployment and underemployment; increasing income and wealth polarization; environmental limits to spiraling human demands upon our resource base; an accelerated pace of technological change and international information flows; and new challenges to democratic institutions and processes as states shed control over national economies giving greater scope to market dominance. These structural problems create new human conflicts: between the haves and the have-nots; between traditional and non-Western cultures and Western cultural imperatives, between social protection and market freedoms; between the needs of present and future generations. Most local conflicts today can be traced to one or a combination of these global trends. To be engaged in public policy today requires finding solutions to the above-named problems in a context of local, regional, national and international interdependencies. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the constant shrinking of space-time distance resulting from the revolution in global communications and transport have produced an integrated economic space in which the volume of exchange (between as well as within them) has increased geometrically over the past forty years. This has increased general economic opportunity, but also competitive pressures on managers and workers, service providers and educators, creating new social tensions between losers and winners in the global competition for markets and jobs. Globalization has created international chains of exchange and communication, which have also created opportunities for criminal organizations as well as legitimate intermestic enterprises. All of these issues related to globalization have challenged the capacity of governments to monitor let alone manage the volume of currency, product and information flows across their borders and their social and environmental impacts. Currently more than 120 million economic migrants are moving worldwide seeking jobs and new homes. Most of these workers are third world workers looking to relocate to first world cities like the New York Metropolitan Region, but we should note Western and Eastern European migrants are an important group of newcomers in our own region as well. As we prepare to meet the challenges of a new century, he must prepare to legislate and work in an increasingly integrated and globalized world economy. This is especially important for our state of Rhode Island, which is located within 3 driving hours to one of the world’s principal clearinghouses for financial, communication and cultural exchange, New York City. Due to the presence of the United Nations, the New York metropolitan region also functions as the United State’s second diplomatic capital, and hosts an important concentration of international research, policy and humanitarian non-governmental organizations. All of these represent specialized job markets where our graduates should compete. The Northeast Region is also one of the principal gateways for the latest wave of overseas immigration that is transforming the demographic balance and cultural identity of our region as well as the entire East Coast. Providence and Central Falls are homes to new ethnic communities from the Caribbean; Central and South America; Asian Rim; the Middle East and West Africa. Equally important, but perhaps less visible, the Northeast Area is an important 64

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Milenio Associates, LLC clearinghouse for exchanges of all sorts with the Latin America, and a pole of attraction for job seekers, students and immigrants from the countries of the Union. These new flows of people, products and information, are transforming our cities and altering the politics, cultures and structures of economic opportunity of the cities and suburban communities of Rhode Island. The need for a Public Policy that integrates domestic and international perspectives clearly follows not only from our regional location with its particular employment opportunities, but also from the kinds of issues increasingly faced by those engaged in making and implementing public policy at the local and regional level. Municipal managers, for example, must deal with international markets as they seek to improve the employment and revenue bases of their communities; local environmental and health managers are faced with pollution and health hazards that may be generated in other parts of the country or world; local and regional policy makers and service providers must deal with racial and ethnic conflict, poverty, drugs and other social disturbances generated, in part, by new immigration and by the increasingly free flow of money and goods across national borders; local employers, even if they are not intermestic corporations, are often pegs in an increasingly integrated global market; and corporate managers must understand the new rules of the global trade and information networks and regimes and adapt workplace and marketing policies to the cultural rhythms and mores of diverse workforces. The word “intermestic” was coined to symbolize the merging of “international” and “domestic” concerns, especially in the area of economics. Countries and their citizens have become increasingly interdependent. Economically, trade both creates and causes the loss of jobs. International investment practices may affect your standard of living in such diverse ways as determining how much college tuition is, what income you have, what interest rate you pay for auto loans and mortgages, and what income you can look forward to in retirement. The global economy also supplies vital resources, such as oil. Exchange rates between different currencies affect the prices we pay for imported goods, the general rate of inflation, and our country’s international trade balance. The international economy is also changing in ways that have important implications for the 21st century. Economic interdependence has progressed rapidly. The intermestic flow of trade, investment capital, and currencies has economically entwined all countries. There are, however, counter pressures, and an important issue in the near future is whether to continue down the newer path to economic integration or to halt that process and follow more traditional national economic policies. Economics and politics are closely intertwined aspects of international relations. Each is a part of and affects the other. This interrelation has become even more important in recent history. Economics has become more important internationally because of dramatically increased trade levels, ever-tightening economic interdependence between countries, and the growing impact of international economics on domestic economies. In spite of its name, Rhode Island is not an island and is by no means an independent economic unit. The state is strongly linked to the greater Boston, New England and Northeast economies. New England's firms and workers have been crossing the states' borders increasingly over the past two decades. These linkages to larger regional economies are critical to Rhode Island, because they mean that the state's future is not tied to its existing economic base. All growth sectors of the global economy are also potential growth sectors of Rhode Island. These include: headquarters, information technology, financial services, biomedical, advanced manufacturing, and new media. Rhode Island shall strengthen the traditionally strong commercial ties between the United State and Latin America. Latin America is an important trade partner to the United States and we shall participate in joint ventures with Latin American countries that will be mutually beneficial for economic development and job creation in both countries.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Small business development provides a formula for economic success that translates across the hemisphere. It empowers individuals, spreads wealth, and helps protect and preserve democracy. It also creates a more vibrant regional market with increased opportunities for stronger and more lucrative commercial linkages. The history of international economics is ancient, but a change that has occurred since the second half of the twentieth century is that the level of economic interchange (trade, investments and other capital flows, and monetary exchange) has increased at an exponential rate. Within the overall expansion of the international economy, there is however, a pattern in which most of the trade, investment, and other aspects of international political economy, are dominated by the North and work to its advantage. Trade in goods and services are booming, having grown 2,600 percent from $20 billion in 1913 to nearly $7.5 trillion in 2000. There has also been a rapid expansion of international financial ties. This flow of investment can be examined by reviewing types of foreign investments and multinational corporations. The increased flow of trade and capital means that monetary relations, including exchange rates, interest rates, and other monetary considerations, are a significant economic factor. It is not unreasonable to estimate that the daily currency flow is $1.5 trillion, or some $548 trillion a year. The expansion of world trade and investment has profoundly affected countries and their citizens. Economic interdependence has inexorably intertwined national and international economic health. Migrant communities are particularly significant in the context of the global economy. The U.S. Latino community, for example, can be shown to be the world’s largest Latin American economy in terms of value added. Traditional estimates of purchasing power are based on mean household income, which, given the number of Latino households (9.6 million), amounts to an impressive total of $400 billion. This figure is rapidly approaching Mexico’s entire GDP. But a more accurate estimate would take into account the entire contribution of Latinos to total U.S. economic output. We employ a technique that estimates the sectoral per-capita value-added of Latino workers compared with the national sectoral per-capita GDP. This methodology yields a Latino value-added estimate of $1 trillion. Thus if the U.S. Latino economy were a separate entity, it would be not only the largest in Latin America, but also the secondlargest in the United States (only California’s is greater). Compared to other nations, it would be the second-largest economy in the Western Hemisphere (after the United States) and the seventh largest in the world. Latino-owned businesses also are very important contributors to U.S. economic activity. According to the most recently available U.S. Economic Census data (1997, published in 2001), Latinos owned almost 1.2 million of the 20.8 million U.S. non-farm businesses, employing more than 1.3 million persons and generating $186.3 billion in business revenues. In just ten years, from 1987 to 1997, the total number of Latino-owned firms rose by 232 percent, compared with only 16.8 percent growth for all U.S. firms. Latino women owned 28 percent of those firms, representing the fastest-growing new business segment. The sales and receipts of Latino-owned firms rose an even more impressive 48.9 percent from 1992 to 1997 (www.census.gov/prod/ec97/e97cs-4.pdf), a figure that, if extrapolated to 2002, could indicate a $250 billion business community. In particular states and regions, the contribution of Latino-owned businesses is even more central to economic growth, as indicated by the share of new businesses created by Latinos in Providence and Central Falls. The U.S. Latino community is not only a formidable part of the U.S. economy but also a leading conduit for vitally important international connections through trade, investment, migration, remittances, travel, and communications. Clearly important, yet surprisingly unexplored, are issues that include the relative size, linkages, and cumulative network potential that the U.S. Latino community represents for relations between the United States and Latin America. The central proposition is that the vast array of Latino intermestic social capital provides a dense network for facilitating a multiplicity of interactions. Many of these interactions are under explored and undocumented, yet they present huge economic opportunities. Ignoring their potential, as well as the obstacles that stand in the way of their development, helps maintain current inequalities in the United States and Latin America [1]. 66

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The Latino community is particularly active in the most trade-intensive sectors and regions of the U.S. economy. Latino workers are disproportionately concentrated in trade-intensive sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture. Latino workers are more than 50 percent more likely to be employed in the tradable sectors of the U.S. economy (34 percent) than are Anglo workers (22 percent). Latino-owned businesses also are better represented in many of the sectors that enjoy high trade activity with Latin America, including food, agriculture, apparel manufacturing, travel services, and communications. Latino workers and businesses are particularly concentrated in those states and regions that are most involved in trade with Mexico and Latin America, including California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. The ten states with the largest Latino communities, which are home to 85 percent of Latino-owned businesses, are also responsible for more than 50 percent of U.S. exports to Latin America. Such strong trade linkages can produce both export gains and negative impacts from imports and production shifts abroad. The crucial position of the U.S. Latino community with respect to trade with Latin America places it in a strategic position that deserves special attention in the upcoming negotiations for a U.S.–Central America and Western Hemisphere free-trade area. The contributions of U.S. Latinos to Western Hemispheric economic growth and integration extend beyond trade and clearly deserve to be included in negotiations concerning regional economic integration. Migration, for example, is the largest U.S. international transaction, particularly with Latin America. The United States is a relatively closed economy with respect to trade as a share of GDP, which reached only 24 percent in 2002. Trade with Latin America as a share of U.S. GDP is 10 percent, and with Mexico it is just 5 percent, indicating only a modest potential for contribution to annual GDP growth though trade liberalization. Migration, on the other hand, plays a much more significant role in fueling GDP growth, accounting for more than 60 percent of annual labor-market growth. Migration from Mexico alone contributes greatly to overall U.S. labor-market growth (35 percent), especially in California (90 percent) and Texas (75 percent). While migration into the U.S. Latino community is important for the health of the U.S. economy, it is also growing increasingly important for the health of Latin America. Remittances to Latin America are estimated at $25 billion a year (IDB, 2001), including $10 billion to Mexico and $5 billion to Central America. The U.S. Latino community is clearly a major force in the current pattern of economic integration between the United States and Latin America. Initiatives specific to the community could reposition the patterns of integration so as to generate wider benefits across participating countries. U.S. Latino businesses, in particular, play a central role in expanding trade and investment relations to a range of economic sectors, particularly the labor-intensive sectors in which they operate. As trade expands, both workers and businesses may gain from the enhanced productivity associated with increased economies of scale and specialization. The Latino community can then enjoy the benefits of higher profits, new markets, and expanded investment opportunities. While positive economic patterns from increased cross-border trade are clearly evident throughout North America, such patterns are not necessarily sustainable, with regard to incentives for innovation and future productivity growth, and they are not expanding fast enough to be a major source of employment absorption, particularly. And although the Latino community is in a position to benefit from the opportunities offered by economic integration. New policy agreement, proposed, as a part of our intermestic agenda, should include increased liberalization of trade and investment flows as well as a significant expansion of financing for intermestic Latino enterprises involved in cross-border trade and investment. A central issue would be how to redirect and transform current patterns of trade, investment, migration, remittances, and financing from negative to positive cumulative causation dynamics. One primary element of this new intermestic approach should be enhanced trade and investment integration, with greater emphasis on the role of small businesses in the United States and Latin America. Important recommendations include:

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• Integration of small-business and community agenda into the state economic development agenda • Creation of intermestic state support and financing networks, working with local governments and NGO organizations • Establishing a cooperative program to promote and support the development, growth, stability and global competitiveness of small and medium-sized Latino businesses, and promote trade opportunities for them in each country. • Exchanging information on commercial and investment opportunities legislation, tariffs, taxes, trade law, and access to capital and government loan guarantee programs. • Facilitating business linkages between individual U.S. and Latin America small and medium-sized businesses to promote trade between both countries. • Plan to work together with other organizations in the hemisphere to spur the creation of a network of small business providers to expand opportunities for trade linkages in the Americas. Government, international financial institutions, and large corporations should focus on coordinated efforts to empower the intermestic community on both sides of the border. Much more than merely focusing on lowering tariffs, such efforts should stimulate economic agents that can expand the benefits of integration of markets of goods, services, and capital directly to those who are currently excluded, enhancing the total economic benefits of integration.

References Anderson Malcolm and Apap Joanna, (2002) Changing Conceptions of Security and Their Implications for Eu Justice and Home Affairs Cooperation Centre For European Policy Studies Adams, Paul S. (2002) Is There a New Century of Corporatism? The International and Domestic Challenges to Corporatism and Neo-Corporatism in the 21st Century New Orleans, Louisiana, March 27, 2002 Boyd, Kathryn L. Collective Rights Adjudication in U.S. Courts: Enforcing Human Rights at the Corporate Level Custode Luis Verdesoto (2001) Discurso de Apertura Seminario Regional Participación, Democracia y Sociedad Civil 28 de noviembre de 2001 Emmerich, Gustavo Ernesto (2001) Mexico and the USA Under Fox And Bush: From Distant To Good Neighbors Harnisch, Sebastian and Lautz Andreas Trier (1997) the Intergovernmental Conference in 1997 - Coalition -Building and Institutional Reform in the European Union, University, Dept. of Political Science Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (2002) Enhancing Cross-Border Linkages Between U.S. Latino Communities and Latin America, North American Integration and Development Center UCLA, CA Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (2001) Comprehensive Migration Policy Reform in North America: The Key to Sustainable and Equitable Economic Integration Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (2000) The U.S. Employment Impacts of North American Integration After NAFTA: A Partial Equilibrium Approach

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Milenio Associates, LLC Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (1998) El Uso de Mecanismos para la Transferencia de Remesas Monetarias Entre Migrantes Zacatecanos en Los Angeles Kaiser, Robert (2002) Subnational governments as actors in international relations: federal reforms and regional mobilization in Germany and the United States Knoepfel Peter & Subirats Joan, (1997) Managing Local Conflicts through Multilevel Cooperation The Example of the Alpine Convention,Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona López Felipe H., Escala-Rabadan Luis, Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raúl (2001) Migrant Associations, Remittances, And Regional Development Between Los Angeles And Oaxaca, Mexico Petrah, Vilma, Constructing regionalism the Americas: Explaining Progress, Reversals and Challenges, Departamento de Ciencias Sociales Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela Looking to the New Millennium, (2000), New Jersey's Master Plan for Education Migration, Money and Markets: The New Realities for Central America National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (2000) Expanding The International Scope of Universities A Strategic Vision Statement for Learning, Scholarship and Engagement in the New Century Orozco, Manuel (2001) Globalization And Migration: The Impact Of Family Remittances In Latin America, University of Akron, Ohio. Rosaty, Jerel, Post Cold War Continuity in the nature structure and process of USA Foreign Policy Decision Making During Bush & Clinton Years, University of South Carolina The Stanley Foundation, (2002) Beyond the Impasse: A Framework for Rethinking US Policy Toward Cuba, Iowa Toffler, Alvin and Heidi (1997) The New Intangibles, NY Wayne, J., Stephen, (2002) The Multiple Influences On U.S. Foreign Policy-Making, Georgetown University. Smith Gordon S (2002) New Challenges For High Level Leadership Training In Public Management And Governance In A Globalizing World Runsten, David, Hinojosa, Raul, Lee, Kathleen, Mines, Richard (2000) The Extent, Pattern, and Contributions of Migrant Labor in the NAFTA Countries: An Overview Serbin, Andrés, (2001) Understanding Latin American Foreign Policies: Incorporating Civil Society Perspectives Universidad De Belgrano U.S. Census Bureau (2000) 1997 Economic Census: Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises Company Statistics Series ————————— [1] Dr. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda The Untapped Potential for Western Hemisphere Economic Prosperity

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Tomás Ávila Certified as First Step Fast Track Facilitator Business Coach and Administrator Providence, RI. (October 30, 2004) – Tomás Ávila Managing Partner of Milenio Consulting becomes the first Certified First Step Fast Track bilingual (English/Spanish) Facilitator and Business Coach in the Kauffman Foundation-sponsored program in the state of Rhode Island. Designed to provide entrepreneurs with business

insights, leadership skills and professional networking connections so they are prepared to create a new business or expand an existing enterprise. The FastTrac program includes practical, hands-on business development programs and workshops for existing entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as entrepreneurship curriculum for college students. Ávila partner with Progreso Latino the largest Rhode Island Latino social service agency and Johnson & Wales University Business School Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship, serving as the development administrator and facilitator in the development of the (Primer Paso) First Step Fast Track Program, through its Business Resource Center directed by Margarita Guedes. The center helps entrepreneurs develop their businesses and help residents looking to grow their business. Joining forces with Johnson & Wales University and the Kauffman Foundation-sponsored program the center plans to bring higher education and the Latino business community together in helping them grow their businesses. Avila who served as Interim Program Manager at the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center Enterprise Community Office, in Providence directed consulting operations at the center through meeting with business clients to assess their consulting needs/requirements; assigning consultants can that best meet the client's needs, has extensive experience working with growing Latino community of the state. He also served as a consultant to RISBDC Spanish speaking clients, and was the lead consultant in the development of the SBDC successful 10 week Latino Business Initiative Spanish Entrepreneurship Series “Serie Empresarial”. FastTrac is a comprehensive entrepreneurship-educational program that provides entrepreneurs with business insights, leadership skills and professional networking connections so they are prepared to create a new business or expand an existing enterprise.

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Why Rhode Island Needs To Help Hispanic Businesses Grow Tomás Alberto Ávila Milenio Associates, LLC April 21, 2005 “America is a growing dynamic country whose population will increase 50% over the next 50 years. Almost 90% of that increase will be in the minority community; and this is where the emerging markets will take place in America. It is clear that both Fortune 100 and minority business need to pay attention to this growing population.” William M. Daily U.S. Secretary of Commerce January 2000 Press Release There is now consensus among business and political leaders that the 2000 Census documented a considerable change in our country’s make up. This change, similar to the one experienced in the early part of the 1900’s, marked a dramatic change for our future. Clearly, every indication is that our country will be greatly enhanced by greater racial diversity and that the new populations are substantially younger than the rest of our population. The most important growth in potential workforce will continue to be among native-born minority individuals and new immigrants. The key question is how to ensure that our future is well secured in this change. There are two key issues related to this future. One is a major concern regarding the overall skills of our population to meet the needs of our informationrelated industries. New educational reform efforts have been implemented in Rhode Island to improve student performance. Two, as new populations grow and become part of the consumer society, can the existing economy serve their needs. Clearly, business and political leaders understand that our future is linked to the successful development of our minority populations and of those, the fastest growing Hispanic community. Despite some improvement in the last decade, more business development is crucial if Hispanics are ever to attain a full and equal place in American society. Government agencies, community development organizations, financial institutions and policy makers need to furnish Hispanic businesses with training services, management expertise, opportunities to own their commercial space and access to capital. Such entities also need to assist entrepreneurs in starting new businesses and help small businesses expand, because the current environment has shifted from the government to corporate America and the community entities, the politicians in Washington are a lot more inhospitable now than in the past and it's tougher getting equal rights laws passed. Since this time is not conducive for government activism, self-sufficiency has become the key strategy and the local policy makers and community development organization have the responsibility to provide all required resources in bilingual form in order for the non English speaking Hispanic business owner to access such resources... Business Development for the Hispanic community should not only mean accumulation of capital, but more importantly the development of an infrastructure within our communities, business development, education development, job creation all have to do with developing a community. Business development is the active participation in the creation of individual and collective wealth in the community where one lives, participating in the business revitalization of our own neighborhoods as producers, manufacturers and sellers. A community will remain powerless when it only consumes. As the youngest, fastest growing minority group in the country and the state, Hispanics have immense electoral and consumer-market potential. Hispanic consumers already spend over $800 billion a year at the national level and over

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Milenio Associates, LLC $2.2 billion dollars8 in the local Rhode Island economy and their influence will inevitably grow in national and economic affairs. We need to demand the support of business development; community development entities and Corporate America to help our Hispanic citizens realize their great potential, by making it easier to access business information, financing opportunities and access to capital, instead of working very hard to divert such opportunities to less deserving communities. Investing in Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs makes good business sense for the state of Rhode Island and all local organizations According to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s All Company Count website, small business is critical to Rhode Island’s economy and its community well-being, Small Business accounts for half the workforce in Rhode Island – 80% of our employer base9. Assisting these firms to have profitable growth is a key to Rhode Island’s economic future. To achieve growth, small businesses face unique challenges in a 21st Century economy dominated by global supply chains, worldwide standards, and rapid developments in consumer choice and mobility10. But if we consider the lack of meaningful investment by the state in the growing Hispanic business community, “Hispanic businesses do not count in the state’s initiative”. This sentiment is spread among the local Hispanic business owners that dot the Southside major thoroughfares (Broad Street, Elmwood Avenue, Cranston Street) and many others across the state. According to complaints we have received from such merchants, they are unaware of many of the incentives offered by the state and even if they were, they wouldn’t be able to understand it since such information is only available in English. The other drawback they see in being informed about such incentives is the absence of any representative from the agency in their neighborhoods, and the lack of local community development organizations understanding of their needs. In today's global economy, Latin America has emerged as a key region for trade and investment opportunities for the United States. Opportunities exist in almost every sector of the Latin American economy, including: communications, software, construction, transportation, agriculture, health and energy. Hispanic Business in the U.S. continues to expand at a higher rate than ever before, with over 1.3 million Hispanic business owners in the U.S. today, generating nearly 200 billion dollars in annual gross receipts. Through this growth, Hispanic entrepreneurs have become a strategic partner for Latin American businesses and represent an opportunity for the state of Rhode Island. These linkages to larger regional economies are critical to Rhode Island, because they mean that the state's future is not tied to its existing economic base. All growth sectors of the global economy are also potential growth sectors of Rhode Island. Investing in local Hispanic businesses provides a readymade opportunity to link to the larger Latin America economy. The increased flow of trade and capital means that monetary relations, including exchange rates, interest rates, and other monetary considerations, are a significant economic factor. It is not unreasonable to estimate that the daily currency flow is $1.5 trillion, or some $548 trillion a year. The expansion of world trade and investment has profoundly affected countries and their citizens. Economic interdependence has inexorably intertwined national and international economic health. Migrant communities are particularly significant in the context of the global economy. The U.S. Hispanic community, for example, can be shown to be the world’s largest Latin American economy in terms of value added. Traditional estimates of purchasing power are based on mean household income, which, given the number of Hispanic

8

Selig Center for Economic Growth (2004), The multicultural economy 2004 America’s minority buying power

9

Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s All Company Count Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s All Company Count

10

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Milenio Associates, LLC households (9.6 million), amounts to an impressive total of $900 billion. This figure is rapidly approaching Mexico’s entire GDP. But a more accurate estimate would take into account the entire contribution of Hispanics to total U.S. economic output. No longer simply driven by sheer volume Hispanics now account for 13.7 percent of the total U.S. population –this community’s new dynamics hinge on emerging second and third generations, native- and foreignborn differences, and broad geographic growth. In such an evolving environment, corporate strategies targeting increasingly affluent, second-generation Hispanics are emerging as critical to securing growth and remaining competitive11. As this population grows and matures, its structure is changing in almost every way, from educational levels and labor force composition to household characteristics and accumulation of wealth. It is these evolving factors that drive the increasing influence of Hispanics in U.S. consumer markets. Hispanics account for over 13 percent of the U.S. labor force and are expected to increase to nearly 20 percent by 2030. In addition, higher-paying management and professional occupations are the fastest-growing job categories for Hispanics, propelled by growing educational attainment. All of this comes as Hispanic employment has grown more than 16 percent since 2000, while overall U.S. employment has barely grown 2 percent. While Hispanic educational achievements have remained relatively steady, they are slowly closing the educational gap with non-Hispanics with each successive generation. Educational gains will play a key role in today’s global economy as Hispanics boost their influence and burgeoning purchasing power. So far, Hispanic purchasing power has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent, more than twice as fast as the 2.8 percent growth for the total U.S. purchasing power. Hispanic purchasing power reached $900 billion in 2004 and is poised to surge to $1 trillion by 201012. This strong domestic economic force represents opportunity for companies that can grasp the dynamics of the emerging Hispanic market, as well as a challenge for those that fail to move quickly in an increasingly competitive climate as corporations vie to tap into the rising affluence of the Hispanic economy. The more traditional view of Hispanics as a growing consumer force also has begun to broaden to a savings and investing force. The net worth of U.S. Hispanics surpassed $534 billion in 200013, up more than 30 percent in two years. Although Hispanics concentrate most of their portfolio in homeownership (accounting for nearly 50 percent of household net worth), they are increasingly investing in interest-earning accounts, Key among these complexities is the shifting composition of the Hispanic population. No longer simply driven by sheer volume Hispanics now account for 13.7 percent of the total U.S. population –this community’s new dynamics hinge on emerging second and third generations, native- and foreign-born differences, and broad geographic growth. In such an evolving environment, corporate strategies targeting increasingly affluent, second-generation Hispanics are emerging as critical to securing growth and remaining competitive. As this population grows and matures, its structure is changing in almost every way, from educational levels and labor force composition to household characteristics and accumulation of wealth. It is these evolving factors that drive the increasing influence of Hispanics in U.S. consumer markets.

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Dr. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda The Untapped Potential for Western Hemisphere Economic Prosperity

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The U.S. Hispanic Economy in Transition: Facts, figures and trends

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The U.S. Hispanic Economy in Transition: Facts, figures and trends

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Milenio Associates, LLC Thus if the U.S. Hispanic economy were a separate entity, it would be not only the largest in Latin America, but also the second-largest in the United States (only California’s is greater). Compared to other nations, it would be the second-largest economy in the Western Hemisphere (after the United States) and the seventh largest in the world. A HUD report entitled, New Markets: The Untapped Retail Buying Power In America’s Inner Cities, July 1999, describes a number of key findings related to the importance of inner city markets. Among the findings, we can mention their estimation that America’s inner cities accounted for 331 billion dollars in 1998 or one third of the 1.1 trillion dollars in retail spending from all cities. Additionally, the report outlines those inner cities markets possess a density of demand that balances the lower per capita income of the areas. Inner city markets are also the areas where traditionally new immigrants and minority populations live. Extreme demands for affordable and decent housing, access to health care and a need for jobs are also found in these areas. The HUD report concludes that in order for America to sustain its strong economy we all must address the needs of new markets such as the Hispanic market. According to a report released by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau, the Hispanic owned businesses in the United States totaled 1.2 million firms, employed over 1.3 million people and generated $186.3 billion in revenues in 1997. Hispanic-owned firms made up 6 percent of the 20.8 million nonfarm businesses in the nation and 1 percent of the $18.6 trillion in receipts for all businesses. The data for the state of Rhode Island shows that the state has a total of 2,186 Hispanic owned businesses with total sales and receipt of $207,036,000 annually. It also shows that the state has 447 firms with paid employees with annual sell receipts of $157,405,000. and employing a total 1,890 individuals and annual payroll of $31,264,000.

Statistics for Selected Places With 100 or More Hispanic Owned Firms: 1997 All Firms¹ Firms Sales and

Firms

Rhode Island Number

Receipts

Firms with Paid Employees Sales Employees Annual and Payroll

Number

(Number) Receipts

($1,000)

($1,000) ($1,000) 157,405 1,890 31,264 4,564 25 833 8,867 69 1,784 42,068 542 7,024 39,736 445 6,619 1 All firms data include both firms with paid employees and firms with no paid employees. Source: Minority Owned Business Enterprises Table 3. Statistics for Hispanic Owned Firms by State: 1997, U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census Mar. 6, 2001, pg 108 Total Central Falls Cranston Pawtucket Providence

2,186 100 274 190 731

207,036 6,060 18,606 46,167 61,893

447 24 18 32 124

The Census Bureau, an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, collected the information from 1997 tax returns and from 2.5 million questionnaires completed by business owners. The bureau collects the data every five years and in the coming months will provide similar information about other ethnic groups and by gender. The report’s Statistics for Selected Counties With 100 or more Hispanic Owned Firms shows that Providence County has the largest amount of Hispanic owned businesses with a total of 1,780 businesses with total sell receipts of $166,964,000 and a total of 377 Hispanic businesses with paid employees totaling 1,538 with an annual payroll of $23,854,000, follow by Newport County with 139 firms and sales and receipts of $8,760,000 and Kent County with 103 Hispanic owned businesses.

Statistics for Selected Counties With 100 or More Hispanic Owned Firms: 1997 All Firms¹ Firms Sales and Rhode Island

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Firms

Firms with Paid Employees Sales Employees

Annual


Milenio Associates, LLC Number

Receipts

Number

($1,000)

and Receipts

(Number)

Payroll ($1,000)

($1,000) 157,405 1,890 31,264 19,037 166 4,883 6,413 49 1,285 124,172 1,538 23,894 1 All firms data include both firms with paid employees and firms with no paid employees. Source: Minority Owned Business Enterprises Table 3. Statistics for Hispanic Owned Firms by State: 1997, U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census Mar. 6, 2001 Total Kent County Newport County Providence County

2,186 103 139 1,780

207,036 20,767 8,760 166,964

447 37 12 370

The City of Providence has the largest number of Hispanic businesses according to the information released by the Census Bureau, with a total of 731 and $61, 893,00 Annual sales and receipts and 124 businesses with paid employees with $39,796,000 annual sales and receipts employing 445 with annual payroll of $6,619,000. Follow by Cranston with 274 businesses and $18,606,000 annual sales and receipts, Pawtucket with 190 and $46,167,000 and Central Falls with 100 businesses with annual sales and receipts of $6,060,00014. The survey data shows that four in 10, or 475,300 Hispanic businesses, had receipts of $10,000 or less; slightly more than 2 in 10, or 273,300 had receipts between $10,000 and $25,000; while 26,700, or about 2 percent, had sales of $1 million or more. Receipts per firm averaged $155,200 for Hispanic-owned firms compared with $410,600 for all U.S. firms, excluding publicly held corporations and firms whose owners' race or ethnicity were indeterminate (e.g., mutual companies whose ownership is shared by its members). This information is based the economic census which is the major source of facts about the structure and functioning of the nation’s economy. It provides essential information for government, business, industry, and the general public. Title 13 of the United States Code (Sections 131, 191, and 224) directs the Census Bureau to take the economic census every 5 years, covering years ending in “2” and “7”. The economic census furnishes an important part of the framework for such composite measures as the gross domestic product estimates, input/output measures, production and price indexes, and other statistical series that measure short-term changes in economic conditions. Specific uses of economic census data include the following: • Policymaking agencies of the federal government use the data to monitor economic activity and to assess the effectiveness of policies. • State and local governments use the data to assess business activities and tax bases within their jurisdictions and to develop programs to attract business. • Trade associations study trends in their own and competing industries, which allows them to keep their members informed of market changes. • Individual businesses use the data to locate potential markets and to analyze their own production and sales performance relative to industry or area averages.

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Source: U.S. Economic Census 1987-1997

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Milenio Associates, LLC We’ll be following the upcoming 2002 Economic Census, as it should reflect the growth of the Hispanic community during the 90’s, and should bring equitable financial incentives to the business segment of the largest minority group of the nation and the State of Rhode Island. Hispanic owned companies represent an increasingly important component of the U.S. enterprise economy. HispanTelligence estimates that the number of Hispanic-owned firms soared to 2 million in 2004, with business receipts of $273.8 billion. The figures represent an 82 percent increase in the number of Hispanic-owned firms and an 81 percent increase (inflation-adjusted) in business receipts since the most recent Census Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises in 1997. The Hispanic economy is poised to outperform the general economy for the next several years. Needless to say by helping Hispanic business grow all Rhode Islanders will benefit in the long term. I invite policy makers, community development organizations and others to make Hispanic business count in Rhode Island economic development future.

References Anderson Malcolm And Apap Joanna, (2002) Changing Conceptions Of Security And Their Implications For Eu Justice And Home Affairs Cooperation Centre For European Policy Studies Adams, Paul S. (2002) Is There a New Century of Corporatism? The International and Domestic Challenges to Corporatism and Neo-Corporatism in the 21st Century New Orleans, Louisiana, March 27, 2002 Emmerich, Gustavo Ernesto (2001) Mexico And The USA Under Fox And Bush: From Distant To Good Neighbors Harnisch, Sebastian and Lautz Andreas Trier (1997) The Intergovernmental Conference in 1997 - Coalition -Building and Institutional Reform in the European Union, University, Dept. of Political Science Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (2002) Enhancing Cross-Border Linkages Between U.S. Latino Communities and Latin America, North American Integration and Development Center UCLA, CA Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (2001) Comprehensive Migration Policy Reform in North America: The Key to Sustainable and Equitable Economic Integration Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (2000) The U.S. Employment Impacts of North American Integration After NAFTA: A Partial Equilibrium Approach Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul. (1998) El Uso de Mecanismos para la Transferencia de Remesas Monetarias Entre Migrantes Zacatecanos en Los Angeles HispanTelligence, (2005) The U.S. Hispanic Economy In Transition: Facts, Figures, and Trends, Hispanic Business Inc., Santa Barbara, California, HUD (1999), New Markets: The Untapped Retail Buying Power In America’s Inner Cities, July Washington, DC

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Milenio Associates, LLC Kaiser, Robert (2002) Subnational governments as actors in international relations: federal reforms and regional mobilization in Germany and the United States Knoepfel Peter & Subirats Joan, (1997) Managing Local Conflicts through Multilevel Cooperation The Example of the Alpine Convention,Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona López Felipe H., Escala-Rabadan Luis, Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raúl (2001) Migrant Associations, Remittances, And Regional Development Between Los Angeles And Oaxaca, Mexico Looking to the New Millennium, (2000), New Jersey's Master Plan for Education Migration, Money and Markets: The New Realities for Central America National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (2000) Expanding The International Scope of Universities A Strategic Vision Statement for Learning, Scholarship and Engagement in the New Century Orozco, Manuel (2001) Globalization And Migration: The Impact Of Family Remittances In Latin America, University of Akron, Ohio. Petrah, Vilma, Constructing regionalism the Americas: Explaining Progress, Reversals and Challenges, Departamento de Ciencias Sociales Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, (2005) Every Company Counts Rosaty, Jerel, Post Cold War Continuity in the nature structure and process of USA Foreign Policy Decision Making During Bush & Clinton Years, University of South Carolina The Stanley Foundation, (2002) Beyond the Impasse: A Framework for Rethinking US Policy Toward Cuba, Iowa Toffler, Alvin and Heidi (1997) The New Intangibles, NY Wayne, J., Stephen, (2002) The Multiple Influences On U.S. Foreign Policy-Making, Georgetown University. Smith Gordon S (2002) New Challenges For High Level Leadership Training In Public Management And Governance In A Globalizing World Runsten, David, Hinojosa, Raul, Lee, Kathleen, Mines, Richard (2000) The Extent, Pattern, and Contributions of Migrant Labor in the NAFTA Countries: An Overview Serbin, Andrés, (2001) Understanding Latin American Foreign Policies: Incorporating Civil Society Perspectives Universidad De Belgrano Selig Center for Economic Growth (2004), Terry College the University of Georgia, U.S. Census Bureau (2000) 1997 Economic Census: Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises Company Statistics Series

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Southside Merchants Association Development Tomás Alberto Ávila April 14, 2003 Mission The Greater Providence Merchants Association mission is: “To transform the current business environment in our communities into one of a partnership support system. To improve our communities by supporting the creation and retention of jobs. To transfer economic development and management skills to emerging business”. About Us The Greater Providence Merchants Association is a volunteer business organization designed to promote the development of the Greater Providence business district, protect property values and enhance residential living. It’s Board and Committee members volunteer their time on behalf of their business and for the benefit of all business owners, commercial tenants and residents. The operating funds of the association are derived from membership dues. The Greater Providence Merchants Association, Inc. is a business-service, non-profit, community based organization located in the Southside of Providence. The rapid growth of the Latino population in Rhode Island and the inability of existing state business service agencies to adequately meet the needs of this population, led to the incorporation of the association in 2003. Local Hispanic merchants established the association to be staffed by bilingual, bicultural individuals in order to address the basic business needs of the Latino business community. The association's mission is to provide comprehensive and quality business related services that promote education, economic development, leadership and social progress for Latinos and other immigrants. During Greater Providence Merchants Association's 3-year history, we have worked with a range of community agencies and institutions to aggressively and comprehensively combat the range of problems the merchants face.

OBJECTIVE The initial programmatic thrust of the Association is focused on the education of Latino merchants in the Rhode Island, with primary emphasis on linking Latino business enterprises with the mainstream economies of the private and public sectors. To that end, the Association collaborates with its partners in developing technical and management assistance efforts that allow business owners to enhance their skills and access networks of federal, state and local resources. Among the principal services provided by the Association in conjunction with its local partners are: 1. Technical and management assistance to existing and emerging Latino small business enterprises throughout the State (such assistance includes the development of business plans, information on private and public sources of financing, operations and management assistance, market and business development);

2. Development of a comprehensive database on Latino-owned business enterprises with emphasis on creating networking mechanisms for maximum Latino participation in all aspects of economic life; and 78

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Milenio Associates, LLC development of a computerized database of Latino professionals interested in business development and entrepreneurial opportunities.

3. The need for the development of Latino owned businesses represent in our view one very important vehicle to help the development of a young workforce, meet unmet consumer needs and promote neighborhood development. Our vision To help facilitate growth, commerce, and fair business practice within our community. Through our relationships with local businesses and legislative and governmental agencies, we are able to define and rectify problems while helping to make our community a better, safer place to work in, live in, and visit. Why you should join GPMA... As the need for fair business practice, commerce focused growth, and city improvements arise, the Greater Providence Merchants Association continues to be the voice of unification. Your issues are our issues.

Membership includes a voting capacity and an opportunity for you to act directly in the interests of your business via a larger coordinated active group forum. Individual members bring attention to issues that arise by raising a concern or issue at our monthly meetings. The Greater Providence Merchants Association then works together to utilize our resources as a whole to address various issues.

Programs Greater Providence Merchant Association, Inc. proposes to create a business development center dedicated to the development, growth and expansion of Latino businesses. The Center will provide three major services: 1.

Training and skill development services – in collaboration with the City of Providence, Small Business Development Center, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and other local organizations, provide monthly training programs of different duration and focused on the needs of new businesses, existing businesses and market specific businesses. These trainings will support the acquisition of knowledge on managing a small business, personnel and accounting issues marketing and production. These items helps develop fundamental skills needed to successfully establish and grow businesses.

2.

Expert consultation – utilizing the resources of our partners, Greater Providence Merchant Association has secure the support services needed by individual businesses to develop effective strategies to develop their business and to make use of the experience of colleagues who can help to avoid mistakes and dead-end pursuits that result in failure. These consultations can be done at the convenience of the individual or and be schedule as group discussions on a particular subject matter.

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Milenio Associates, LLC 3.

4.

Access to capital – working with area lenders, Greater Providence Merchant Association will seek to develop collaborative approaches to create greater and more flexible access to capital for new start up, inventory, expansion and new market development. The collaboration of lenders and government institutions will result in the availability of resources that can facilitate businesses their taking advantages of opportunities and to manage businesses that are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities as they are presented. New markets – with the assistance of our partners, Greater Providence Merchant Association will serve as an advocate to ensure that Latino businesses can take advantages of bidding opportunities with municipal, state and federal contracting opportunities as well as to develop new marketing and publicity targeting new populations and geographical markets.

Benefits of Membership: ·

Increase your sales through direct contact with those who need what you have to offer: business-to-business networking.

·

Help create a safer neighborhood. Talk to the police officers who work the streets. Your support of the GPMA improves its ability to get the police support the district needs.

·

Fun! Help make the "walk-able" streets more interesting, a soulful neighborhood with block parties and fun events.

·

Connect with other genuine and creative people who are part of the innovation district of Providence.

·

Give feedback. Be a part of an approved urban design for the district. We can bring the urban design road show to your business.

Strategic Project Partnerships City of Providence The Association has forged a partnership with the City of Providence and Mayor David N. Cicilline, that encompasses many different departments and issues related to the quality of life of our business communities, among them: A) Department of Environmental services in new garbage cans for business along Broad Street and Cranston Street. B) Strong safety relationship with Chief of Police Esserman and the local community Police that allows constant communication about local safety and crime related issues. C) Mayor’s Providence Shines initiative, scheduling 2 successful cleaning campaigns in the Southside section of Providence. Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Urban Micro Business The partnership assists start-up or existing businesses that employ less than 5 and generates less than $300,000 in annual revenues. We have expertise working with Urban and Rural micro businesses with a particular focus on retail and construction trade sectors. Provide access to micro-business financing. Micro-businesses typically require less than $35,000 in initial capital and less than $75,000 to expand product lines, purchase M&E or inventory. SWAP Condo Project SWAP, Inc. is in the process of financing a development known as the “ South Side Gateways “ project. This project includes the proposed improvements of the former Tire King site which is to contain approximately 10,500 square feet of commercial space along with approximately 2,000 square feet of community / management office space.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Domestic Bank Training Domestic Bank has teamed up with several leaders from the Providence business community to present a series of free bilingual financial seminars. The Bank recognizes the growing need for adult financial literacy in the Latino community. As a result, they developed this series of six seminars to help people reach their financial goals. Johnson & Wales University Larry Friedman Entrepreneurial Center, which reaches out to small businesses through the offers seminars and training for small businesses. Currently, has the Primer Paso program that we run through the center. Students are working with minority startups, going over basics of developing business plans. Some of that training is done in English and some of it is done in Spanish. Providence Chamber of Commerce Latino Council The Council is an attempt to maximize the resources of the Greater Providence Merchants Association by using the existing infrastructure of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce will allow for a greater focus on strategic and programmatic activities and that leveraging the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s existing relationships will help build the Hispanic business community. This strategic re-alignment will strengthen the Hispanic business community and give Hispanic business owners access to more resources and opportunities for growth. Strategic Partnerships l Providence Journal l Ethnic Business Partners l Providence En Espaňol l Milenio Associates, LLC Initiatives Partnering l South Providence neighborhood l Elmwood Collaborative l Olneyville Collaborative l The New Rural America: Partners and Progress l Neighborhood Beautification Committee l Collaborative Organizations Group at CCRI l The Small Employer’s Health Insurance Fairness and Access Act of 2005 l CCRI Life Learning Center, 2003-2004 Achievements l Neighborhood Market Program, City of Providence l Festival del Sancocho in partnership with Elmwood Foundation and Councilman Luis Aponte l Micro business Loan Fund, RIEDC l Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award l Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Partnership l RI Construction Code & Advanced Building Technologies Program, CCRI l Garbage Can Distribution Project in partnership with City of Providence.

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Milenio Associates, LLC

Domestic Bank Partners with Community Business Leaders to Offer Free Bilingual Financial Seminars March 7, 2006 Domestic Bank has teamed up with several leaders from the Providence business community to present a series of free bilingual financial seminars. The Bank recognizes the growing need for adult financial literacy in the Latino community. As a result, they developed t his series of six seminars to help people reach their financial goals. These seminars will be held on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., beginning May, 3 at Casey Family Services in Providence. The first two classes covering basic banking will cover topics such as paying everyday bills, making big purchases and the benefits of a checking and savings account. In addition, attendees will learn how to create a personal budget to live by. Following the Basic Banking Part 1-2, there will be additional seminars on home ownership, commercial property and small businesses. The Home Ownership Seminar will give the individuals tools needed to buy a home, The Commercial Property seminar will focus on financial and legal considerations for buying commercial property, The Small Business seminar will focus on different types of business structures and legal considerations when forming a business. Domestic Bank believes that if you have the knowledge, resources and drive, anything is possible! "Domestic Ban k is thrilled to sponsor this series of seminars,” said Executive Vice President, Craig Baker. “We hope that providing free education about borrowing and saving money, buying a home and running a small business will bring people one step closer toward fulfilling their dreams. We are also pleased to announce that we will be providing up to $50,000 in financial assistance toward Domestic Bank home loans for seminar participants. Helping people reach their financial goals is what we do every day… and we hope to bring this program to many other communities in the future.” This program has been brought to the community by Domestic Bank together with Community College of Rhode Island, Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce, Greater Providence Merchants Association, RI Department of Economic Development, RI Office of Secretary of State, Credit Information Bureau of Rhode Island, Horton Interpreting Services, Accardo Law Offices, Adler Pollock and Sheehan P.C., Poore & Rosenbaum LLP, Milenio Real Estate Group LLC, and Michael Brier, CPA. For more information about the seminars, or for pre -registration, please contact Domestic Bank at 1 -800-398-8472 . Domestic Bank was founded in 1961 to provide a full line of exceptional services to business and consumers, borrowers and savers. For over 45 years, they have grown every year by honoring a tradition of service, prudent lending and an overall conservative approach to finance. At the same time, they have expanded their services to offer comprehensive programs to meet the complete banking needs of their customers.

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Growth Capital Needs in Hispanic Community Tomás Alberto Ávila March 10, 2006 "Minority businesses continue to face systemic barriers to accessing capital markets," according to a 2004 report from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). This capital blockage stems partly from a lack of information about minority companies, especially the companies large enough to interest investment bankers or venture capitalists. The scarcity of data, and the lack of a historical track record of successful investing in Hispanic companies, creates a heightened sense of risk for financiers. A 2000 policy proposal by the California State Treasurer's office blames the capital gap on "persistent, negative stereotypes about the risks of investing in underserved communities" and "a lack of information as to the opportunities for capital to be successfully invested in communities historically by passed by institutional capital sources." Despite the obstacles, institutional investors and pension funds now realize the growth potential of minority economies, according to Betsy Zeidman, director of the Center for Emerging Domestic Markets at the Milken Institute15. This is coming from the demographic bulge and how it plays out in business ownership. Currently, no fund concentrates exclusively on Hispanic entrepreneurs. Even though the number of minority businesses has reached unparalleled heights, their proportion does not yet fully reflect the growing size and importance of minority communities in the United States—soon to account for 40 percent of the population. Fueling the disparity is the fact that minority businesses are disproportionately represented in lowgrowth and no-growth sectors. They also tend to rely on personal debt and family financing over business loans, equity, and other tools that are otherwise commonly accepted in the capital markets. As a result, minority businesses often lack the size, scale, and capabilities of their majority counterparts. The good news is that minority entrepreneurs can indeed close the gap with their competitors in the broader business community if they operate innovatively; radically change the way they think about their business, their customers, and their competition and move aggressively. The bad news is that those businesses that won’t or don’t make transformative changes to close the gap will ultimately fail. The growth rate for these firms will begin to slow, and a limited number of jobs will be created within our society16. Closing the gap for minority businesses requires that all the major players in the field large corporations, government officials, major universities, foundations and of course minority entrepreneurs themselves—shift their mindset and their focus to embrace a New Agenda. Past and current efforts—while successful in making broad gains—will prove inadequate in resolving the remaining disparity and in achieving future progress. Efforts must be consolidated and resources allocated with precision to home in on the most promising and powerful opportunity: building minority businesses of size. The overarching conclusion is that only large minority-owned businesses can create the kind of

15

Big Picture Economics March 2006, Hispanic Business Magazine

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The New Agenda For Minority Business Development, June 2005

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Milenio Associates, LLC explosive and transformative growth that is needed to invigorate minority communities, inner-city markets, minority entrepreneurs and business leaders, and both the local and national economies.

The U.S. Hispanic Market With a population exceeding 35 million, Hispanic Americans constitute the largest immigrant community in the nation’s history. As a result of continuing immigration inflows and higher birth rates, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing at a rate of eight times the national average. Over 70% of this population resides in four states providing powerful socio-economic clusters in which businesses serving these communities can achieve critical mass. Today, the estimated $452 billion combined purchasing power of Hispanic Americans is larger than the purchasing power of any other Spanish-speaking country in Latin America. With the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. and the development of a large Hispanic market, the number of companies owned and operated by Hispanics has grown significantly over the last 25 years. The 1997 Census estimates the number of Hispanic businesses at over 1.2 million with estimated gross revenues of $186 billion. From 1987 to 1997, the number of Hispanic-owned firms and the revenues they generate increased by a compound annual growth rate of 9.2% and 20.6%, respectively. Comparable data for all U.S. businesses show a 4.7% increase in number of companies and a 10.8% increase in revenues. Many companies providing goods and services to the U.S. Hispanic market are privately held and for the most part family owned. While operating in rapidly growing markets, these companies are often undercapitalized and lack the resources necessary to realize their potential. The rapidly growing group of Hispanic executives with proven track records represents an important pool of intellectual and entrepreneurial capital and, consequently, a source of investment opportunities. The Hispanic business sector and has been under-served by the private equity market. The entrepreneurial and intellectual capital within this minority sector is unique, has substantial economic value and is frequently under valued. Elements of such value include: • Unique customer and supplier affinity • Federal and state purchase preferences • Corporate initiatives relative to spin-outs and joint ventures • Group buying power Our focus is to pursue partnerships with top management executives to build leading companies through internal growth and proprietary intellectual capital that will capitalize on the dynamic trends of the U.S. Hispanic market.

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Latino-Owned Businesses Triples the National Average Tomás Alberto Ávila March 29, 2006 According to a report released by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau, the Latino owned businesses in the United States totaled 1.6 million firms, employed over 1.3 million people and generated $222 billion in revenues in 2002 a 10% increase from 1997. The data for the state of Rhode Island shows that the state has a total of 3,415 Latino owned businesses with total sales and receipt of $213,718,000 annually. It also shows that the state has 298 firms with paid employees with annual sell receipts of $127,479,000. and employing a total of 1,195 individuals and annual payroll of $27,724,000. The results of the 2002 Survey of Business Owners show that between 1997 and 2002, the number of Hispanic-owned firms grew by 31 percent, three times the national average for all businesses. The bureau collects the data every five years and in the coming months will provide similar information about other ethnic groups. The report’s Statistics for Selected Counties With 100 or more Latino Owned Firms shows that Providence County has the largest amount of Latino owned businesses with a total of 2,961 businesses a 40% increase with total sell receipts of $127,947,000 and a total of 197 Latino businesses with paid employees totaling 605 with an annual payroll of $10,346,000, follow by Kent County with 262 Latino owned businesses. The City of Providence has the largest number of Latino businesses according to the information released by the Census Bureau, with a total of 2,022 a 64% increase from 1997 and $75,050,000 Annual sales and receipts and 106 businesses with paid employees and $28,784,000 annual sales and receipts employing 306 with annual payroll of $5,478,000, follow by , Pawtucket with 235 a 19% increase and $15,869,000 with 20 firms with pay employees with annual sales and receipt of $11,935,000 and 26 total employees, with annual payroll of $740,000,Cranston with 217 businesses a 21% decrease and $12, 364,000 annual sales and receipts and 22 firms with paid employees with $6,011 million dollars sales and receipt and 153 employees with annual payroll of $1,505,000. The survey data shows that Rhode Island tie with Georgia as the second States with the fastest rates of growth for Hispanic-owned firms between 1997 and 2002

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Johnson & Wales University Small Business Development Center

Tomás Alberto Ávila, John Cronin, Adriana Dawson, Michael Franklin, Maureen Stenberg,, Sandra McNamara, Larry Gadsby, Sixcia Devine and Ardena Lee-Flemming.

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2006 Primer Paso Press Release September 13, 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tomás Alberto Ávila Phone: 401-263-5130 Email: tomas.avila@jwu.edu

Primer Paso, fast-track Feasibility Business Planning Program Providence - The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson and Wales today inaugurated the “Primer Paso, fast-track” Spanish business training program, which run through November 29, 2006. The program aims to facilitate the small business planning process by providing an initial overview, assessment and mapping plan for the existing business Latino business owners and entrepreneur and/or small business loan applicant. Started in 2004 as part of the Progreso Latino Business Development Center services, as a partnership established between Progreso Latino, Johnson & Wales University, and Milenio Associates, LLC to develop and offer the Spanish version of the nationally renowned Kaufman Foundation’s FastTrac program in the state of Rhode Island. As part of such partnership, the Rhode Island Primer Paso program became the first in the nation to be offer in Spanish. Since then there have been three cycles of the program offered at the Larry Friedman Entrepreneur Center at Johnson and Wales University. Johnson & Wales University's involvement in the partnership has been to provide start-up seminars and mentoring support for aspiring Latino entrepreneurs in their native language utilizing both JWU business students and faculty, and now that the University hosts the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center under the leadership of John Cronin, Primer Paso has been incorporated as a flagship program of the center. The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center is administered by Johnson & Wales University in a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the RI Economic Development Corporation, and the private sector. The Center is a resource partner of the Every Company Counts initiative. The mission of the Center is to assist entrepreneurs to transform their business: to increase their stability, profitability, efficiency, and capacity for present and future growth.

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‘Primer Paso’ A First Step For Hispanic Firms By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer © Providence Business News Published 09/23/2006 Issue 21-24 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 14 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the first article in the series. Hector Monzon wants to open a Guatemalan restaurant. Marta Alvisuriz wants to start a laundromat. Miriam Garcia wants to open a meat market. Domingo Tejada wants to start a small construction company. Wilfredo Chirinos owns a computer service and repair company, but he and partner Oscar Mejias want to expand into software development. Fidel Calcagno sells Web-site domains on the Internet, but he’s looking to purchase a water treatment company. Cesar Cuevas wants to expand his restaurant, Papiajo Frituras. Each of these entrepreneurs is a participant in a 12-week program held every Wednesday at the R.I. Small Business Development Center, at Johnson & Wales University. This is the first year the SBDC will sponsor and facilitate the course, entitled Primer Paso (literally “First Step”) FastTrac, which was developed by the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a national organization that supports the creation of an entrepreneurial society through grants and other programs. The course “looks at the whole process of starting a business or growing a business,” said Tomás Alberto Ávila, an SBDC business counselor and course facilitator. “It gives them the opportunity to analyze themselves and the idea they have.” In 2004, Avila said, he became the first bilingual FastTrac facilitator certified by the Kauffman Foundation. He also was one of the first to translate the course into Spanish two years ago, when it was part of Progreso Latino’s programming. Since then, he’s followed it to the SBDC, which took over the course because Progreso Latino wanted to focus its attention on other areas, Avila said. Over the class’s 12 weeks, the 14 participants will each develop a feasibility plan, based on their business idea and research, he said. That will include gathering information for a market analysis, developing pricing strategies, determining financial feasibility through cash-flow analysis, and finalizing a cash-flow report. The first class was an introduction. “This is your show,” Avila told the class. “Everybody gets the same information,” he said. “But each feasibility plan ends up different.” Avila said he often works with participants one-on-one over the course of the 12-week program. And he follows up with them, once it’s over. “It’s an eye-opener to the business community,” he said. “Many with an existing business, if they [were to] continue the way they are going, would fail.” 88

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Milenio Associates, LLC It’s important to the state’s federally funded SBDC, which started a Latino initiative four years ago, because the Hispanic population in Rhode Island has grown 27 percent during the past five years, said John Cronin, executive director of the SBDC. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses has grown even more sharply, by 56.2 percent from 1997 to 2002, to 3,415 statewide with about $200 million in annual sales, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Cronin added that the accountants and bank managers he spoke with during a needs assessment of the SBDC’s services and programs noted they are noticing an emerging community of savvy Latino entrepreneurs, who, because of the language, aren’t getting the business training they need. Four years ago, the SBDC started offering a 10-week business planning workshop in Spanish, to address the specific challenges Latino business owners face. About 600 entrepreneurs have attended that workshop since its inception. The addition of Primer Paso, Avila said, “brings with it the whole structure, all the steps necessary to do the feasibility plan prior to going into the business plan.” Avila told the class it is time to disassociate the word “Latino” from their businesses. Many Latino business owners are missing out on 90 percent of the business in Rhode Island, he said, because they migrate to areas dominated by Spanish speakers. Doing so allows them to cater to the Latinos who last year made up about 10.3 percent of the state’s population, according to Census Bureau estimates. But, Avila said, “They are missing out on opportunities to grow outside the Latino community.” Luis Rodriguez won’t have any trouble reaching outside the Latino community. He owns Wayland Bakery, in Wayland Square, on the East Side of Providence. Rodriguez has a business plan in his head, he said, but the day-today operations of his bakery have kept him too busy to write it down. Like many others, he didn’t always own a business. An elementary school in Guatemala, Rodriguez had to find a new career upon moving to the United States about eight years ago, he said. He said he got involved in the business by working for Daily Bread for about five years, before it folded. He worked his way up to head baker – then, when the opportunity arose to purchase Daily Bread’s Wayland Square bakery, he took it. Rodriguez said he is taking the class because he wants to learn. “If I want to expand, I’ll need loans,” he explained. And to get loans, he’ll need a business plan.

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Editorial: Latino Entrepreneurs Looking To Succeed © Providence Business News Published 12/16/2006 Issue 21-36 For three months, readers of Providence Business News have followed the experiences of a dozen Latino entrepreneurs as they made their way through a R.I. Small Business Development Center program designed to help them succeed. The challenges they face are daunting. In addition to a language barrier that serves to isolate them, some lack basic business skills and don’t know how to find and gain access to capital.

What our readers have also come to realize is that this is not just an individual problem for the immigrant business men and women – it is a brake on the state’s economic development.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos represent the only demographic in the state that has gained population over the last five years. Not surprisingly, Latino-owned businesses are also growing, and now include more than 3,400 enterprises, with sales exceeding $210 million annually. The only rational response to these facts is to reach out in a concerted way to the Latino business community with partnerships and training programs that will help them not just succeed, but thrive. The Latino business community is hungry for such opportunities, and many would-be entrepreneurs are doing their part to reach out themselves (the RISBDC’s next class for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs starts Jan. 31). But they need to see the larger community reaching back to them.

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Program Guides Latino Business Owners Business Digest Providence Journal Friday, February 9, 2007 The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University has launched the “Primer Paso-Fast-Track” Spanish business training program at Progreso Latino in Central Falls. The program began on Feb. 1 and will run through April 26. The purpose of the program is to help the small-business planning process by providing an initial overview, assessment and mapping plan for the Latino business owners, entrepreneurs and/or small-business loan applicants. Primer Paso-Fast-Trac started in 2004 as part of the Progreso Latino Business Development Center services, as a partnership among Progreso Latino, Johnson & Wales University and Milenio Associations LLC to develop and offer the Spanish version of the nationally renowned Kaufman Foundation’s Fast Trac program in Rhode Island.

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The Decline of Government Support In Minority Private Equity Markets 17

Tomás Alberto Ávila February 27, 2007 The historical structure of the minority private equity market Many of the minority-oriented venture capital funds were first established via the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Specialized Small Business Investment Company (SSBIC) program, formerly known as the Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Company (MESBIC) program. The general Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program was established in 1958 to increase capital inflows to small business investing and to foster innovation and technological growth through entrepreneurial enterprises. The SSBIC program was established a decade later to serve the same function to “socially and economically disadvantaged” entrepreneurs, who were traditionally not targeted by mainstream private venture capital or general SBIC funds. The portfolio companies had to be at least 50% owned and managed by individuals from groups that are underrepresented in small business enterprise, namely, African Americans, Immigrant, Asian, Eskimo or Native American. S/SBICs are funded through private capital commitments and are privately owned and operated. Until 1995, the FDIC’s 1979 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which required banks to take measures to meet the credit needs of its community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, encouraged bank funding of S/SBICs by giving compliance credits to banks which invested or owned S/SBICs. In addition to private committed capital, licensees under both programs also had access to government leverage. Upon licensing through the SBA and achieving compliance with SBA regulatory requirements, funds could receive leverage of up to 2:1 on their private capital commitments, depending upon their investment strategies. Due to stringent government regulations on the type and structuring of investments, overall returns in the S/SBIC industry tended to be moderate. S/SBICs were restricted to investing in small business. Furthermore, S/SBICs were limited in the type of transactions they could do. They were generally prohibited from taking control positions of any portfolio companies except as a protection mechanism for an impaired investment. Exit usually took the form of a debt repayment by the portfolio company and a sale of warrants rather than through an IPO. Consequently, returns to S/SBICs were limited. The burden of government regulation coupled with an increased availability of private funds in venture capital in general led many minority-oriented funds which had started as SSBICs to establish private funds which were structured as limited partnerships and had no affiliation with the S/SBIC program. Historically, minority-oriented funds relied on capital commitments from corporations, banks, and foundations, in that order. According to the Commission on Minority Business Development (CMBD), in its twenty year history, the SSBIC program has never been able to fill the huge capital gap that exists for minority-owned enterprises, estimated at $140BN. The CMBD is an independent committee designated by the federal, legislative, and executive branches to assess federal programs that serve minority-owned businesses.15 In recent years, minority access to private sources of capital has increased through funding from institutional limited partners who have taken an interest in diversifying into the minority markets. In addition to the relatively small amounts of private capital available to minority-oriented funds, these funds often faced many of the obstacles that have also troubled smaller generalist venture capital funds. According to Timothy Bates, an economist who studies the government’s S/SBIC program, funds focused on minority markets have historically been undercapitalized, and were often unable to hire the best managers to oversee investments.16 High overhead costs relative to fund size and capital constraints limited a fund’s ability to finance a diverse portfolio and were among the challenges such small firms had to overcome. Furthermore, minority-oriented venture funds often

17 Hellmann Thomas , Alphonse Philip and Wei Jane, Minority Private Equity: A Market in Transition, Stanford University, Jun 18, 1999

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Milenio Associates, LLC lacked an industry or functional specialization because the background of the entrepreneurs defined their investment focus. Consequently, it was more difficult for minority focused funds to establish a competitive position in any particular area of expertise and in turn, provide that aspect of added value to prospective entrepreneurs. A period of industry consolidation occurred in the late 1980’s that resulted in a smaller number of larger funds (though the funds were still relatively small compared to mainstream venture investing). Of the 141 SSBICs licensed by 1980, only 32 remained in 1994. Although a handful of SSBICs still exist today, in 1995, the SBA stopped licensing the specialized form of SBICs. According to SBA estimates, over $2BN was channeled into minority businesses over the life of the program. Today’s minority oriented venture capital funds consist of a mix of SSBICs licensed prior to 1995 and private equity funds, many of which have roots in the SSBIC program. 1.1. SBICs: "Turbo-Charged" Returns Historically, the federal government's main program for equity finance has been Small Business Investment Companies. However, in 2004 the Small Business Administration (SBA), which supervises SBICs, suspended the equity portion of the program. However, those SBICs previously licensed continue to operate in the private equity markets. 18 Unfortunately, key sources of funding for microenterprise groups are actually being reduced. Most notably, President Bush has dramatically scaled back funding to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the SBA’s Microloan program, both of which provide key support to microenterprise organizations in New York and other cities, and help fund hundreds of small loans to entrepreneurs. The CDFI Fund, which had an annual budget of $118 million as recently as 2001, was allocated just $55 million in the 2006 fiscal year. Meanwhile, federal funding for the SBA’s Microloan program dropped from $19 million in fiscal year 2000 to $13 million in 2006. Last year, in his budget proposal for fiscal year 2007, President Bush proposed eliminating the Microloan program altogether and slashing the CDFI Fund’s annual allocation to just $8 million.59 1.2. Immigrant Entrepreneurs as Key Engines of Growth for Cities Although much of the recent national debate over immigration has focused on the impact of immigrants on America’s labor market, a recent report published by the study released on Feb. 6 by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York City think tank, concentrates squarely on immigrant entrepreneurs. The report documents the role that immigrant entrepreneurs are playing in cities’ economies, the potential they hold for future economic growth and the obstacles they encounter as they try to start and expand businesses. The study predominantly looks at immigrant entrepreneurs in New York City, yet also considers in detail immigrant-owned businesses in Los Angeles, Houston and Boston. Local officials certainly haven't been blind to the country's record-level influx of new immigrants: Between 1980 and 2000, the immigrant population in Boston grew at a rate 3.57 times that of the nonimmigrant population in that city; in New York, the immigrant population grew at a rate 1.28 times that of the nonimmigrant population; and in Houston it grew at about the same rate as the nonimmigrant population. And while the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants is a well-documented phenomenon -- immigrants have been more likely to be self-employed than native-born residents in every U.S. census since 1880 --, according to the report, immigrant entrepreneurs have been an overlooked and littleunderstood piece of cities' economies. The research shows that more businesses are being started by foreign-born vs. native-born entrepreneurs in major cities, driving growth in sectors from food manufacturing to health care. 1.3. Generating Jobs and Tax Revenues Cities such as New York and Los Angeles have no shortage of economic development programs to help small businesses get off the ground, but Jonathan Bowles, the study's lead author, says too many of them haven't connected effectively with immigrant populations. He says partnering with community-level immigrant organizations for outreach campaigns and hiring more multilingual advisers could go a long way toward opening up these resources.

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Russell, Joel, Big Picture Economics, Hispanic Business, March 2006

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Milenio Associates, LLC While largely disconnected from local economic development planning, immigrant entrepreneurs have already been a robust engine for economic growth in U.S. cities, the study shows. In Los Angeles, first-generation immigrants founded 22 of the city's 100 fastest-growing companies in 2005. In Houston, a telecommunications firm started by a Pakistani immigrant topped last year's Houston Small Business 100 list. In New York, majority-immigrant neighborhoods such as Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, have experienced job growth at a much higher rate than the city as a whole, the study shows. And although they may not be as glamorous of an economic growth engine as, say, a sports stadium, ethnic retail districts like Flushing's Main Street have helped to recapture tax revenues from suburban shoppers in much the same way. 1.4. Help from Cities Lacking In an increasingly global economy of outsourcing and corporate mergers, the report suggests that small businesses will only become more important to cities' economies. And with new immigration expected to fuel population growth for the next few decades, the demand for businesses that serve the immigrant community -- from ethnic foods to legal services -- will only continue to swell. That presents cities with an incredible untapped resource, Bowles says. Even without substantial help from the city, Jamaican-born Lowell Hawthorne turned a small bakery in the Bronx into the country's largest manufacturer of Caribbean beef patties, with a chain of more than 100 Golden Krust franchises. Ecuador native Hector Delgado grew his storefront travel agency, Delgado Travel, into a business with two dozen locations in the New York area and close to $1 billion in annual revenues. A little attention could help more mom-and-pop shops grow into midsize businesses, Bowles says, or help more local businesses export their products outside the city. "We're just scratching the surface. Immigrants are already making substantial contributions to the economy, and local officials have done nothing to harness that growth," Bowles says. Immigrant entrepreneurs won’t be replacing Wall Street as the primary driver of New York City’s economy anytime soon, but they are likely to be increasingly important to the city’s economic growth in the years ahead. But despite the increasing significance of immigrant-run businesses, city economic development officials have hardly begun to incorporate them into their overall economic development strategy. And although the Department of Small Business Services, the city agency that works with small businesses, has greatly improved under Mayor Bloomberg’s watch, it often fails to grasp the complexities of delivering business services to immigrants. New York is home to dozens of local development corporations, business improvement districts, chambers of commerce and community development organizations that have the expertise to help many of these entrepreneurs succeed. Unfortunately, only a small number of the city’s immigrant entrepreneurs are currently taking advantage of these resources. 1.5. Capital Crunch For generations, no issue has proven more frustrating to would-be entrepreneurs and small businesses than gaining access to the capital needed to pay for salaries, rent, equipment, raw materials and other basic expenses. But while nearly every entrepreneur has a difficult time obtaining sufficient financing to start and grow a business, the hurdles are often far higher for immigrant entrepreneurs. The core of the problem for every entrepreneur, including immigrants, is that most banks have never been especially receptive to making loans to start-ups or small firms. Banks have long shied away from these loans because new ventures have a high rate of failure, something anathema to risk-averse financial institutions. Banks also earn smaller profit margins on small loans, even though making a$50,000 loan is often as much work for banks as handing out $5 million. It doesn’t help that banks’ lending officers almost always come from different backgrounds and live in different neighborhoods than the immigrants applying for business loans. Far more often than not, they are unfamiliar with buying patterns in immigrant neighborhoods and underestimate the profit potential of businesses—and this often leads them to reject loan applications from these firms. 94

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Milenio Associates, LLC Large numbers of immigrants handle their basic financial transactions at check-cashing establishments, money transfer shops and rent-to-own stores—all of which charge higher fees than banks and do not help individuals develop credit histories. 1.6. Micro Lenders Nonprofit Microfinance Organizations have become an indispensable source of capital for thousands of foreign-born entrepreneurs in New York who haven’t been able to secure traditional bank financing. These groups, ranging from giants like ACCION to small credit unions and community development organizations, have sharply increased the number of microloans made to immigrant business owners over the past 5 to 10 years. Yet despite the gains, even the most prolific microlenders are still barely tapping into the enormous demand for capital from immigrant-owned businesses. In addition, there is evidence that some of New York’s microenterprise organizations may have reached a ceiling in the number of microloans they are able to make each year—a cap caused not by insufficient demand but because they lack the capacity to serve additional clients. In recent years it has become an essential way get seed capital into the hands of immigrants, refugees and others in the U.S. who are seeking to start or grow a business but don’t meet banks’ strict lending requirements. And by helping individuals start and grow businesses, it’s also provided a big boost to the economies of neighborhoods and cities. Although the loans are typically very small— ranging from a few hundred dollars to $50,000—they furnish immigrants with both needed resources and valuable financial experience, helping to prepare them to seek traditional bank financing down the road. Microloans also offer a much cheaper alternative to loan sharks, which still serve as the primary source of loans in some ethnic neighborhoods despite charging astronomical interest rates.

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Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC)

Front Row – Elizabeth Priote, Maureen Stenberg, Lelani Bomer, Douglas Jobling, & Tomás Alberto Ávila. Back Row – Larry Gadsby, Adriana Dawson, Sixcia Devine, John Cronin, Ardeana Lee-Fleming, Michael Franklin and Stacey Carter.

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Tomás Alberto Ávila Awarded 2007 Rhode Island SBDC State Star at the National Conference of the Association of SBDCs Providence - During the National Conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) held in Denver, Colorado, September 17-19, Tomás Alberto Ávila was recognized as the 2007 Rhode Island State Star for his outstanding contribution and creative excellence with the Small Business Development Center www.risbdc.org at the Johnson & Wales University www.jwu.edu. "Tomas's commitment to his clients and the minority business community of Rhode Island is nothing less than extraordinary,” said State Director John Cronin. “He's a valued asset of our organization and I'm thrilled to have him as a network member of the Rhode Island SBDC." Rhode Island’s “State Star” was selected from among the entire state’s Small Business Development Network. A “State Star” must demonstrate exemplary performance in assisting Rhode Island’s Small Business Development customers; and show a strong commitment to the small business community they serve. The State Star Award is presented annually to one employee in the SBDC network. The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) annually awards a State Star to outstanding SBDC employees who are exemplary performers, make significant contributions to their state or region and show a strong commitment to small business. "It is an honor to accept this award," said Avila, "and to have the opportunity to help so many people achieve the dream of starting and succeeding in their own business." Avila has been with the center since 2006, performing a variety of duties, including instructor, Primer Paso Administrator, Business Counselor and Minority Business Specialist. Tomas was selected for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to his region’s SBDC and to the entire Rhode Island SBDC’s network. Avila is described as “engaging, forward thinking, thoughtful and progressive” by his network colleagues. He has been proactive in bringing business development services to the growing Hispanic clients in his region; assisted in meeting training and participation goals for the program; facilitated in the Primer Paso FastTrac feasibility planning program, which targets citizens of the state’s Hispanic business community and provides assistance to entrepreneurs interested in developing the skills necessary to successfully form a business; and has been vital in the implementation of this program in the in Rhode Island SBDC. Tomás Alberto Ávila’s hard work and dedication is an asset to his community, colleagues and the entire Rhode Island SBDC network. With his guidance and knowledge, he has effectively helped countless entrepreneurs in managing their small businesses, starting new businesses, increasing sales and creating new jobs for Rhode Island. The Rhode Island SBDC offers one-on-one business management counseling to existing and prospective small business owners and managers; training on business topics; loan packaging, and access to business information. Services are offered through regional centers located throughout Rhode Island. The Rhode Island SBDC is a statewide network of 5 service locations, satellite centers, and outreach sites. For further details, go to www.risbdc.org.

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Avila Honored for SBDC Services to R.I. Latinos Posted Oct. 22, 2007 Rhode Island & Massachusetts News Briefs

PROVIDENCE – Tomás Alberto Ávila of the R.I. Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University has been honored by the Association of Small Business Development Centers with the 2007 ASBDC Rhode Island State Star. The award, for what the group called “his outstanding contribution and creative excellence,” was presented at the ASBDC’s 2007 National Conference in Denver. Since joining the R.I. SBDC last year, Avila – administrator of the Primer Paso FasTrac business-feasibility planning program – has also served as an instructor, business counselor and minority business specialist. “Tomas’ commitment to his clients and the minority business community of Rhode Island is nothing less than extraordinary,” SBDC Director John Cronin said in a statement. “He’s a valued asset.” The State Star is presented annually to one employee in each state’s SBDC network; honorees must be “exemplary performers [who] make significant contributions to their state or region and show a strong commitment to small business.”

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Avila Honored For Bringing SBDC Services To Latinos Providence Business News Posted Oct. 16, 2007 DENVER – Tomás Alberto Ávila, of the R.I. Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University, has been honored by the Association of Small Business Development Centers, with the 2007 ASBDC Rhode Island State Star. The award, for what the group called “his outstanding contribution and creative excellence,” was presented at the ASBDC’s 2007 National Conference in Denver. Avila is the administrator of the R.I. SBDC’s Primer Paso FasTrac business-feasibility planning program, which was the subject last year of an award-winning series by Providence Business News staff writer Natalie Myers Since joining the SBDC last year, he also has served as an instructor, business counselor and minority business specialist. Network colleagues describe him as “engaging, forward thinking, thoughtful and progressive,” the local SBDC said. “Tomas’ commitment to his clients and the minority business community of Rhode Island is nothing less than extraordinary,” state SBDC Director John Cronin said in a statement. “He’s a valued asset of our organization, and I’m thrilled to have him as a network member.” The State Star is presented annually to one employee in each state’s SBDC network. The ASBDC says it presents the awards to “exemplary performers [who] make significant contributions to their state or region and show a strong commitment to small business.” With Primer Paso and other programs, Avila “has been proactive in bringing business-development services to the growing Hispanic clients in his region,” the SBDC said. “It is an honor to accept this award,” Avila replied, “and to have the opportunity to help so many people achieve the dream of starting and succeeding in their own business.”

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The RI Latino Professionals Business Network (RILPBN) February 13, 2009

Mission Incubating commercial relationship among Latino Professionals, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Community by offering a comfortable environment to gather and network among peers. Misión La incubación de relaciones comerciales entre Profesionales, Empresarios, Emprendedores Latinos y la Comunidad, ofreciendo un ambiente cómodo para reunirse y establecer redes entre iguales.

Overview The Rhode Island Latino Professionals and Business Leaders Network (RILPBN) comprised of Latino businesses, Latino Professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders. La Red de Líderes Empresariales y Profesionales Latinos de Rhode Island (RILPBN) está compuesto por empresarios, profesionales, emprendedores y líderes comunitarios latinos.

Vision The Rhode Island Latino Professionals Business Leaders Network (RILPBN) is the common place for Latino professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners and Community Leaders to network and exchanging of success stories while incubating commercial and Professional relationships one Latino (a) at the time. RILPBN is a relationship-driven organization. Meeting other Latino professionals, business owner and entrepreneurs will prove to be an investment of your time that will yield dividends for years to come. Participation in RILPBN programs, events and member business functions will translate to valuable business opportunities and enhance the growth of your business and profession. Visión La Red Latino de Líderes Profesionales y Empresariales de Rhode Island (RILPBN) es el lugar común para los profesionales, empresarios, propietarios de negocios y líderes latinos socializan e intercambian sus historias de éxito, y la incubación relaciones comerciales y profesionales un latino (a) a la vez. RILPBN es una organización basada en relación. Conocer a otros profesionales latinos, propietarios de negocios y empresarios resultará ser una inversión de su tiempo que le producirá grandes beneficios por los próximos años. La participación en programas de RILPBN, eventos y funciones de negocio propiedad de miembros se traducirá en valiosas oportunidades de negocio y mejorar el crecimiento de su empresa o profesión.

Goals: 1. 2. 3. 4.

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To increase business and economic opportunities for the Latino business and professionals; To enhance the team alliance professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs and community; To develop targeted access and linkage to the Latino market and associated consumer markets; To utilize our joint business, professional and legislative networks for the mutual benefit of the participants; © Tomás Alberto Ávila


Milenio Associates, LLC 5. 6.

To provide significant, measurable networking opportunities in the local commerce; and To provide sustainable and continuous support of our common goals for economic development for the Latino community.

Metas: Aumentar las oportunidades de negocio y económicas para las empresa y profesionales latinos; Mejorar las alianzas profesionales, dueños de negocios, empresarios y la comunidad; Desarrollar el acceso específico y la vinculación con el mercado Latino y los mercados asociados al consumo; 4. Utilizar nuestros negocios, redes profesionales y legislativos en conjunto para el beneficio mutuo de los participantes; 5. Proporcionar oportunidades significativas, redes medibles en el comercio local, y 6. Proporcionar apoyo continuo y sostenible de nuestros objetivos comunes para el desarrollo económico de la comunidad Latina. 1. 2. 3.

At the business level: 1. Monthly networking sessions 2. Incubating commercial and Professional relationships 3. Advocate, promote and facilitate the success of Latino business and professionals 4. Support leadership development 5. Foster Entrepreneurship 6. Exchanging best practices 7. Foster economic development En el ámbito empresarial: 1. Sesiones mensuales de redes 2. La incubación de relaciones comerciales y profesionales 3. Defender, promover y facilitar el éxito de los negocios y profesionales latinos 4. Apoyar el desarrollo de liderazgo 5. Fomentar el espíritu empresarial 6. El intercambio de las mejores prácticas 7. Fomentar el desarrollo económico At the Community Level: 8. Advocate to leaders of business, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and the media on issues facing Latinos. A nivel comunitario: 9. Abogar a los líderes de negocios, instituciones educativas, agencias gubernamentales, y los medios de comunicación sobre los retos que enfrentan los latinos.

Possibilities 1. Implementing and strengthening programs that assist the economic development of Latino firms; 2. Increasing business relationships and partnerships between the corporate sector and Latino-owned businesses;

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Milenio Associates, LLC 3. Promoting international trade between Latino businesses in the United States and Latin America; 4. Monitoring legislation, policies and programs that affect the Latino business community; and providing technical assistance to Latino business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Issues 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

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Access to Capital Small Business International Trade & Commerce Digital Economy Education Workforce Development Energy Immigration Affordable Healthcare

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Primer Paso Three Year Review Interview Natalie Myers PBN Reporter November 30, 2007 How has Primer Paso grown as a program since last year? I think last year when I covered the program it was only offered at J&W? Now it is offered at Progreso Latino as well? Was it offered only in the winter last year? Did you add a spring program this year? Yes indeed the program has grown 70% compare to last year and as you remembered when we started last year we only had the program at Johnson & Wales in Providence and due to increased of interested participants we were force to expanded. As part of the expansion of the program we made the decision to expanded it to Progreso Latino in Central Falls due to the large number of individuals from the Blackstone Valley region interested in participating in the program, as well as a rejuvenated partnership with Progreso Latino under the leadership of Ramon Martinez and the establishment of a satellite office in their site. How much has participation increased from 2006 to 2007? How many participated in 2005, 2006, 2007? Since the program was first offered the program in the fall of 2004 with self imposed limit of 15 participants, the interest and participation has been increasing constantly having had to start a Spring program in 2005, with the same number of 15, but the demand kept increasing as word spread around the community and the decision was made to increase the attendance to 25 participants starting in the Fall of 2006, which was the first year under the umbrella of the SBDC which once again force us to develop parallel programs in the Spring of 2007 when we started the additional program at Progreso Latino increasing the participants to 50 per term for a total of 100 participants per year. If participation has grown, why do you think it has grown? The reason the program has grown so much is due to positive word of mouth the graduates of the program have shared with members of the community of their positive learning experience as participants of the program and the results in changing the way they go about planning and starting their business and in the case of existing business owners, they share having learn many business related strategies that they were not aware of during the start of their business, and have been provided with new tools manage and grow their business. And the obvious reason for such spreading of the success of the program is the great need that exist in the Latino business community and a reflection of why Rhode Island tied Georgia for second place with a 56% growth in the 2002 Economic Census, second only to New York state. Has the program increased participant’s access to capital? How does the class help them get access to capital? After 4 years and 150 graduates we have began to see the participants starting to have access to capital on a more consistent fashion. The program helps the participants understand in order to improve their capital accessibility, they must begin with a feasibility analysis of their business ideas or their existing business and eventually transform their feasibility analysis into a fundable business plan and in order to accomplish that, they have become aware that they need to become more verse in business and financial planning. The other way the program is helping the participants increase their access to capital, is by involving some of the more successful participants of the program with the opportunity to be presenters and our Business to Business Investment Forums started back in March and introducing

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Milenio Associates, LLC them to the Venture Capital world via this event and starting in 2008 they will have the option to strengthened their possibilities through and Investor Ready training seminar that has been develop by the SBDC How much capital were participants in the winter 2006 class able to get access to? The graduates of the 2006 class have been able to obtain about $200,000 in total capital; the biggest chunk of it having been Miriam Garcia who obtained a total of $85,000 in capital from Navigant Credit Union, Andres Almonte received $20,000 in a micro loan from the RIEDC Micro Loan program. Why did SBDC decide to work with Progreso Latino to have another program there? I know when you originally started Primer Paso it was with Progreso Latino. Originally when Primer Paso FastTrac started as partnership between Johnson & Wales University and the Progreso Latino Economic Development Center, in cooperation with the students from that University’s International Center for Entrepreneurship. The training aims were to facilitate the small business planning process by providing an initial overview, assessment and mapping plan for the potential entrepreneur and/or small business loan applicant. Coincidently in 2006 Progreso Latino went through a change of leadership as well as the Larry Friedman Entrepreneur Center which put the program of jeopardy but fortunately at the same time Johnson & Wales University won the bid for the Small Business Development Center and once John Cronin became the Executive Director, he made the decision to incorporate Primer Paso as a program of the SBDC and to strengthen the relationship with Progreso Latino under the new leadership of Ramon Martinez and thereby expansion of the Program to Central Falls Has the class changed since last year? Have you added anything to it? The curriculum of the program is very much standardize by the Kauffman Foundation, therefore the content remains the same throughout. Where I have the flexibility to change is the facilitators of the 12 different modules, and I have invited a diverse group of local professionals to facilitate some of the classes, as well as adding more local information to the mix. Have you noticed a difference in the types of entrepreneurs you’re seeing in the classroom? Are they coming more prepared than previous classes? What kinds of business ideas are you seeing most? Regarding differences in the participants since the start of the program, just like the growth of the program the type of participants has evolved with time and their eagerness to learn and develop their business plan has also evolve. One of the big differences that I have notice in that evolution is the increase participation of resident immigrants that have been in the country for a long period of time and bee educated here, but did consider starting a business or if they did, they did not know where to start, as well the increase participation of Latin American Professionals that previously did not participated in the program, creating a very good mix of individuals with the same goals of starting or growing their business. As far as ideas relates, it’s another change that has taken place. Initially the majority of the participants were in the retail business sector and restaurants were a very large segment of ideas among participants. Starting with the spring program I have witness an increase in professional services such as Accounting, Interpreting and Financial to name a few as well event planning, gourmet food and tutoring services. Do you see more cohesion among Latino entrepreneurs since the classes are becoming more popular, meaning are you seeing greater networking between entrepreneurs? Are they sharing best business practices? Are they joint-marketing their businesses? Are they doing cross promotions? 104 © Tomás Alberto Ávila


Milenio Associates, LLC Yes indeed. It’s quite interesting receiving comments from some the presenters about seeing many of the program participant in their networking circles and seeing their increase interest to network with other business people. One of the advises that I give every class is that in order to improve our communities, we need make sure that the rotation of a dollar in our community increase by sharing best practices and it has had a positive acceptance among the participants and therefore they have establish relationships that allows them to share best practices. Joint marketing and promotion is one of the areas that need to be develop. There’s been some of it at the grass root level such as the sponsoring of entertainment events. Also, do you see these entrepreneurs expanding outside of their comfort zone? Are they seeking customers outside the Latino community to expand their business? If so, why and How/why does the program encourage them to do that? Interestingly enough one of the graduates from the spring class who started a natural medicines boutique was surprised to find out that the majority of his clientele were from the general community instead of the Latino community, and was forced to change his marketing material to be bilingual. One of the goals of the program is to help the entrepreneurs get out of their comfort zone and venture into other general community. As you may recall from last years program one of advise to participants is that they need to evolve from being “Latino business” to being “business owners” the reason being that the Latino community is only 12% of the Rhode Island population, therefore by remaining in their comfort zone they are only exploiting 12 cents out of every dollar worth of business and in order to compete for the other 88 cents, they need to venture outside of their comfort zone. The other compelling reason that we encourage them to do it is because the major corporations are now vying for the business base which is the Latino community and therefore they need to expand their territory.

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Immigrant Startups Are Maturing In Nature Posted Dec. 24, 2007

PBN EDITORIAL It is a well-established pattern played out in every new wave of immigration – the first generation opens businesses to serve their countrymen. And the easiest businesses to get started and keep going are those that address the basics – groceries, cleaners, retail shops. But the next generation becomes the connective tissue that helps to integrate the new Americans with the rest of the country and unlock the full potential of those who came here looking for a better life. As Providence Business News’ Focus on Minority Business this week shows, the second generation from the immigrant community is reaching out and serving as a bridge to the wider culture – and the broader business community. And they are doing it with professional services such as accounting firms, marketing businesses and the like. Thankfully, the state’s economic-development agencies are very active in reaching out to these new businesses and providing guidance and capital. It won’t be long before today’s immigrants are tomorrow’s successful entrepreneurs and leaders. •

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The MBE Technical Assistance Project (MTAP) Tomás Alberto Ávila October 1, 2007 The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) is seeking to provide business development capacity building through a customized technical assistance; including training; to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) community of construction MBEs and suppliers. The MBE Technical Assistance Project (MTAP), designed to build capacity among MBE business enterprises by providing participants with growth-orientated solutions and strategies that they can incorporate into their existing business plans. A key component of the initiative is the utilization of the expertise of leading consultants and executive coaches who are uniquely able to assist their MBE-owned businesses with capacity-building strategies. Conceptual Overview: It is the intent of this proposal to establish collaboration between the RISBDC and the New England MBE Supplier Development Council (NEMSDC) to provide business development through a customized technical assistance, including training, to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) community of procurement-opportunities with and servicing the MBE business enterprise (MBE) community. RISBDC will work very closely with a network of local business partners to provide a customized technical assistance approach designed to meet the specific needs of local MBE business enterprise (MBE) clients and ensure increased numbers of ready and able MBE. Through RISBDC, qualified business consultants will provide the MBE business enterprise (MBE) with effective business development as methods to meaningfully increase MBE performance and increasing participation in New England procurement opportunities. The Vision To go beyond the traditional approach to supplier diversity and to create a project that focuses on capacity building for certified MBE businesses. The project plan to utilized a strategy for advancing the growth of emerging MBE business enterprises, using a combination of management education and one-on-one consulting and executive coaching services delivered by MBE professionals. The project’s goal is to build the capacity of emerging MBE business enterprises so that they can better compete in the corporate marketplace. The project has six specific objectives. The first is to develop the entrepreneurial skills necessary to take businesses to a higher level through technical training. The second is to provide consulting services focused on capacity building. The third is to assist the business owners attain certification as a MBE Business Enterprise. The fourth is to help participants expand vendor relationships within the corporate marketplace. The fifth is to position supplier diversity and small business banking to support capacity building among MBE business enterprises. And the last is to demonstrate a measurable impact on MBE business growth. Detail the Project Background In order to provide for increased MBE participation among those businesses defined as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE(s)), underutilized or as an emerging small business, the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center will develop a 10-week program with 40+ hours of instruction for established small business owners and/or

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Milenio Associates, LLC upper management personnel who have been in business at least 2 years and are looking to take their business to the next level in procurement opportunities. The focus of the programs and services will be to increase participation in, and stabilize performance of underutilized MBE, emerging, marginalized and start-up businesses that are currently performing or have the potential of performing value added services to the New England economy. The proposal promotes effective business development and access to adequate business education as methods to meaningfully increase MBE performance and participation. The proposal design will make improvement in existing programs and develop new solutions to address the need of increased utilization of MBEs within our DBE program population. The desired outcome would be for DBE businesses to acquire opportunities that will lead to a more equitable distribution of award opportunities. The RISBDC has identified its training programs as an area where improvements can be made in the diversity of programming and the quality of instruction. Traditional programs in business planning, marketing, and financing have been quite successful and well received by early-stage businesses. However, the programming for existing businesses and experienced business owners is quite limited. Further, most of the training is at the introductory level. It is suitable for entrepreneurs at a certain level of business development, but more in-depth customized training is called for as well. The advent of RISBDC’s FastTrac educational program represents an opportunity to combine an improved instructional design with new and innovative methods of providing training to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE(s)), underutilized or emerging small business. The heart of the program will be the One-on-One Technical Assistance component, which will involved selected MBE business enterprises. This component of the program focuses on assessing the functional areas of each firm’s operation, including strategic direction, marketing, technology financial management, and human resources. Following an initial assessment, a report capturing the findings will be presented to each MBE business with recommendations for capacity building. Participants in this component also receive coaching from leading subject-matter experts in a number of disciplines, including information technology, accounting, public relations, advertising, website development, and marketing communications. Some participants will also be matched with individual coaches who will provide invaluable insight and assistance. Through this effort, the goal will be for the RISBDC is to conduct complete and customized technical assistance, including training, that will result in an enhanced, delivery that meets the specific needs of targeted RISBDC MBE clients and ensure increased numbers of ready and able DBE clients. For this purpose the RISBDC intends to: v v v v v v v v

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Provide customized technical assistance to targeted DBE clients, Help obtain MBE Certification with the NEMSDC Obtain certification with RI Department of MBE Business Enterprise (MBE) Help build capacity for the targeted entrepreneurs and their businesses, Help build sustainable businesses in the targeted community, Help design and conduct a set of customized business trainings, Work very closely with current resource partners, Help prepare measurement tools and reports

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Milenio Associates, LLC MBE Business Certification Certification procedures are lengthy, and may take between 60 to 90 days to complete once all documents necessary are provided. The program participants will be require to attend a FREE Educational seminar open to applicants interested in becoming a certified Minority Business Enterprise Certification Process. To understand the certification guidelines for "ownership, managerial and operational control." Evaluation/Assessment The overriding set of principles to be used in this program is an initial assessment and a post-program evaluation. For the program described above, participants will have an assessment of their current “pre-program” status. Following the program they will participate in a “post-program” evaluation to determine the extent of their learning. RISBDC intends to fully participate in providing valuable and factual information that would enable DBE to properly measure the desirable outcomes. The RISBDC conducts such an evaluation as part of its overall program. The RISBDC requests an evaluation of every technical assistance and training program. Every component of this project will be evaluated in terms of activity and quality. Customized Training Units

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Training Attendees

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Contracts awarded

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Bonding Secured

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Loans Received

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Funding The Johnson & Wales University Small Business Development Center (JWU SBDC) is seeking a coalition of sponsoring companies to support future classes of the successful FastTrac® program in 2008 and beyond. From 2003 through 2007, approximately 10 FastTrac® classes were delivered to approximately 150 owners and senior managers of growing small businesses throughout Rhode Island, and 8 classes are planned for 2008. The enthusiastic response to these programs clearly shows there is a large demand for local, cost-effective training of small businesses. To meet this demand, we are seeking expanded sponsor support in the areas of referrals, scholarships, and financial sponsorships. Referrals – Organizations that make referrals of qualified small business prospects to FastTrac® programs provide valuable assistance in the marketing process. Scholarships – Each $1,000 scholarship will enroll one business owner. Sponsors may consider funding a number of scholarships in their annual budgets. Partial scholarships are an option to leverage training funds. Financial Sponsorships –Financial sponsorship may be for general program support or used to pay specific expenses such as class refreshments, course books, and promotional items for class participants. Support may be in the form of

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Milenio Associates, LLC a one-time check, an annual contribution from a sponsor’s budget, or a larger charitable foundation gift that could support FastTrac® for one or more years. Any amount of financial support is welcomed. Financial Sponsors will be recognized in the following ways: · · ·

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Sponsors at a level of $35,000 or more will be identified as a “Major Sponsor” and have their logo printed on all brochures, websites, and other promotional materials. Financial and in-kind sponsors at any level will receive recognition in promotional materials and events. Sponsors will be given the opportunity to participate in FastTrac® classes as guest speakers.

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Entrepreneurship in the Green Economy Tomás Alberto Ávila 07/15/09 The notion of a green economy — economic activity by companies and customers in the form of products, services, and business models that promote economic growth, reduced environmental impacts, and improved social well- being — gathered steam in 2008. One key driver: the U.S. presidential campaign, the first ever where both major-party candidates discussed accelerating investments in alternative energy, electric vehicles, a “smart” electric grid, and, not insignificantly, the green jobs these developments would create. The conversation accelerated during the fall, as the economy tanked and unemployment rose. Suddenly, the green economy was seen as a pathway out of economic gloom. Green building is on the rise, spurring new technologies that save energy and money while creating more healthful workplaces. There is a green race taking place in the automobile industry, with every major manufacturer planning to introduce electric vehicles. The leading consumer product makers and retailers are starting to rigorously assess the environmental impact of their products using sophisticated metrics, sending signals up the supply chain that tomorrow’s products will need to hew to higher levels of environmental responsibility. Of course, all this is taking place during a time of staggering turbulence in the economy, and at the dawn of a new political era in the United States, the combination of which is causing both uncertainty and excitement over the notion of a green economy as a means of national economic and environmental security. We stand on the cusp of a potential explosion of new ideas, inventions, and initiatives, but face great questions about whether there will be sufficient resources to bring them to fruition. At the end of the day, the questions remain: Are we moving far enough, fast enough? Does the ever-growing green activity in the business world represent a true transformation, one capable of adequately addressing pressing issues like climate change, air quality, the loss of species, and the looming water crisis? Or is it merely nibbling at the edges of the problems? Reasonable minds can justifiably argue both sides. The biggest business opportunities of the 21st century are for green businesses solving environmental challenges such as climate change. The opportunities are as large as the challenges, and innovative entrepreneurs taking on the challenges are moving green from the fringes to Wall Street, Main Street and everywhere in between. With the Green Economy estimated to be over 200 billion19 in the United States in 2005 and growing globally, going green is both good for the environment and smart business move. Going green means different things to to different people, but it generally means reducing pollution, conserving resources and ecosystems; being energy efficient and reducing climate change. For many people, being green also means being aware of social issues such as fair trade and labor practices. Green businesses 19

Natural Marketing Institute, 2006

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ensure that the natural system on which our lives and economies rely will be around for the long term, and provide an environmentally sustainable world with profitable and rewarding ventures. The rapid growth of green business is seen in many fields such as the growth of the sale of organic food 1521 percent a year for more than a decade20. Businesses that develop new technology that spans a broad range of products, services, and processes that lower performance costs, reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact, and improve the productive and responsible use of natural resources21. To fight climate change, reduce pollution and lower our dependence on oil, businesses have increased the use of United States wind power capacity 45% in 200722. Entrepreneurs are transforming the buildings where we live and work to be safer and more efficient as of the booming green building movement, which will be expanding with the recent passage of The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 that calls for a 30 percent reduction in Energy use relative to a comparable building constructed in compliance with baseline code. The bill also mandates that each state or local Administrator of a REEP program shall seek to ensure that sufficient qualified entities are available to support retrofit activities so that building owners have a competitive choice among qualified Auditors, Raters, Contractors and providers of services related to retrofit 23. Never before has there been such a broad range of opportunities for entrepreneurs with almost any background to do well in business and help the environment at the same time. People around the globe are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on solutions for habitat loss, air pollution, declining oil supplies, water pollution and climate change. According to the Natural Marketing Institute, an estimated 30% of the United States adult population are consider LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Health And Sustainability)an are spending money in ways consistent with the belief in the need for a greener world. LOHAS24 (overall)

$209 billion

Personal health

$118 billion

Eco-Tourism

$24.2 billion

Alternative Energy

$400 million

Alternative Vehicles

$6.1 billion

Green Building

$49.7 billion

Natural Lifestyles

$10.6 billion

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Organic Trade Association’s 2006 Manufacturers Survey Cleantech Group, LLC. http://cleantechnetwork.com/index.cfm?pageSRC=CleantechDefined 22 American Wind Energy Association, AWEA 2007 Market Report, www.awea.org 23 H.R.2454 An act to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming and transition a clean energy economy, (pg. 355) 24 Source: Natural Marketing Institute http://www.nmisolutions.org 21

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Every day more people are changing to more efficient light bulbs, buying more fuel efficient cars, and doing whatever else they can in their daily lives to make a difference. Going Green is not just a fad or a trend but a lasting change in how we live and do business. Going Green also may be the best way to protect against the loss of business that may result from a globalized economy and other economic challenges as we have learned from the present economic crises we are experiencing, causing the demise of the automobile industry an iconic employer for over one hundred years. Former bastions of industrial strength are giving way to new industrialized powers such as China and India and this shift has eliminated or transferred millions of jobs from the Unites States to other parts of the world. Developing Green technologies and companies helps develop economies offset their diminishing roll in old industries, and going green makes companies more efficient and more competitive in a slow economy. According to Jonathan G. Dorn, Staff Researcher, Earth Policy Institute “Just as the 19th century was powered by coal and the 20th century by oil, the 21st century will be powered by the sun, the wind and the renewable energy from within the earth.” Eco entrepreneurs have many advantages in the rapidly growing green economy, with small innovative firms they don’t have to worry about changing their mindset or about loosing investment in old technologies; instead new business owners start with a clean slate to build profitable and environmentally sound companies from the ground up. They are proving to be potent catalysts for greening the rest of the economy25. Being entrepreneurial is more than staring a business. It’s about taking charge and blazing a path forward, and this can happen anywhere, employees work inside businesses, non-profits and government as entrepreneurs taking risk and innovating to create change. Mark Kravatz is an example of such individual, who has carved his own path in the Green industry in Rhode Island through his passion for a sustainable world and his desire to spread the fledging green economy to segments of Rhode Island that would otherwise not been included. The evolution of the modern economy keeps forcing us o be entrepreneurial in our daily work, in oder to remain significant in a more competitive job market. Globalization, outsourcing, telecommuting, the internet and the flattening of corporate hierarchies have hastened the evolution of the the employee of the 1950s into the one man mobile work force of today. We can’t no longer rest in our laurels, while slowly rising up the career ladder based on our seniority of service. Eco-entrepreneurial individuals in government, business and non profits are engineering sustainability from the inside out, but it doesn’t stop there as the evolution of work blurs the line and the green wave the individual starts in his or her company may carry him or her to start their own business.

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Croston, Glenn 75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make A difference

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Government stands smack in the middle of the green wave, creating laws such as the United States House of Representatives passage of bill H.R.2454 an act to creates clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming and transition a clean energy economy, and calls for a 30 percent reduction in Energy use relative to a comparable building constructed in compliance with baseline code. Rhode Island's governor signed a law that requires the state's largest electric utility to buy power from renewable energy producers, a move intended to smooth the way for what could be the first offshore wind farm in the United States. The legislation requires National Grid Plc (NG.L) (NGG.N) to make long-term contracts to buy 90 megawatts of renewable power, a step that Governor Donald Carcieri says should help Deepwater Wind to secure the $1.5 billion in funding it expects to need for two offshore projects. The dynamic upswing in green business has also led to an upswing in the demand for innovative solutions that eco-entrepreneurs can use in their businesses. Opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals to do right and do well are unlimited in the green economy. A rapidly growing billion--dollar sector that includes renewable energy sources, organic produce and products, green buildings, alternative fuel vehicles, and more.

References H.R.2454 An act to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. S 0111 LONG-TERM CONTRACTING STANDARD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY H 7381 Residential Renewable Energy System Tax Credit S 2594 Renewable Energy Standard The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living, www.apeiron.org Rhode Island Green Building Council, Strategic Plan Approved Dec. 4, 2008 Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Renewable Energy Fund City of Providence, Green Print Providence The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering jobs, business and investment across America IREM & CCIM, The Institute Legislative Staff, Economic Stimulus Package & Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Plan. U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2009 Green Jobs Training Initiative Grant Winners United Nation, Environment Program, A Global Green New Deal: Towards A Green Economy © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) Testimony before House Committee on Education and Labor Hearing on “Building an Economic Recovery Package: Creating and Preserving Jobs in America” October 24, 2008 Los Angeles Trade -Technical College Green Community College Summit: Green Workforce Development, The Role of Community Colleges Transition to Green: Leading the way to a healthy environment, a green economy and a sustainable future. Environmental Transition Recommendations for the Obama-Biden Team. Natural Marketing Institute, From Haight Ashbury to Today’s Boardroom: Baby Boomers’ Impact on the Green Movement Nielsen, WINNING AT GREEN: Exploring the Potential for Green Innovation using the Nielsen BASES System and NMI’s LOHAS Segmentation Model . New York Times, Preparing for a Flood of Energy Efficiency Spending, February 26, 2009 University of Wisconsin–Madison Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development i n the Clean energy economy. Regional Economic Development Institute, The Strategic Opportunity To Build a Green Workforce In Los Angeles , 2009 Deloitte Review, The Responsible and Sustainable Board, 2009 National Association of REALTORS, Climate Change Policy The Green Resource Council of the National Association of REALTORS, Green Designation Greener World Media, Inc. State of Green Business 2009

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The Green Economy: Definitions & Implications Tomás Alberto Ávila 01/09/2010

Executive Summary There is perhaps no area creating more interest from economists, legislators, or the general public than “The Green Economy.” This intrigue has created a flurry of reports to address potential impacts to jobs and the economy, as well as strong public investments from local, state, and federal governments. Rhode Island’s educational infrastructure will play a critical role in training the local green-collar workforce, and will therefore require a comprehensive understanding of the needs of industry to appropriately meet this challenge. For all of the interest generated by the green economy, there is an equal amount of confusion, skepticism, and misunderstanding. Much of this can be attributed to a lack of consistency in defining green jobs and firms and an inconsistent understanding of the practical implications of the greening of the economy. The Centers of Excellence initiated a study of the green economy in the fall of 2008. The intent of the paper is to create a better understanding of the green economy for governments, businesses, schools, churches, communities, unions and homes. The objectives of the report were as follows: ·

Provide definitions for green economy, sectors, jobs and green occupations to allow for consistent use and understanding; · Illustrate the various scenarios for how green is affecting the workforce; · Demonstrate the green subsectors, traditional occupations and sectors, and emerging occupations and sectors; and · Provide a framework for additional study to help individual, policy makers and government sectors respond to this new green reality. · Build upon practical solutions produced collaboratively by multiple networks striving to define the green economy. · Given the complex nature of the green economy and its continuing evolution, this framework should be considered a “living documents it will undergo future revisions as more becomes known about the direction of the various green industry sectors and occupations. Increasing energy and commodity costs, legislative requirements, and consumer demands for a more sustainable environment have all led to a substantial push for a green economy in industries such as energy and utilities, construction, transportation, and manufacturing. Understanding the green economy and the opportunities it provides for RI and its workforce is of critical importance. A number of local developments in public and private investment and regulation have contributed to the green movement. A $70 million environmental bond that Governor Carcieri enacted has been overwhelmingly approved by voters. Some of the funds have been used to improve point-source facilities in Barrington, Burrillville, Cranston, East Greenwich, East Providence, Jamestown, Middletown, Warren, Warwick, West Warwick, Westerly, and Woonsocket. 2 The Obama Administration estimates that the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create over 12,000 jobs in Rhode Island26, thousands of which will be in green sectors. Three billion dollars have been 26

http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Recovery_Act_congressional_district_jobs_2-17.pdf

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Milenio Associates, LLC allocated for education and training programs, with over $500 million earmarked in the Department of Labor alone for training workers for the green economy. Additional monies are being made available through other local, state and federal agencies. Given these recent economic and legislative developments, preparing a workforce for the green economy has become a top priority. Policy makers across the country and in Rhode Island are trying to rapidly adapt job training programs to align with the needs of green industries. However, the ambiguity around the definitions and classifications of green job markets and how they relate to the Green Economy has made this task rather challenging. The emerging green economy is diverse and widespread. To varying degrees, every state is witnessing growth in some green industry segment, and more often than not, this business growth is building off of existing strengths in the state. Familiar products and services are finding new uses or are taking new forms in response to new market demands. As policy makers implement new standards (e.g. building efficiency standards, renewable portfolio standard), incentives and regulations, new business opportunities emerge to meet growing demand. Analyzing a state’s green economy in terms of the scope of green business activity can reveal areas of comparative advantage, promising areas for R&D investment and workforce development, and opportunities for building partnerships within and across green industry segments. Additionally, as incentives and new regulations are introduced, this information reveals the extent of a state’s business base for meeting the coming demand for things such as highly efficiency appliances, renewable energy generation systems, high‐efficiency building products, and low‐emission fuels. This document examines core green business activity and focuses on defining the green economy. It also seeks to ascertain the implications of the green economy for job creation. After extensive research on the Green Economy and Green Careers the Sustainable Business Group (SBG) has decided to adopt O*Net’s definition of the green economy and green careers. O*Net is the nation’s primary source for occupational information. Central to understanding the green economy and green careers is the O*NET database, which contains information on hundreds of standardized occupation-specific descriptors. The database, is available to the public at no cost and is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. Information from the database forms the heart of O*NET OnLine, an interactive application for exploring and searching occupations. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the intent of this document is to stand on the shoulders of, and synthesize, the existing work that has sought to define the Green Economy and Green Careers. SBG has used existing documents like: Greening of the World of Work: Implications for O*NET®-SOC and New and Emerging Occupations, Greening Rhode Island: An Issues Paper by The Rhode Island Senate Policy Office. In addition, we have researched what is happening in this state, across the country, and around the world to arrive at our definition of the green economy and its implications.

Overview of the Green Economy It is certainly no exaggeration to note that the label “green” has become ubiquitous. Underlying this prevalence is a substantial body of literature focused on all things green. This literature spans multiple disciplines (e.g., labor economics, engineering, environmental science) and is found in a variety of outlets ranging from the popular press to governmental reports to academic journals. The overall conclusion from this burgeoning domain is that the “greening” of our national economy is not only currently underway, but also that it should be met with concerted efforts to significantly increase both intellectual and financial capital investments. 118

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Milenio Associates, LLC Numerous arguments for such amplified attention are frequently proffered to include issues of national security, environmental protection, climate change, and domestic job growth. Enabling focused investment requires systematic study to better understand and define what it means to be “green.” The rush to jump on the “green” bandwagon has outpaced the development of a concept of what it actually means to be green. For example, consider the praise by the popular press of individuals “going green” by using recycled goods and reducing consumption, or specific companies by increasing energy efficiency, or municipalities offering grants for green residential construction projects (e.g., fitting homes with solar panels). In other words, green activities can range from choosing a specific brand of cleaning spray to installing a wind energy farm. To determine the workforce ramifications of this vast array of green activities is a substantial undertaking. The first step is to focus the scope by developing a precise and bounded definition of what the green economy means in the context of jobs or occupations. A thorough understanding of any job or occupation requires an understanding of the context in which these entities exist. One way to conceptualize the broader context of work is through an economic lens – in the present case, what is referred to as the green economy. Fortunately, there is a general consensus in the extant literature regarding the scope of the green economy, which is summarized in the definition below. The green economy encompasses the economic activity related to reducing the use of fossil fuels, decreasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the efficiency of energy usage, recycling materials, and developing and adopting renewable sources of energy272829 In support of these goals is a range of activities and strategies, including retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, promoting usage of mass transit, producing energy-efficient automobiles, increasing the use of wind or solar power, and developing and producing cellulosic biomass fuels30. The significant benefits of green economy activities are significant and described as both macroeconomic (e.g., investment in new technologies, greater productivity) and microeconomic (e.g., income growth, job growth)31. For instance, analysts concluded that renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies generated over 8 million new jobs and $970 billion in revenue in 2006 alone32. At the heart of green economy activities is technology. That is, technological innovations are what drive the many activities that comprise the green economy. For example, clean energy technologies use the sun, wind, water, and plant matter to produce electricity, heat, and transportation fuel33. New green technology also spans a broad range of products, services and processes that lower performance costs, reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact, and improve the productive and responsible use of natural resources34. Thus, understanding the development and 27

U.S. Metro Economies: Green Jobs in U.S. Metro Areas (2008, October). GlobalInsight.

http://www.usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/GreenJobsReport.pdf 28 Characteristics of Canadian Environmental Practitioners (2006). ECO Canada, ELM Research, R.A. Malatest & Associates. 29 McCarthy, M. (2008, February). Going from “Blue Collar” to “Green Collar” in Work Force Development. 30 Pollin, R., & Wicks-Lim, J. (2008, June). Job Opportunities for the Green Economy: A State-by-State Picture of Occupations that Gain from Green Investments.

Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/atf/cf/%7B3637E5F0-D0EA-46E7-BB3274D973EFF334%7D/NRDC_report_May28.pdf. 31 U.S. Metro Economies, op cit. 32 Bezdek, R. (2007, November). Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Economic Drivers for the 21st Century. Management Information Services for the American Solar Energy Society. http://www.greenforall.org/resources/renewable-energy-and-energy-efficiency-economic 33 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Census. (2007, August). GlobalInsight. www.masstech.org 34 Clean Technology and the Green Economy: Growing Products, Services, Businesses, and Jobs in California’s Value Network

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Milenio Associates, LLC application of various green technologies can help to depict the potential workforce implications of green economy activities. With the broader context of the green economy now delineated, the following section turns attention toward describing how occupations are influenced by this context. In this section, existing definitions of green jobs are reviewed and critiqued in an effort to better establish descriptive boundaries that are of practical use for occupational analysis. Special emphasis is given to the technologies that facilitate or enable the green economy activities discussed above.

The Green Economy

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The green economy encompasses the economic activity related to reducing the use of fossil fuels, decreasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the efficiency of energy usage, recycling materials, and developing and adopting renewable sources of energy.

The “greening” of occupations36 The “greening” of occupations refers to the extent to which green economy activities and technologies increase the demand for existing occupations, shape the work and worker requirements needed for occupational performance, or generate unique work and worker requirements.

Green Increased Demand Occupations. The impact of green economy activities and technologies is an increase in the employment demand for an existing occupation. However, this impact does not entail significant changes in the work and worker requirements of the occupation. The work context may change, but the tasks themselves do not.

Green Enhanced Skills Occupations The impact of green economy activities and technologies results in a significant change to the work and worker requirements of an existing O*NET-SOC occupation. This impact may or may not result in an increase in employment demand for the occupation. The essential purposes of the occupation remain the same, but tasks, skills, knowledge, and external elements, such as credentials, have been altered.

Green New and Emerging (N&E) Occupations. The impact of green economy activities and technologies is sufficient to create the need for unique work and worker requirements, which results in the generation of a new occupation relative to the O*NET taxonomy. This new occupation could be entirely novel or “born” from an existing occupation.

http://www.labor.ca.gov/panel/pdf/DRAFT_Green_Economy_031708.pdf 35 36

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Major Green Economy Sectors

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Renewable Energy Generation This sector covers activities related to developing and using energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. This sector also includes traditional, non-renewable sources of energy undergoing significant green technological changes (e.g., oil, coal, gas, and nuclear).

Transportation This sector covers activities related to increasing efficiency and/or reducing environmental impact of various modes of transportation including trucking, mass transit, and freight rail.

Energy Efficiency This sector covers activities related to increasing energy efficiency (broadly defined), making energy demand response more effective, constructing "smart grids," and other energy efficient activities.

Green Construction This sector covers activities related to constructing new green buildings, retrofitting residential and commercial buildings, and installing other green construction technology.

Energy Trading This sector covers financial services related to buying and selling energy as an economic commodity, as well as carbon trading projects.

Energy and Carbon Capture This sector covers activities related to capturing and storing energy and/or carbon emissions, as well as technologies related to power plants using the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technique.

Research, Design, and Consulting Services This sector encompasses "indirect jobs" to the green economy which includes activities such as energy consulting or research and other related business services.

Environment Protection This sector covers activities related to environmental remediation, climate change adaptation, and ensuring or enhancing air quality.

Agriculture and Forestry This sector covers activities related to using natural pesticides, efficient land management or farming, and aquaculture.

Manufacturing This sector covers activities related to industrial manufacturing of green technology as well as energy efficient manufacturing processes.

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Recycling and Waste Reduction This sector covers activities related to solid waste and wastewater management, treatment, and reduction, as well as processing recyclable materials.

Governmental and Regulatory This sector covers activities by public and private organizations associated with conservation and pollution prevention, regulation enforcement, and policy analysis and advocacy.

Summary

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To summarize, the term “green” is widely applied to a substantial variety of products, services, and even lifestyle and consumer choices. Many of these applications are hard to apply to occupation analysis or difficult for use in workforce development efforts. Existing definitions of what comprises a “green job” are at a level of specificity that seems too molecular for occupational databases such as the O*NET database. Further, such definitions do not address the degree to which green economy activities differentially impact occupational requirements. To address these issues, several definitions were presented. Considering the primary purpose of this report is to ascertain the implications of the green economy for existing and new and emerging O*NET occupations, definitions of the green economy and of the term occupation were presented. Next, a finer-grained definition that encompassed the impact of green economy activities and technologies on occupations was described. This definition focused on the “greening” of occupations and included three categories that represented varying degrees of influence that the green economy holds for occupational performance. Finally, to facilitate an examination of how specific occupational greening might occur, a list of 12 green economy sectors was introduced.

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Minding Your Green Business March 4, 2010 Providence City News http://www3.providenceri.com/CityNews/newsletter2.php?id=277 Tomás Alberto Ávila immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s, in the thick of an energy crisis that created skyrocketing gas prices and an economic downturn. He also witnessed change created by individuals that drove legislation to set higher standards for miles per gallon on an average car. Three decades later, Avila, who has been a long-time economic development worker primarily in the Hispanic community, is confronting that environment once again. Having lived through a period of economic turmoil, he urges us to "become less fearful of the economy, but rather learn how to become more sustainable in this environment and to plan for {our} future." In his current post within the newly-formed Sustainable Business Network of RI (SBNRI), operating under the Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living, Avila is teaching local business owners how to survive both short-and-long-term by adopting a green model. "The green economy is here!" he says, "Taking place right in front of us!" Through workforce development programs and strategic business planning, Avila, the SBNRI, and Apeiron are using years of experience in the sustainability field and are carving out a highly desirable niche for any and all businesses interested in greening up for the present and the future. City News caught up with Avila at SBNRI's headquarters at the 17 Gordon Avenue Incubator, Rhode Island's first green building, which is located in the Southside of Providence, to talk some green business. What does the Sustainable Business Network aim to do for the community? What we try to do is raise the consciousness of the business community regarding matters of sustainability and the green economy. We also help them make the transition from a regular economy to the green economy. Third is we highlight the businesses and the green economy that is taking place in Rhode Island and in Providence, in particular. We are also here to inform the general community about these businesses, this economy, and the opportunities that exist in this area. What does the green economy in Providence look like? The green economy is here! Taking place right in front of us! For instance, the recycling program in Providence, the green buildings that are going up all over the city like the green schools that the Mayor has stewarded, and of course, Greenprint, the report which was released by the City that has provided a framework for what that economy is going to be. Then there's the green corridor where a lot of companies are producing green products and services. Statewide, too, there are things happening in the area of energy efficiency like wind farming that the Governor and other legislative leaders have pushed for, and another

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report, The Greening of Rhode Island, which is a collection of all the legislatures that create that economy. Pretty much, that's what the local green economy entails. How does a business remain sustainable in a tough economy? They have to stay focused on the opportunities that exist within this type of economy because there are opportunities that exist within every crisis. The challenge is whether the business owner focuses on the crisis itself, or the opportunity. At the same time, as things get better, it also brings on more opportunities. Secondly, businesses have to make hard decisions, consider reducing cost, maybe cut down on hours, and find ways to shave off operational expenses. In many cases, in times like this, businesses feel like they don't have to change anything but if you don't have the luxury of increasing your profits, then changes have to be made to sustain yourself. Third, I advise businesses to not lose hope because just as things go down, they'll eventually come up. It might come up slow, but you have to have hope that things are going to get better. When businesses come to you, what are the kinds of help are they looking to get from the SBN? All kinds of businesses come to us. The ones that are already deep into sustainable and green business come to us seeking information, support, and networking with other like-minded or similar businesses. The ones that have zero knowledge about the green economy, or are starting to think about becoming a sustainable business because they've heard the buzz about it, come to us to learn more because they might not know where to start. So no matter what type of business they are, they come to us to learn more, to expand their business by expanding their network, or to get help in putting together a strategic plan around the green economy. We try to run the gamut of services, by building relationships with other partners, that we know business owners would need to make the transition, or to grow, into a sustainable, green business. So how are things going so far? So far so good! We launched in January of this year. We are already working with a number of businesses that are subscribing to the network. We are also meeting with other agencies, like the Sustainable New England Initiative, as far as partnering to provide educational services. And we're also getting many inquiries from businesses. It's been very positive. Needless to say, the push by the Mayor and the City of Providence for the green economy and the developments around the city that people are sensing have been very beneficial for all of us. It seems that when the green economy does take off even more, we're going to need a trained workforce to sustain it too. What is the SBN doing to boost that area of development? Within the SBN we have an educational division, which concentrates on workforce development. That division is about to graduate a second class of trained individuals which they took through a four-month process of weatherization and everything that deals with clean energy and energy efficiency. We are definitely starting to see that a trained workforce, qualified employees, for the green economy is needed. We're about to start a third class. Why is this work important to you? It's fulfilling to me because it's putting to use those 18 years I spent in the field of economic development to benefit individuals that it need most. Sustainability has been a passion of mine. When I first came to this 124 ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila


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country I experienced the energy crisis of the 70s - when gas prices went from 35 cents a gallon to $3.50 overnight - and I'm seeing the discomfort that it caused then happening again today. I also saw back then the beginnings of the movement towards sustainability. For instance, I remember then the average mile per gallon for an average car was 10 miles per gallon. Government took changes and made the standard at least a minimum of 18 miles per gallon and eventually making it 25. With that experience, I'm glad that I can be in a position to help individuals become less fearful of the economy, but rather learn how to become more sustainable in this environment and to plan for their future. I know that we can overcome this but it's going to take all of us to help in however way we can. That is the satisfaction that I get out of this. What else should the community know about the SBN? Back in 2001, the The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living formed a coalition and put together the Sustainable Rhode Island Vision Plan. It encompasses every segment of the green economy - whether it's energy, green building, green government, etc. The plan set out to make Rhode Island the first sustainable state in the country. Although it's still a work-in-progress, it's very real and tangible now. So the Institute has been doing this work for the last 15 years. They have been behind many of the legislation and coalitions around establishing what has become this green economy. As a result, the organization has gained a lot of experience in this field. We have also gathered a ton of information and know-how that can really be beneficial to the business community and the community at-large. So I just want the community to know that we're here for them. Use us. Give us a call or stop on by! We're open from 8:30 to 5.

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Hispanic-Owned Businesses Economic Census News Conference Thursday October 7, 2010

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Importance of Census data on Hispanic-owned businesses discussed at news conference The number of Latino-owned businesses in the United States increased by 43.7 percent, to 2,259,857 firms from 2002 to 2007. That rate of increase is more than twice the national average of 18 percent during the same time period for all businesses. Hispanic-owned firms generated more than $345.2 billion in sales in 2007, an increase of 55.5 percent over 2002. In Rhode Island, according to the recently-released figures from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners by the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic-owned companies jumped from 3,415 in 2002 to 5,764 in 2007, an increase of 68.8 percent. Over the same time period, revenues increased by 115.4 percent, from 213.7 million in 2002 to 460.4 million in 2007. Sen. Pichardo and the Rhode Island Latino Professional Business Network hosted a news conference today that brought together U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith Stokes, and local economic development and business leaders. In addition to calling attention to the report, released two weeks ago, the leaders gathered today to highlight the significance of the numbers and how they could be meaningful to state and local efforts to foster economic development. The data will also be useful in providing assistance to help Hispanic-owned companies, as well as nonHispanic-owned companies, to remain in the state and grow jobs here. “We have taken bold action in the General Assembly to make it easy to do business in Rhode Island by reforming the tax code, cutting red tape, enhancing the skills of the workforce and improving accesses to capital, all of which will help Latino businesses as well as every other business,” said Sen. Pichardo D – Dist. 2, Providence. Sen. Pichardo continued: “This data helps us to make more informed decisions as we work to integrate the economic development agendas on the state and local levels to capitalize on the momentum of this thriving sector of our economy. Hispanic firms are a major engine of job creation. As the Latino economy grows, the economy of the state grows as well, and that benefits all of us. We need to incorporate this data into our vision for the state of Rhode Island and our growth strategies for emerging markets.” Tomás Alberto Ávila, Coordinator for the Rhode Island Latino Professional Business Network and Managing Partner of Milenio Associates, LLC, said, “It is encouraging that the Hispanic business community is growing, but we hope the new administration that will be elected November 2 makes this growth a priority in their job creation and economic development plans.” Sen. Pichardo and Mr. Avila said that the data is useful in efforts to maintain the local tax base, assist local businesses, for research and public policy purposes, and to prepare for disaster response. They are seeking to use the data to advance economic development agendas by analysis of issues such as market share, site location, enhancement of business opportunity presentations to banks or venture capitalists, and the evaluation of new business opportunities. U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Banking Committee who recently helped pass the Small Business Jobs Act to provide $12 billion in tax breaks for small businesses nationwide, said, “Hispanic entrepreneurs are an integral part of Rhode Island’s economy. This survey shows there is growing diversity in both the types of Hispanicowned businesses and an expansion of their customer base. And just as the Hispanic business community continues to grow, we are also seeing an increase of Hispanic customers for all Rhode Island businesses, which has a very positive economic impact for the state. These are challenging economic times, and I will continue working to empower 127 © Tomás Alberto Ávila


Milenio Associates, LLC entrepreneurs and ensure that all businesses have access to the capital they need to grow, create more jobs, and help boost our economy.” U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “The Latino community is a vibrant part of Rhode Island’s economy. At a time when jobs are scarce and our economy is struggling, I’m thankful for the hard work and dedication of the over 5,700 Latino-owned businesses in Rhode Island.” Congressman Jim Langevin said, “Small businesses, especially in the neighborhoods of Providence, are critical to our community's continued growth. Data like this, coupled with legislation such as the recently passed Small Business Jobs Act, will help us boost lending for businesses to hire new employees and expand their operations.” Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith Stokes said, “As the data demonstrates, Rhode Island’s Hispanic-owned businesses are a bright spot for Rhode Island’s economy. We need to continue to align our economic development strategy and business development efforts to capitalize on this momentum so vibrant, dynamic companies looking to grow and create jobs in our state have the necessary tools and resources to succeed.” The survey data shows that Rhode Island is tied with Florida as the states with the fifteenth highest percentage of growth in Hispanic-owned businesses, 68.8 percent. Arkansas saw the highest rate of growth, at 160.6 percent. The report on Hispanic-owned businesses is the first of 10 reports on the characteristics of minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses and their owners scheduled for release over the next year. The Survey of Business Owners provides the only comprehensive, regularly collected source of information on selected economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity and race. Title 13 of the United States Code authorizes the survey and provides for mandatory responses. Data has been collected every five years since 1972 in years ending in “2” and “7” as part of the economic census. The program began as a special project for minorityowned businesses in 1969 and was incorporated into the economic census in 1972 along with the Survey of Womenowned Businesses. Today’s press conference was held at Ada’s Creations, a Hispanic-owned business on Broad Street in Providence which is a center of economic activity and growth.

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Hispanic-Owned Businesses Economic Census News Conference Program Thursday October 7, 2010 Ada’s Creation - 1137 Broad Street 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Program Welcome and Introduction Tomás Alberto Ávila, RILPBN Remarks Senator Juan Pichardo Deputy President Pro Tempore, Rhode Island State Senate U.S. Senator Jack Reed U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse U.S. Congressman Jim, Langevin, 2nd Congressional District Keith Stokes, Executive Director, RIEDC Testimonial Oscar Alexis Mejias President HITEP Sixcia Devine Regional Director Providence, Metro RISBDC Rick M. Quiles, MD CEO Park Pediatrics, LLC

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RI Latino-Owned Businesses increased 68.8 percent since 2007 to 5,763 according to the 2007 Economic Census According to a report released last month by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau, the Latino owned businesses in the United States totaled 2,259,857 firms, employed over 1,573,464 people and generated $345 billion revenues in 2007 a 43.6% increase from 2002. The data for the state of Rhode Island shows that the state has a total of 5,763 Latino owned businesses with total sales and receipt of $460 million annually for a change of 68.8% in number of firms with or without paid employees, 2002 to 2007. These new data come from the Survey of Business Owners: Hispanic-Owned Businesses: 2007, which provides detailed information every five years for Hispanic-owned businesses, such as the number of firms, sales and receipts, number of paid employees and annual payroll. “This data helps us to make more informed decisions as we work to integrate the economic development agendas on the state and local levels to capitalize on the momentum of this thriving sector of our economy. . Hispanic firms are a major engine of job creation. As the Latino economy grows, the economy of the state grows as well, and that benefits all of us. We need to incorporate this data into our vision for the state of Rhode Island and our growth strategies for emerging markets.” said Sen. Pichardo D – Dist. 2, Providence “It is encouraging that the Hispanic business community is growing, but we hope the new administration that will be elected November 2, makes this growth a priority in their job creation and economic development plans,” said Tomás Alberto Ávila, Coordinator for the Rhode Island Latino Professional Business Network The survey data shows that Rhode Island tie with Florida as the fifteen States with the fastest rates of growth for Hispanic-owned firms between 2002 and 207 in comparison to 2002 when it tied with Georgia for second place. Statistics are shown for non-Hispanic businesses, for businesses that are equally (50 percent/ 50 percent) owned by both Hispanics and non-Hispanics, and for four Hispanic subgroups — businesses owned by people of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican or other Hispanic origin. Data are presented by geographic area (including county, city and metro area), industry and size of business.

Geographic Area

All Hispanicowned firms, 2007 (number)

All Hispanicowned firms, 2002 (number)

Percent change in number of all Hispanic-owned firms (%)

Receipts for Hispanic-owned firms, 2007 ($1,000)

Receipts for Hispanic-owned firms, 2002 ($1,000)

Percent change in receipts for Hispanic-owned firms (%)

Rhode Island

5,764

3,415

68.8

460,382

213,718

115.4

The survey data shows that Rhode Island tie with Florida as the fifteen States with the fastest rates of growth for Hispanic-owned firms between 2002 and 2007 compare to 1997 and 2002 when it tie Georgia as the second fastest rates of growth.

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Survey of Business Owners - Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2007 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Hispanics owned 2.3 million nonfarm U.S. businesses in 2007, an increase of 43.6 percent from 2002. In 2007, Hispanic-owned firms accounted for 8.3 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States, 1.6 percent of total employment and 1.1 percent of total receipts. The 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) defines Hispanic-owned businesses as firms in which Mexicans, Mexican Americans, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Other Spanish, Hispanics, or Latinos own 51 percent or more of the stock or equity of the business. The 2007 SBO data were collected as part of the 2007 Economic Census from a sample of more than 2.3 million nonfarm businesses filing 2007 tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more. KIND-OF-BUSINESS CHARACTERISTICS In 2007, 30.0 percent of Hispanic-owned firms operated in the construction industry (NAICS 23) and the repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services industries (NAICS 81). The distribution of firms according to sector Hispanic-owned firms accounted for 10.4 percent of all U.S. businesses in these industries. Wholesale trade (NAICS 42), retail trade (NAICS 44-45) and construction (NAICS 23) accounted for 50.7 percent of Hispanic-owned business revenue. GEOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS California had the most Hispanic-owned firms at 566,436 (25.1 percent of all such firms), with receipts of $80.8 billion (23.4 percent of all Hispanic-owned firm receipts). Florida had 450,075 Hispanic-owned firms or 19.9 percent, with receipts of $72.9 billion or 21.1 percent. Texas had 447,391 Hispanic-owned firms or 19.8 percent, with receipts of $62.1 billion or 18.0 percent. EMPLOYER CHARACTERISTICS In 2007, there were 249,044 Hispanic-owned employer firms. These firms employed 1.9 million persons with a total payroll of $54.7 billion, an increase of 26.0 percent and 49.0 percent respectively from 2002. In 2007, these firms generated $274.6 billion in receipts, an increase of 53.0 percent. Employer firms accounted for 11.0 percent of the total number of Hispanic-owned firms and 79.5 percent of Hispanic-owned firms’ gross receipts. The average receipts for these employer firms was $1.1 million. NONEMPLOYER CHARACTERISTICS In 2007, there were 2.0 million Hispanic-owned firms without paid employees. These firms generated $70.6 billion in receipts, an increase of 66.5 percent from 2002. In 2007, nonemployers accounted for 89.0 percent of the total number of Hispanic-owned firms and 20.5 percent of gross receipts. The average receipts for these nonemployer firms was $35,116.

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Rhode Island 2007 Survey of Business Owners Statistics for Selected Counties With 100 or More Hispanic Owned Firms: 2007 All Firmsツケ Firms

Rhode Island

Sales and ($1,000)

Rhode Island Kent County Newport County Providence Washington

5,763 284 214 5,043 144

Employee Firms (number)

460,382 27,132 12,748 394,945 22,122

S S 296 S

Firms with Paid Employees Employer Employees ($1,000)

S S 267,650 S

Annual ($1,000)

S S 1,600 S

S S 50,513 S

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners

Note:

The data in this file are based on the 2007 Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners (SBO). To maintain confidentiality, the Census Bureau suppresses data to protect the identity of any business or individual. The census results in this file contain sampling and nonsampling errors. Data users who create their own estimates using data from this file should cite the Census Bureau as the source of the original data only.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners

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Economic Census Information Drives Decision Making Maintain local tax base The Economic Development Commission of many states attempt to attract new business to the state, and retain those they already have, by talking to companies about real estate and workforce needs. They use Economic Census data to identify industries growing nationally but not doing as well locally.

Assist local businesses A consultant uses Economic Census CD-ROMs to compute business averages- such as sales per capita and establishments per 100,000 residents. He markets comparative summaries to shopping mall owners seeking business tenants and to prospective entrepreneurs. He advises them to look for opportunities in communities where an industry is underrepresented relative to state and national norms. Small Business Development Centers in many states help business owners assess their marketing and management challenges and become familiar with business data sources such as the Economic Census.

Research A professor at Harvard University studied a series of votes in Congress related to free trade issues. He used Economic Census data on manufacturing to explore the correlation between each state's industrial structure and the way that state's Congressional representatives voted on these issues.

Public policy and statistics The Federal Reserve Board uses Economic Census data to understand change in the American economy, and to benchmark productivity estimates and other measures of economic performance. The U.S. Department of Commerce uses Economic Census statistics to benchmark and update the National Income and Product Accounts, one of the components of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates. Federal and state agencies look to Economic Census data to gauge the effectiveness of programs such as minority contracting guidelines, trade policies, and job retraining.

Disaster Response The Federal Emergency Management Agency uses the Economic Census data by ZIP Code to inventory business locations by industry and size. They use this information to estimate potential losses to employment and productive capacity that might result from a major fire, flood, or other disaster. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners

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Businesses Use Data To Gain Competitive Advantage Gauge the competition A soft drink bottler considered expanding into two related beverage-manufacturing operations: milk and alcoholic beverages. Economic Census data shed light on industry specialization, company size, and the relationship of expenses to receipts - information that encouraged the bottler to diversify.

Calculate market share A restaurant supply wholesaler calculated that it had roughly an 11-percent market share-its own sales divided by state totals for similar businesses - in its primary sales region in the northern mountain states. The wholesaler used that figure as a target when it expanded into Arizona and New Mexico.

Business to business A man who had developed software for managing quality control operations made a list of industries most likely to use his product, then ranked the top industries based on census figures on value added and growth. He customized his software to appeal to those top prospects. Census data on CD-ROM made it easy to find areas where large plants in the target industries were located.

Site location A major food store chain uses Economic Census data and population figures to estimate potential weekly food store sales in the trade area for each of its stores. These estimates allow the company to calculate market share for each existing store, and to evaluate prospective sites for new stores. The owner of a chain of auto accessory stores computed the ratio of accessory sales in the Economic Census to household income from the population census for several neighboring metropolitan areas. Finding his own area well above national averages, he inferred that the local market for auto accessory stores might be already saturated. That contributed to his decision to expand into a nearby metro area with a lower ratio instead of adding another store locally.

Design sales territories and set sales quotas An insurance company uses counts of establishments and sales by kind of business to redesign sales territories and set quotas and incentive levels for agents. By comparing their own records on customers to census figures, company executives found which kinds of businesses were better prospects than others.

Enhance business opportunity presentations to banks or venture capitalists An entrepreneur used census data to support her loan application, as she sought financing to start a tailoring and alterations shop for Hispanic executives. She used Economic Census data on her line of business in conjunction with data on Hispanic in managerial occupations from the census of population.

Evaluate new business opportunities A manufacturer of industrial chemicals used data on production of semiconductors and other high technology products to assess the feasibility of introducing a line of advanced composite materials. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners

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Strategic Focus Recommendations Increase Size, Scale and Capacity of Hispanic Business Enterprises The Big Picture The Hispanic business community continues to grow; yet their true economic potential is still unrealized. Hispanic firms are an engine of job creation, with paid employment growing by 26% from 1.5 million to 1.9 million, compared to 0.03% growth for nonminority-owned firms. The rapidly growing Hispanic population increased by 18% during this period, compared to only 1 percent growth for non-minorities. The Hispanic population has an estimated purchasing power of about $1 trillion, larger than the purchasing power of Indonesia ($969 billion), Australia ($824 billion), the Netherlands ($654 billion) and of all but 14 countries worldwide. Strategic Priorities: Access to Capital – Develop global financing solutions for minority business enterprises such as: Developing unique public-private partnerships to create funding vehicles for Hispanic Business Expanding the number of financing options Increasing surety bonding opportunities Access to Contracts – Create openness and transparency in minority business government contract reporting Access to Markets – Support the National Export Initiative to double exports over the next 5 years. Minority businesses are already twice as likely to export compared to non-minority-owned firms. Foster innovation and entrepreneurship within minority communities in high-growth industries such as: Clean and Renewable Energy Green Technology Healthcare Information Technology 138

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The Future Commit to making sure the growth and competitiveness of the Hispanic business community continues to be a national priority. Creating the foundation for the next generation of $100 million minority-owned firms capable of employing the growing minority population, expanding our tax base and securing our position as a global leader. To grow more minority-owned firms to size and capacity encourages Hispanic businesses to consider growth by mergers and acquisition, joint ventures and strategic partnerships. To achieve these priorities, to create this next generation of firms, we need everyone to help and that’s why we also believe in openness and transparency of government.

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Census Bureau Figures Show A Sharp Rise In Hispanic-Owned Businesses 01:00 AM EDT on Friday, October 8, 2010

By Kate Bramson As a Hispanic business owner, he’s the face of a new Rhode Island highlighted by recently released U.S. Census figures that were praised Thursday by business and political leaders in Providence’s Elmwood neighborhood. Hispanic-owned businesses here in Rhode Island increased nearly 69 percent between 2002 and 2007, according to the most recently released Census data. The number of businesses rose from 3,415 to 5,764. But as a solo practitioner, Quiles knows the pains of small-business owners who have helped those numbers skyrocket, he told Rhode the state’s Congressional delegation, state Senators Juan M. Pichardo and Harold Metts and state Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith Stokes at a news conference. The reimbursement rates that dictate what Quiles gets paid haven’t changed much over the years, he says, but his costs sure have risen. As the Hispanic community continues to increase its presence in Rhode Island, members must work together, Quiles and others said, to provide more funding opportunities for its business leaders and better education for its children. “I cannot effectively combat asthma and obesity if our children are not graduating,” said Quiles, who went to the Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. “We need more physicians. We have lots of patients.” As Hispanic-owned businesses in Rhode Island have grown over the years, they’re bringing in more money, too, the Census numbers show. While businesses in Rhode Island, overall, saw their receipts go up 30 percent from 2002 to 2007, Hispanic-owned businesses saw their receipts increase 115 percent. By 2007, those Hispanic-owned receipts amounted to $460 million in Rhode Island. Despite all the growth, though, the receipts remain less than 1 percent of all receipts brought in by all businesses in the state. Sixcia Devine, the regional director of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University, was among those who gathered to celebrate the numbers, but she didn’t stop there. “We cannot celebrate without access to capital,” she said. And although the congressional delegation praised their own work in Congress to increase the amount of loan money available for small businesses, Devine said after the news conference that small Hispanic-owned businesses often find there are too many rules and regulations for those kinds of federal loans.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Devine said she sees people financing their own small businesses with individual support within the Hispanic community –– one woman wanting to open a shop asking another woman in the community to loan her $10,000. While the available statistics go just through 2007 before Rhode Island began to feel the economic woes that continue to trouble the state, anecdotal evidence indicates the number of Hispanic-owned businesses continues to rise, said Tomás Alberto Ávila, coordinator for the Rhode Island Latino Professional Business Network and a local real estate agent. Although many Latinos have gone out of business, people in the community “just keep starting businesses,” he said. Some entrepreneurs have found a new niche after an initial business failed. Others are moving into Rhode Island and starting fresh, he says. In fact, the Hispanic population grew 38.5 percent in Rhode Island between 2000 and 2009, Census figures show. “The Hispanic community has been affected [by the economy], but percentage-wise, because of the persistence, they have been affected less than the general community,” he said. Quiles, who moved here from New York City when he decided Rhode Island was where he wanted to raise children, is an example of how Rhode Island’s Hispanic business community is changing. Relying on national numbers, Avila says the kind of businesses owned by Hispanics has shifted greatly in recent years. About five years ago, about 75 percent of Latino businesses were retail in nature. Now, he thinks retail holds about 20 percent of the market. Businesses in the construction trade — small businesses doing residential repairs and additions — are growing, and are now about 30 percent of the local Hispanic-owned businesses, Avila said. Filling in the rest of the market are an increasing number of businesses that provide professional services, health care like Quiles provides, and social services, he says. “And the reason for that … is the growth of Latinos graduating from colleges,” he said. “And they don’t want to stay at grocery stores.” Additionally, the Latinos moving to Rhode Island in the last 10 years now have higher levels of education from their home countries than their predecessors did, he says. Hispanic business boom Hispanic leaders say that, despite the recession, Hispanic-owned businesses continue to grow in Rhode Island. This table shows the state’s Hispanic population, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses and how much money they took in.

Population 2002

2007

2009

Hispanic

96,510

118,934

125,805

Total

1,030,762 1,057,832 1,053,209

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11.24

11.94

Number of businesses 2002

2007

Change

Hispanic-owned 3,415 5,764 +68.8% All businesses

87,446 96,935 +10.9%

Percent Hispanic 3.91

5.95

+52.26%

Revenue (in millions) 2002 Hispanic-owned $213.7 All businesses

2007

Change

$460.4

+115.4%

$66,408.8 $86,488.4 +30.2%

Percent Hispanic 0.32

0.53

+65.4%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau kbramson@projo.com

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Supporting Media Articles

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Hispanic immigrants make their mark in R.I. Milton Valencia January 29, 2001 Editor’s note: This is the first in a four-part series on the local Hispanic community, its culture and background and its impact on area business and industry. CENTRAL FALLS -- There’s a new generation in the Hispanic community. Immigrants from the 21 Latin American republics have adapted to life in America, having worked 40 years ago in textile mills, receiving poor wages and being a separate part of society because of a language barrier. But after two score years of immigration, Latinos are integrating into the American lifestyle, learning English and becoming citizens, working management jobs and owning businesses, living in single-family homes -- and now a political era is dawning. "Everything has changed completely," said Patricia Martinez, former 17-year-director of Progreso Latino, the largest Hispanic-community-based agency in the state. Latinos are now living the "American dream," she said. But it’s been a struggle. In the 1960s, Martinez said, Hispanics first worked in mills, recruited by textile factories in the Blackstone Valley area for their existing skills in the trade. Many had family already living here, and followed their grandfathers and grandmothers, aunts and uncles. Some came to escape political chaos in their native countries, or economic depression, says Marta Martinez, publications director at the Rhode Island Historical Society, who also researched Hispanic immigration for 10 years. Political dictatorship and economic failure caused people in various Latin American countries to turn violent, stealing money and killing, she said. So people fled those countries, she said, with northern Rhode Island being the target primarily to people from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala. But at the time the entire Hispanic community was separate from the existing, mostly white community, Patricia said, because Latinos were a different color and spoke a different language. That’s where the titles "Hispanic" and "Latino" came from, she said. To the rest of the community, Patricia 144

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said, a Colombian person was no different from a Dominican -- they were both considered Hispanic, she said. The Hispanic community shopped at the same stores and ate at the same restaurants, Patricia said. They worked at the same factories, doing the same jobs, living their lives communicating with only each other because they could relate to each other. Hispanic families tended to live together, Marta said, with white landlords not wanting to rent to Latinos. It wasn’t always a racism issue, she said, but a lack of communication in language. The Hispanic community was a giant family, Marta said. The consensus was "we’re here for each other," she said. "It was a unity." But the fact that the Hispanic community was a separate group wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, Patricia said. "Numbers are powerful," she said. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Hispanics were finally recognized because of the large population that immigrated here. Existing restaurants and stores eventually began hiring Latinos because they could cater in language to the rest of that community. By that time, Hispanics were becoming more aware of the American lifestyle -- the dream to own a house and a business, and to send their children to college. The community realized it was left behind because it had a language barrier and didn’t know American laws. The community wasn’t represented in any political offices. Many weren’t American citizens, Patricia said. The Hispanic community realized it had to become part of the American society, Patricia said. That’s when community organizations such as Progreso Latino and Project Hope/Proyecto Esperanza began making an impact. The organizations offered English and literacy classes. Day care programs were offered so parents could work and have someone watch their children. "They needed to survive," Patricia said. People learned American history and studied to become citizens. More Hispanics started going to college. Catholic churches were more involved with the community because Hispanics had the same religious beliefs, Patricia said. Hispanics would start living their lives with the rest of the community, she said. "The community started to realize we weren’t that different," Marta said. Once citizens and once they learned the regulations and laws, people started taking loans to own businesses and homes, she said. "People were starting to wake up," Marta said. There are now Hispanic politicians, making laws that affect and support the Latino community, Marta said. © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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There are English as second language classes in schools, and applications and state documents available in Spanish. Parents can communicate with their child’s teachers, Patricia said, so they are more aware of what their son or daughter is doing everyday. "We’re living the American dream," Patricia said. But as Latino immigration continues, people must not forget the past, Patricia said. Much of the "American dream" is found in suburbs, she said, when people still struggle in the cities like here and in Pawtucket and Providence. Many of the people who fought for the dream have children who never knew the struggle. "We have to educate," she said. "Because we have a continuous growth, and we can’t let history repeat itself." There’s a new immigration of Hispanics, still fighting to be accepted, to learn English and have successful jobs, she said. "Unless we remind the younger generation of the struggles, we’ll go back again and the same thing could happen." ©The Pawtucket Times 2001

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Latinos find success in U.S. Milton Valencia January 30, 2001 Editor's note: This is the second in a four-part series on the local Hispanic community, its culture and background and its impact on area business and industry. CENTRAL FALLS-- Octavio Muños sat in a maroon leather chair in the office of his soon-to-open bakery, La Sorpresa, on Dexter Street. Amid bright white walls, with a gold-bordered painting of an angel playing the guitar and a white Michelangelo statue replica beside him, Muños, 42, seemed small in his black leather jacket and pants. His cell phone rang. It was his wife, on the other side of the Square-Mile City at Muños 's other La Sorpresa bakery, on Broad Street. He talked to her in Spanish, sitting behind a giant, varnished desk. The Colombian bakery sells products and pastries made in that country. A visit from his father-in-law four years ago inspired Muños to open a Spanish bakery in a community where he figured demand would be high. Four years later, he sat in the office of his new bakery -- which, when complete, will be part of a company that is almost triple the size of Muños’s original operation. Muños is just one of several Hispanic entrepreneurs who are flourishing here --men and women whose first jobs in the area were usually in mills and factories, where they received basic lessons in the economic landscape of their new country. With the city's Hispanic population almost doubling over the last decade, more Latinos are opening businesses, expanding them and living at a higher standard than was evident in the not-too-distant past. "This is good news," said Tomás Alberto Ávila, executive director at Progreso Latino, the largest Hispanic community-based agency in the state. "Because our country's economic progress is linked to the well-being of Latino workers, the better off the community is, the better off we all are." William Sanchez has seen the struggle of business owners like himself, and has seen Dexter Street change over the decade from a slum to an avenue of merchants, many of them Hispanic, he said. "Here in Central Falls, more Spanish people are buying homes," Sanchez said. "More Spanish people are owning their own businesses. "As a whole, we are improving," Sanchez said. "We are the most effective part of this community. © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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Just 10 years ago, the 51-year-old was working in a textile mill. But having earned an accounting certificate in Colombia, Sanchez struggled to improve himself. He took English classes at Progreso Latino and went to the Community College of Rhode Island in Lincoln. In 1993, he opened his business in a small building on Broad Street, offering services including bookkeeping, tax tabulation, accounting, insurance and payroll. He saved scrupulously, and three years later, with a bank loan, he bought the newly-built 661 Dexter St. building and opened Williams Financial Services, Inc., a business that was similar to his original accounting enterprise -- but double its size. Muños and Sanchez's businesses are just two of the many on Dexter Street owned by Latinos, including jewelry stores, hair salons, restaurants and convenience stores. Just 14 years ago, Muños, who had been a farmer in his native Colombia, worked in a jewelry factory in New York. But things were tough then, he said. In 1988, he moved to this city because he had friends here. When his father-in-law visited and wanted a snack, there was nothing Muños could give him, he said, that he would like or even recognize. With that experience in mind, Muños opened the Broad Street store, which specializes in ethnic pastries and cheese-breads from the "old country," he said. "And now four years later, I have the experience of running a business," Muños said through an interpreter. He sat smiling behind the varnished desk, slouched into a giant chair. He looked out a large window to the side of the office. "The goal is to open more bakeries, maybe a franchise," he said. "Next, I'd like to open one in Providence." ©The Pawtucket Times 2001

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Hispanic population, income rises locally in the past decade Milton Valencia January 30, 2001 CENTRAL FALLS -- Over the last decade, the number of Hispanics in this area jumped significantly. The economic well-being of that population is on the upswing, too -- but not dramatically so. Since 1990, median income of Hispanic households in this state rose while poverty for Latino families dropped, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 1998 and 1999, the average Hispanic-family income increased 6.1 percent, from $28,956 to $30,735. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for Hispanic families dropped over those two years, from 25.6 percent to 22.8 percent. Meanwhile, the state’s Hispanic population grew by 50 percent since 1990. With that increase, Latinos came to represent seven percent of the state’s population, according to statistics. In this city, there were 2,025 children in the 3,358-student school department in 1999, according to a school census conducted by the State-Wide Planning Department, the most accurate study since the 1990 U.S. Census, officials said. That number almost doubled from 1,026 students in 1990. Though the figures relate to students, they are a relative estimate of the city’s total Hispanic population -about which up-to-date census numbers are not yet available, said Al Johnson, assistant chief of the SWPD. "For too long, we saw poverty climbing and income falling for Latino families, but for the past four years the indicators have been going in the right direction," Thomas Avila, executive director at Progreso Latino, said. "This means the economic strength of the Latino community is finally being tapped and that critical domestic investments in Latino workers and families are paying dividends."

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Latinos living the American dream of home ownership Milton Valencia January 31, 2001 Editor's note: This is the third in a series on the local Hispanic community, its culture and background and its impact on area business and industry. CENTRAL FALLS -- Luis Lubo never had a backyard. When he emigrated from Colombia at age 7, he and his family of nine squeezed into a three-bedroom apartment on Washington Street. His family lived in poverty. Lubo left school at an early age to help support his brothers and sisters. An apartment was all they could afford. When he and his wife Jackie married 11 years ago, they moved into an apartment on Hunt Street. Lubo never had his own kitchen, or his own bathroom. He eventually began to dislike living in someone else's home, he said. "You get tired of paying rent and never seeing something for yourself," he said. So he and Jackie saved their money. And three years ago, the Lubo family bought the house at 963 Lonsdale Ave., which includes a kitchen and dining room, two bathrooms, a living room and three bedrooms. Now, Lubo is busy maintaining his "own home." His two kids, Luis, 7, and Kayla, 10, play ball in the yard. And Jackie decorates the front porch with seasonal flowers and ornaments. "It's a good feeling," Lobo, 37, said. "You're the landlord. "You can appreciate life," he said. It's "the American dream with the white picket fence," he said. As the Hispanic population in this city grows, and as members of that community continue to move up the income ladder, more Latinos are living better and buying their own homes. And many potential homeowners are learning of programs they can participate in to help them get their piece of the dream. 150

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Lubo's home is one of several homes city-built since 1996. The city buys land, restores it and moves a modular home there for sale. The city built two homes on Lonsdale Avenue, two on Cross Street and one each on High, Washington and Hunt streets. And Hispanic families bought four of those seven homes, according to Merrick Cook, director of the city Planning Department. At the same time, Latino families are taking advantage of the city's Home Buyers Assistance Program, established in 1996. Using federal Community Development Block Grants, the program offers $1,500 to qualified families to make a down payment or for closing costs on a home. Of the program's 73 participants, 43 have been Hispanic families, Cook said. "The numbers are quite impressive," Cook said. "In the last five years we've seen more single-familyhomes, many of them belonging to Hispanic families." At REACH, a non-profit homebuyers assistance program, 10 of the entity's 14 applicants are Hispanic, said director Bill Siemers. "There's a lot going on out there," Cook said. "Hispanics are doing well here, as good as anyone else." Lubo's happy with his family's lifestyle now, he said, sitting on the porch on a sunny day. Always living in an apartment was "a driving force" to live better, Lubo said. "There are opportunities out there people don't even realize," he said. He plans on re-seeding his yard next summer for grass. A do-it-yourself carpenter, he stays busy indoors, too. "I enjoy working around the house," he said. "The kids have space to play. When you live in someone else's home, you have to respect it as their home," he said. "But now my kids are motivated to do well for themselves, and have a home like this," he said. ツゥThe Pawtucket Times 2001

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RISBDC Latino Business Initiative Summary In October 2002 the RISBDC began building the framework for its Latino Business Initiative. Market research indicates that the Latino community is the fasting growing ethnic group in RI. Additionally, within this community also exists a growing monolingual business segment. As potential or existing business owners regardless of language, there exists a series of challenges that face entrepreneurs. What makes this situation even more challenging is if the entrepreneur speaks little or no English and they are not familiar with the resources available to them or understand how to navigate themselves through the maze of information. The RISBDC found that in order to effectively meet the needs of this business segment it was not enough to merely translate an existing service delivery model into Spanish. A sensitivity to the cultural and socioeconomic dynamics of this community needed to exist and be addressed clearly before attempting to deliver any type of program. This community is very aware that they are a group to be recognized and it can quickly identify programs or entities that are trying to capitalize on its growing numbers. Relationships, trust and credibility are all expected to be earned over time. This community is very loyal once they feel as though the attempts to bring resources to it are sincere and genuine, once that has happened they are very supportive and receptive. The RISBDC has been very successful in gaining access to the community via our Latino Business Initiative for the following reasons: Outreach: When the RISBDC first considered working on this initiative it identified key community based organizations and individuals within our identified target cities to participate with us in an advisory capacity. We felt that in order to develop an effective service delivery model we needed to better understand the challenges and community structure of these cities. Additionally these various groups also cater to different segments within the Latino community (Colombians, Puerto Rican, Dominican) and their unique needs. The group met twice (October/November) and based on their feedback and our experience, we developed a successes service delivery model in which the community is at the core. Resource Partners: Our community resource partners will continue to be instrumental in our success. They will continue to serve as our entry point and champions in the community. The RISBDC understands the importance of building upon the community model and utilizing existing resources that are willing to partner and realize the win/win dynamic. They are able to continue to serve their constituents and address the growing economic and business development needs of the community via their partnership with the RISBDC. In addition, the RISBDC is viewed at as a credible entity and resource due to its relationship with the existing CBO. Grassroots Community Outreach: It was clear based on the cultural dynamic that no amount of flyers or information on our website was going to drive these entrepreneurs to our workshops. This was going to be, and was, a very grassroots based approach. Our strategy included:

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Visiting the actual businesses, introducing ourselves and personally inviting them to participate

§

Effectively communicated the benefits and expected outcomes of these workshops and the RISBDC statewide resources and partnerships

§

Getting our community resource partners to help market the workshops and act as facilitator and conduit

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Gaining the support of our local Spanish media outlets that widely publicized the RISBDC and the initiative

December Pilot Program On December 18, 2002 the RISBDC successfully concluded its Latino Business Initiative pilot program at City Hall in Central Falls with 47 graduates. The 3 week pilot program, held at Progreso Latino, was designed to provide Spanish speaking participants with information on the development of a successful business plan. The success of the pilot program was a result of the support of our community resources partners, grassroots outreach and most importantly the need of this growing business segment. As a direct response to the need of this business community the RISBDC once again has partnered with Progreso Latino to offer a 10 week Spanish Entrepreneurship Series which began January 13, 2003. The RISBDC is very excited about the response and support from the Latino community not only from the city of Central Falls but also from the surrounding areas of Providence, Pawtucket and Woonsocket. 10 Week Spanish Entreprenurship Series- Serie Empresarial de 10 SemanasThe RISBDC officially launched its 10 core training series in the city of Central Falls at Progreso Latino. We graduated 51 people at the State House on Monday April 7, 2003. This class contained more existing business owners that our December Pilot Program. I would attribute this as a direct result of our outreach efforts, word of mouth, and press attention we received. Now that others have tested the waters for them, more existing business owners took the time to participate because they saw the value and had a need they saw the RISBDC filling. The RISBDC has partnered with South Side Broad Street to introduce the Entrepreneurship Series to the city of Providence which began on April 23rd. We have 102 people attending the workshops and a waiting list of approximately 25 people. Entrepreneurship Series topics: Business Basics Legal Structure Strategic Location Taxes Marketing Basics Market Research Marketing Communication & Public Relations Financials (balance sheets, operating statements, personal statements & cash flow)

Latinos in RI According to the 2000 US Census the total population of RI is 1,048,319, Latinos represent 9% of the population with 90,820 documented residents. In RI, there are 2 cities in which Latinos represent more than 25% of the total population, Pawtucket and Woonsocket. In the case of Central Falls and Providence, Latinos make up more than 4550% of the total population. According to the 1997 Economic Census there were 80,934 businesses of those 2,186 were Latino owned, representing 2.7%. Although, the following cities that we have identified to work with are as followed: City Central Falls Providence Pawtucket Cranston Woonsocket

Total Businesses 606 11,652 3,886 6,880 N/A

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Latino Businesses 100 731 190 274 N/A

% 17% 6.3% 4.9% 4% N/A 153


Milenio Associates, LLC RISBDC Latino Business Initiative Overview The RISBDC Latino Business Initiative is aimed at meeting the needs of the Spanish-speaking business communities of Rhode Island. We at the SBDC have the capacity, expertise, and network of partnering resources that allows us to assist all small businesses. However, the business owners that we have been able to help have been those who have English language proficiency. Unfortunately the Spanish-speaking business community to date, has not been able to benefit directly from the RISBDC because we presently do not offer any services to this community in Spanish. This is an underserved and underrepresented segment of the business community which has not been assisted with their business needs and concerns. There is a great potential to make a tremendous impact in this community with the RISBDC’s involvement. We have currently been working with key members of the Latino community to develop an initiative aimed at meeting the needs of this growing segment. Objective Our mission is review our currents services and with the understanding and sensitivity to the needs and challenges of the Spanish-speaking business community, tailor a unique service delivery model with certain training programs in mind. Our initiative aims at meeting the socioeconomic and cultural needs of the growing monolingual Spanish speaking business community. The goal, however, is not to take our current service delivery model (workshops/consulting/technical assistance) and just perform a translation of the existing material. Our objective is have local community based organizations (CBOs) in addition to other representative community entities, act in advisory capacity to the RISBDC as we move forward. Each group identified below plays a major role in the development and implementation of this initiative. By involving key representatives of these groups we are gaining valuable insight and access to different segments of the Spanish-speaking business community.

Community Based Organizations – – – –

Understands needs of community it services Established trust and credibility with community Currently offering variety of programs Act as a RISBDC host or referral source

Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce – – – –

Existing Latino business membership Act as partner and/or referral source On pulse of Latino business/economic trends Facilitate additional contacts/resources

Local community leaders – – – –

Direct access to community Assistance with grass roots efforts Understanding of socioeconomic needs of the community Act as facilitator Representative of the Latino small business community – –

Provide insight to challenges and obstacles Help identify which RISBDC resources would be most helpful to this community

Aid in grassroots efforts Latino Business Model 154

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Latino Business Model Community The Spanish-speaking business community is at the core of this service delivery model. The community is comprised of both Spanish speaking and bilingual/bicultural individuals from the Central Falls/Pawtucket/Woonsocket and Providence/Cranston areas. The other entity representing the community core of the model is comprised of community-based organizations which serves as an RISBDC resource partner and community liaison.

RISBDC Training The RISBDC will develop workshops and trainings with a socioeconomic and cultural awareness based on the unique needs of the community. The objective is to determine, with the assistance of our resource partners and community, what areas of business or topics seems to be of most concern to the community at this time. To date, based on the information we have been able to attain, it appears as though it may be in the area of business basics and developing a business plan. The RISBDC will work with its staff and community resource partners to identify what information should be covered within these areas, how it should be covered, and by whom. Technical Assistance/one-on-one consulting The RISBDC has a network of over 70 consultants, all experts in their field, that we match with our clients on an as need basis. The RISBDC is currently recruiting bilingual consultants who would be able to assist our Spanish speaking clients by way of one-on-one consulting or as presenters of our workshops.

Mentoring Option 1 The RISBDC offers trainings/workshops year round to the business community and assigns a certain amount of hours to our consultants for the one-on-one counseling. However, there will come a point where the community must step in as the RISBDC is not in a position to provide individual technical assistance for an extended period of time. Our community partners should become an extended resource to the business community by developing an extended mentorship relationship. The CBOs that we have identified are staples within their communities and are experts in the communities which they service. This follow up activity serves as a further point of contact and reassurance to the business owner. This system would act as yet another vehicle set up to help prevent their failure. One example of how an organization could develop a small business mentorship component would be through community volunteers. If one looks at the profile of the new wave of Spanish speaking immigrants you would find that many of them are professionals with established careers in their native countries. They have left their countries for a variety of reasons and have come to the US in particular to RI because they may already have family residing here. Furthermore, they are aware of the large Latino population in this small state and are looking to become a part of the established network.

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Milenio Associates, LLC These new groups of immigrants brings with them a wealth of knowledge and are very well educated. Many of them are visiting CBOs and making connections to the community and are eager to meet people and integrate themselves within the local infrastructure. One way of creating a “win win” situation is to allow these new members of our community to become part of the mentorship initiative and act as advisors. They in turn participate with the community, utilize their expertise, and may potentially gain access to jobs via the business capacity that they are helping to increase.

Option 2 Existing businesses that have benefited from the RISBDC Latino Outreach Initiative and would like to give back to the community would volunteer to participate in the mentorship model as an advisor/counselor.

Strategy Our initiative will be officially launched at the beginning of 2003 using the 2 cities in RI which boasts that highest percentage of Latino businesses, Central Falls and Providence. For the first Core Series schedule which should last 810 weeks the organizations that will host the RISBDC workshops are Progreso Latino (Central Falls) and Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce (Providence). This is a community effort and we expect other Latino based community agencies to host RISBDC workshops as we move forward. We realize that different agencies cater to different segments of the community and we want to ensure reaching all of those who need our services. For this reason we are undertaking a very grassroots based approach. Many in the community we are trying to reach have come to the US due to the following reasons: –

Political strife in their native country -Do not trust their government not entities that might be affiliated with them

Poor economic conditions -Seeking better life for themselves and/or their families -Are professionals in their country but cannot find work

– – –

Have family already residing in RI and want to join them Have been informed that there is a large population of Latinos in RI and strong network

Many of these people: – – – – – –

Have difficulty with the English language or do not speak it at all Feel most comfortable with someone who is Latino, not just persons who speaks Spanish Do not have access to the internet May not have immediate transportation-may rely on others or take public transport Do not trust government entities or similar organizations Are very loyal once they feel satisfied and comfortable

RISBDC Community Organization Partnerships There are many community-based organizations that the RISBDC will be able to partner with as a host organization to our workshops and training programs. The key organizations that we will be working with are Progreso Latino, South 156

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Milenio Associates, LLC Side Broad Street, Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy (CHisPA) and the Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce. Other CBO’s: Projecto Esperanza (Project Hope) English for Action Elmwood Community Center Providence Plan International Institute Accion Other Other Community based groups (Latino): Quisqueya en Accion, RI Latino Civic Fund, Puertorriqueños Unidos, Centro Cultural Andino, Colombian American Association, GUARI (Guatemalans), Mexican Association Projected Milestones for 2003

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Progreso Latino Economic Development Center Will sponsor Primer Paso program to strengthen local small businesses Margarita Guedes Director Central Falls, RI (December 2, 2004) - Progreso Latino, Inc., the region’s largest Latino service agency, will sponsor through its Economic Development Center and its partners a program to develop technical, management and lending assistance programs that will allow small businesses owners to refine their business skills and expand their networks of federal, state and local resources. Starting on February 7, 2005, the PLEDC and Milenio Associates will co-sponsor an 11-part day technical business course at Johnson and Wales University, in cooperation with the students from that University’s International Center for Entrepreneurship. The “Primer Paso, fast-track” training aims to facilitate the small business planning process by providing an initial overview, assessment and mapping plan for the potential entrepreneur and/or small business loan applicant. Students from the University will provide one on one technical support to program graduates. The program will use numerous PLEDC partners more effectively by directing qualified referrals to the proper resources and providing documented follow up. Attendees receive a certificate of certification when they complete the twelve classes and have access to ongoing support and services. An open house for registration will take place on Tuesday January 4, 2005 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Progreso Latino Inc., 626 Broad Street, Central Falls, RI. Progreso Latino’s Economic Development Center (PLEDC) is a public initiative that was established as a result of a vision to promote the economic advancement of the micro-business community in Rhode Island. The PLEDC in partnership with municipalities and city government agencies, lending institutions, universities and other communitybased organizations will address the needs of the small business community in Rhode Island. "I am pleased that Johnson & Wales University's initiatives will provide start-up seminars and mentoring support for aspiring entrepreneurs utilizing both JWU business students and faculty," said Larry Bennett, director of the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship at the University's College of Business. Bennett added that, "A major objective in planning and implementing this initiative is to provide economic development support for aspiring business people. Our primary and initial emphasis revolves around linking business enterprises with the mainstream economies of both the private and public sectors in our area while involving Johnson & Wales University business/entrepreneurship students in the process.” “With the launch of el Primer Paso, Progreso Latino will spearhead the creation of many community-based for profit economic development enterprise established to employ and train constituents, set industry excellence standards, and promote socially responsible entrepreneurs”, said Tomás Alberto Ávila, President, Milenio Associates. Progreso Latino is a multi-service, non-profit, community based organization, whose mission is to provide comprehensive and quality services that promote education, economic development, leadership and social progress for Latinos and other immigrants. “Thanks to the commitment of our many wonderful partners and advisory committee members, we’ll make sure The Center is “the one stop center” for business in search of available resources as well as developing and coordinating new programs not currently available in the state of Rhode Island,” said Edwin Cancel, Executive Director, Progreso Latino. For more information on the PLEDC or on Progreso Latino’s programs, call Margarita Guedes at 728.5920 ext 317. 158

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Progreso Latino Creates Center To Help SmallBusiness Owners The center will help put business owners in touch with resources such as training classes and lending institutions. 01:00 AM EST on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 BY TATIANI PINA Journal Staff Writer

CENTRAL FALLS -- Progreso Latino has joined forces with universities, lending institutions, business training centers and the mayors of two cities to open an economic development center at the social agency. The center will help entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and help residents looking to start new ventures. Progreso's executive director, Edwin Cancel, announced the creation of the center and the appointment of its director during a news conference yesterday in a conference room on the agency's fourth floor. Margarita Guedes, who ran South Side Broad Street in Providence, was named the director of the Economic Development Center. Guedes said there is a "huge gap" between small businesses and resources such as training and lending institutions. "We want to serve as a clearing house," she said. The agency will put business owners and those looking to start a business in touch with training classes, university resources and lending institutions. To assure that the center is successful, Progreso has created an advisory committee that includes representatives from Roger Williams and Johnson & Wales universities, Dexter Credit Union, Fleet Bank, Rhode Island Micro Enterprise Association, the Small Business Development Center and the mayors of Central Falls and Pawtucket. Progreso is also working with mayors Charles Moreau, of Central Falls, and James E. Doyle, of Pawtucket, to start a business association that can meet regularly to establish needs that can be brought back to the advisory committee, Cancel said. Progreso Latino's Economic Development Center is a great way to bring higher education and the business community together, said Mark A. Kravatz, community service learning coordinator for the Alan Shawn Feinstein Enriching America Program at Johnson & Wales. "The resources you can get from working with the businesses and colleges, we can give great support to you through our faculty," Kravatz said.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Steven Bravo, who runs Cineramalatino.com, a small company that brings Latin American films to Providence, said that small businesses need training and the help of lending institutions to be viable. He participated in business training before he launched his enterprise. "Those are the kinds of resources we need if we are to grow and get stronger and become part of the economy," Bravo said.

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Progreso Latino, Johnson & Wales University Honor First Graduates David Casey The Pawtucket Times 04/15/2005 PROVIDENCE -- "The backbone of the U.S. economy is small business," said Ned Levine, chief strategy officer for Johnson and Wales University, "because every business started out as a small business." The entrepreneur, the lifeblood of American commerce, and her transformative influence on her family and community was the focus of Primer Paso/First Step FastTrac, a bilingual training program, established through a partnership between Progreso Latino and Johnson & Wales University to provide small business education, support and networking opportunities to prospective Latino businesspeople. Local and state dignitaries, from Lieutenant Gov. Charles Fogarty to Secretary of State Matt Brown were on hand to celebrate the achievement, not only of the program’s first 24 graduates, but the success of the program itself, a collaboration between the university’s Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship and Progreso Latino, the state’s largest direct services agency. The basic idea behind the program is that enduring social progress for Rhode Island’s minority communities can only be achieved through economic development. Economic development, the premise concludes, can only be achieved through intensive training: hands-on instruction, partnerships with educational institutions and the support of local lenders and government officials. The success of a motivated few, said Cancel, will not only create jobs within the community, but increase its future crop of motivated entrepreneurs. It was conceived by Progreso Latino’s executive director, Edwin Cancel; the agency’s Economic Development Center director, Margarita Guedes; and JWU Larry Friedman International Center director, Larry Bennett. "The standard approach is to teach large numbers of people some basic entrepreneurial skills," Cancel said. "But we decided it would be more advantageous to train a small number of people who are capable of succeeding, and give them the support and guidance to ensure they do succeed, to give them the skills and knowledge they need to create a viable business plan, and to bring the local lending community into the conversation, so they can build a relationship with lenders along the way." The program’s 12 nighttime workshops, covering such topics as finance, market research, pricing, product/service and cost-pricing strategies, were taught in English (First Step) and Spanish (Primer Paso) by Tomás Alberto Ávila, the managing partner of Milenio Associates real estate and former president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee. Javier Brown, a first-generation Venezuelan immigrant who is contemplating his second Ocean State business, is one of Primer Paso’s inaugural graduates. "I’ve already opened a packaging company called O2J Inc., and now I’m getting into the food manufacturing business," said Brown, who conjured up the recipe for a canned snack with the help of his wife, Ana. "It is a cake, in a can with pudding and fruit or chocolate -- we call it Ana Brown Products."

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Milenio Associates, LLC According to Brown, professional consultation and business planning support are the program’s most valuable resources. "A lot of people start businesses and spend a lot of money before they know how successful they will be," he said. "Here you can test the feasibility of your idea with professionals before you spend a dollar." The reception was a particularly special occasion for Cancel, who will step down from his three year directorship in two weeks. In recognition of Cancel’s contribution to the Latino community, and inasmuch as Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the state’s population, Rhode Island’s economy, state Treasurer Paul J. Tavares presented Cancel with a citation. "This has been an incredibly special night for me," Cancel told The Times, "not only because we are here celebrating the success of our graduates but because we have consummated an ongoing relationship with a top-notch university like Johnson and Wales."

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Latinos Taking New Entrepreneurial Skills To Market By JULIETTE WALLACK Special to the Journal Wednesday, April 13, 2005 Editor's note: Students in an advanced feature writing class at Brown University were assigned to write a feature story about a street that conveys a sense of place. The project, in its seventh year, presents aspects of city life from the perspective of college journalism students. PROVIDENCE -- Tomorrow, 12 Rhode Island residents and their families will gather at Johnson & Wales University for a graduation. But they won't be there for JWU's traditional ceremony. The 12 adults who will be graduating want to start their own businesses, and for weeks, they've gathered at JWU for a new class designed to teach members of the Latino community how to do that. The commencement will herald the end of the course and the skills the budding business owners have gained. Some are in their 20s; others are middle-aged. Every Wednesday night since the beginning of the year, they have come to class at the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship. The large, airy center is used during the day by JWU students. Just before 6 p.m. on this class night, the Latino students begin to trickle into the center, carrying binders and bags. Greeting each other, "Hola, buenos tardes," and shaking hands, the students settle down at tables. . Located in an old mill building that echoes Providence's former industrial economy, the center at 10 Abbott Park Place is nestled at the edge of a tiny park abutting Weybosset Street, tucked between JWU's administration building and Beneficent Congregational Church. In a building in which jewelry was once manufactured, students formulate business plans and work with Rhode Island businesses to gain practical experience, integrating technology with their endeavors. Computer kiosks sit near industrial-style support columns, where machinery likely once sat, providing a portal to the Internet. Pipes and ducts in the exposed ceiling hang above stylish light wood floors. The 12-week course -- known as First Step FastTrac -- teaches the entrepreneurs how to make a business plan and could help them secure start-up financing, according to Margarita Guedes, director of economic development for Progreso Latino, the Central Falls-based organization that is sponsoring the course. . An English version of the course is available around the country, but this is the only one in New England in Spanish, Guedes said. This class will be the first to graduate from what Guedes hopes will become a twiceyearly offering.

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"Buenos tardes," Javier Brown says as he walks in. He's a stocky man who comes in smiling every week and is known as the student who always asks a lot of questions. Tonight, he carries a duffel bag and a small red picnic cooler. "Buenos tardes," responds Tomás Alberto Ávila from the front of the classroom. Avila works as a consultant to small Latino-owned and operated businesses and is teaching the course. Brown, a 38-year-old who owns and runs a successful Pawtucket-based jewelry packaging business, sits at a table toward the back of the classroom. The class is given at the dinner hour, and some participants arrive with takeout food, but Brown doesn't open the cooler. Instead, he leafs through his binder of course material. Tonight's class will feature a guest speaker: JWU's entrepreneurship center director Larry Bennett. Bennett doesn't speak Spanish, so a JWU student will translate. But before Bennett takes the podium, Brown raises his hand and tells Avila he needs to make a presentation. Standing up, he strides to the front of the room, carrying his red cooler. As he speaks, Brown pulls little plastic containers from his cooler with evident pride. The contents of these containers are what his business idea is based on. . Inside is a simple mixture -- instant pudding, canned fruit and lady fingers -- and Brown wants to get the sweet treat on grocery shelves. This is the first time the class has seen or tried Brown's product. He passes around plastic spoons, and class members dig in. "Bueno," nods one class member. "Si," another murmurs after his first bite. "Es muy bueno," another one cries. Brown grins, hands out the remaining samples and settles back into his seat. Brown, who emigrated from Venezuela five years ago, has high hopes for the pudding concoction. The mixture was one of his wife's staple recipes, but when friends and relatives started requesting it at gettogethers and events, Brown got an idea. "My plan is to sell this stuff," he said, though he doesn't know when it will be on grocery store shelves. "That's why I'm here," learning how to start a business oriented around a product. Brown, who lives in Cumberland, has business experience, but making and marketing a product is new for him. The product will be called Anna Brown, he said, which is his wife's name. It's a nondescript name because he hopes to expand into other products. "Like Sara Lee," he proclaimed. "She started with cake, and now she has everything!" About 30 people applied for the 12 spots in this class, and they were selected after interviews. Those whose business ideas weren't mature enough were directed toward other resources, Guedes said. Those who were admitted have some business experience, either in the United States or in their previous country of residence. Thestudents hope to open businesses that include a hair salon, a construction company, a clothing store, a recording studio and a consulting firm. "It was a detailed application process," Guedes said. "We wanted to get the right profile of people who will follow through." 164 © Tomás Alberto Ávila


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One of those selected was Zulimar Vidal, 21, who has arrived early to talk with Avila about ordering business cards. Vidal, who is Puerto Rican, is the youngest in the class. Her youth is deceiving. She's already run a business out of her Providence home, selling costume jewelry to friends, relatives and others who heard about her through word of mouth. She called her business Lady Cartel Fashions but after some success, she started losing money. She's wants to get things back on track. She hopes to eventually expand to sell a clothing line integrated with popular music styles. She thinks there's a niche for people who want to "dress hip-hop or dress rock." Vidal is one of the class's more advanced students. She already has a business portfolio, several months in business behind her, and she's thinking about designing clothing and opening a store in Rhode Island. She says she's learning new things in the class that will be helpful. "It's a great opportunity, especially for the Latino community," she said, her long hair bouncing as she spoke. "They don't even know what the resources are out there." Latinos are a significant part of the Rhode Island economy. According to the Census Bureau, almost 9 percent of state residents in 2000 were Hispanic -- a number that is expected to grow over the next 15 years, according to JWU's Bennett. And in 2002, Rhode Island was among five states with the fastest growing number of Hispanic-owned businesses. In 1997, the latest year for which statistics are available, 2,186 Rhode Island businesses, or 7.7 percent of all businesses in the state, were Latino-owned and operated. Avila said that number has increased. , But people of Hispanic descent still have a hard time securing loans from banks and investors, says Guedes, and that's something she hopes will change with this course. As the entrepreneurs educate themselves, they realize what they need to have to impress financial backers, she says. Avila said he sees a common trait among his students. They're much like the "typical small business owner," who "start businesses with what they have. In many cases, they're not familiar with the different laws, structures." Liandra Martinez, 31, wants to open a consulting firm that caters to Latinos and nonprofit organizations. As an Olneyville community organizer, she's been toying with the idea of going into business for a while. "As far as the consulting, there are not a lot [of firms] that are Latino-based," says Martinez. But her idea is changing as the course progresses; because of the course, she's thinking about her potential clients and about whether she should have an office or work out of her home. Martinez said she's "excited about the help we're going to get. We don't have support networks." When she was planning the course last fall, Guedes approached several colleges, but JWU seemed like the best fit, largely because of Bennett's eagerness to involve students in the process. During the last few weeks ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila

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of the course, JWU students helped the Latino entrepreneurs research their businesses and write business plans. "The students get the real life experience," Guedes said, and the "bicultural experience that the students have" is particularly valuable. "They're there for a common goal." Tonight, JWU senior Silvano Grego, a 25-year-old native of Argentina, is serving as an interpreter for Bennett, who is teaching the class about different types of marketing and advertising. Many Latino entrepreneurs have trouble defining and expanding their market, according to Guedes. Many find it easiest to sell to a Latino clientele. But to make a business grow, any entrepreneur needs to consider selling to multiple communities. "So here, through this exercise, they spend time really researching," Guedes said, gesturing at the center's main room. "If you're thinking of just a Latino market as your customer base are you satisfied?" Bennett asks the class. The students shake their heads no --they've learned that they need to draw a large number of customers, regardless of ethnicity. The students are attentive while Bennett speaks, taking notes and peppering him with questions. One, who wants to expand his appliance sales business, pesters Bennett about what type of advertising is better -radio or newspaper. After an hour and a half of lecture and discussion, Bennett wraps things up; it's already past 8 p.m. But the students don't rush out. Some pack their items slowly, talking to their classmates about what was discussed in class. Others stop to compliment Brown on his dessert. "Gracias. Gracias," he says, smiling.

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Latino entrepreneurs looking to succeed Editorials Published 12/16/2006 Issue 21-36

For three months, readers of Providence Business News have followed the experiences of a dozen Latino entrepreneurs as they made their way through a R.I. Small Business Development Center program designed to help them succeed. The challenges they face are daunting. In addition to a language barrier that serves to isolate them, some lack basic business skills and don’t know how to find and gain access to capital. What our readers have also come to realize is that this is not just an individual problem for the immigrant business men and women – it is a brake on the state’s economic development. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos represent the only demographic in the state that has gained population over the last five years. Not surprisingly, Latino-owned businesses are also growing, and now include more than 3,400 enterprises, with sales exceeding $210 million annually. The only rational response to these facts is to reach out in a concerted way to the Latino business community with partnerships and training programs that will help them not just succeed, but thrive. The Latino business community is hungry for such opportunities, and many would-be entrepreneurs are doing their part to reach out themselves (the RISBDC’s next class for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs starts Jan. 31). But they need to see the larger community reaching back to them.

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Primer Paso’s new grads already see improvement By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Providence Business News Published 12/16/2006 Issue 21-36 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News followed 12 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the last of 12 articles in the series. For the entrepreneurs who participated in the R.I. Small Business Development Center’s first Primer Paso FastTrac program, the graduation ceremony was more than just a celebration. It was a validation of their desires to grow their existing small businesses or start new ones. “We are 12 people with 12 different ideas for business,” Oscar Mejias told his classmates at the event. “We are different in our thinking, but with the same dream.”

Each entrepreneur walked away from the experience with a changed PBN PHOTO BY STEPHANIE EWENS perspective on how to start, operate and grow a business, he said. And many ALL DONE: A dozen Latino entrepreneurs celeb course. already have applied what they learned in their businesses. Andres Almonte said participating in the free, 12-week business planning workshop – taught in Spanish – has changed his ideas on how to best differentiate his business, ABC Insurance, from its competitors. Since taking the first class on Sept. 13, Almonte said, he has begun to hold weekly meetings with his three-employee staff to discuss ways to improve customer service. One offshoot of those meetings has been the adoption of customerservice follow-up calls. His firm also has started marketing to existing clients who have let their car, homeowner’s or life insurance policies expire. In addition, Almonte has begun seeking a microloan from the R.I. Economic Development Corporation, so he can hire more employees to manage his growing client base. Miriam Garcia, another participant, said she believes she was able to qualify for a $50,000 loan from Credit Union Central Falls as a direct result of her participation in Primer Paso. “They liked my business plan,” Garcia said, adding that she had used the SBDC’s services to help her compile the business plan while taking the class. Learning how to manage cash flow also helped her, she said, especially when communicating with her accountant. Garcia is midway through opening a meat market, called Fiesta Meats, in Central Falls. Wilfredo Chirinos said he has noticed an increase in customers since he began taking the workshop. 168 © Tomás Alberto Ávila


Milenio Associates, LLC Its marketing lessons changed the way Chirinos markets his computer repair and maintenance business, PC Repair & Network, he said. Now he offers coupons and discounts on services in order to generate business. Tomás Alberto Ávila, an SBDC business counselor and the class facilitator, said he estimates 52 percent of the business-owning participants enhance their existing businesses while taking Primer Paso. He estimates 30 percent of those who wanted to start a new business actually will. Those statistics are based on past Primer Paso participants, whom Avila taught when the program was part of Progreso Latino’s services, before the SBDC picked it up. Asked how he measures the growth of his students’ abilities from when they start taking the class to graduation, Avila said, “I’ve come to accept the fact that the most measurable aspect of the participants is in their change of mind, as to how they view their business and how they implement change in their business ideas or their existing business.” Avila cited Veronica Martinez as an example. When she started Primer Paso, he said, she had been thinking of starting a life-coaching or spa business with a friend. The class helped her to refocus her attention on a more viable business model. Now, Martinez is taking serious steps to open a translating business, because it is something she already has the knowledge and capacity to do, he said. It will be a professional extension of the translating services she already provides for her community. “At the beginning of the class, I was lost,” Martinez said. “Now, I know I’m going to have to sit down and do the business plan. I’m going to need several people to help me. … It’s not something I’m going to jump into without planning.” Avila said he will follow up with each participant through scheduled appointments. He also will invite them to participate in Primer Paso alumni group meetings, so they will continue networking with each other and will meet new graduates of the class. John Cronin, executive director of the SBDC, said he hopes the Primer Paso participants will return for a series of business-to-business forums as well. The forums would give them an opportunity to network with a wider array of entrepreneurs, not just with fellow Latinos. “By building a strong network of Latino entrepreneurs, we can connect the mainstream entrepreneurs with them to make [all of the state’s] businesses stronger,” Cronin said. “The state needs to take advantage of its creative entrepreneurs. … It’s our job to connect them.”

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‘Primer Paso’ A First Step For Hispanic Firms By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 09/23/2006 Issue 21-24

Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 14 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the first article in the series. Hector Monzon wants to open a Guatemalan restaurant. Marta Alvisuriz wants to start a laundromat. Miriam Garcia wants to open a meat market. Domingo Tejada wants to start a small construction company. Wilfredo Chirinos owns a computer service and repair company, but he and partner Oscar Mejias want to expand into software development. Fidel Calcagno sells Web-site domains on the Internet, but he’s looking to purchase a water treatment company. Cesar Cuevas wants to expand his restaurant, Papiajo Frituras. Each of these entrepreneurs is a participant in a 12-week program held every Wednesday at the R.I. Small Business Development Center, at Johnson & Wales University. This is the first year the SBDC will sponsor and facilitate the course, entitled Primer Paso (literally “First Step”) FastTrac, which was developed by the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a national organization that supports the creation of an entrepreneurial society through grants and other programs. The course “looks at the whole process of starting a business or growing a business,” said Tomás Alberto Ávila, an SBDC business counselor and course facilitator. “It gives them the opportunity to analyze themselves and the idea they have.” In 2004, Avila said, he became the first bilingual FastTrac facilitator certified by the Kauffman Foundation. He also was one of the first to translate the course into Spanish two years ago, when it was part of Progreso Latino’s programming. Since then, he’s followed it to the SBDC, which took over the course because Progreso Latino wanted to focus its attention on other areas, Avila said. Over the class’s 12 weeks, the 14 participants will each develop a feasibility plan, based on their business idea and research, he said. That will include gathering information for a market analysis, developing pricing strategies, determining financial feasibility through cash-flow analysis, and finalizing a cash-flow report. The first class was an introduction. “This is your show,” Avila told the class. “Everybody gets the same information,” he said. “But each feasibility plan ends up different.” Avila said he often works with participants one-on-one over the course of the 12-week program. And he follows up with them, once it’s over. 170

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Milenio Associates, LLC “It’s an eye-opener to the business community,” he said. “Many with an existing business, if they [were to] continue the way they are going, would fail.” It’s important to the state’s federally funded SBDC, which started a Latino initiative four years ago, because the Hispanic population in Rhode Island has grown 27 percent during the past five years, said John Cronin, executive director of the SBDC. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses has grown even more sharply, by 56.2 percent from 1997 to 2002, to 3,415 statewide with about $200 million in annual sales, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Cronin added that the accountants and bank managers he spoke with during needs assessment of the SBDC’s services and programs noted they are noticing an emerging community of savvy Latino entrepreneurs, who, because of the language, aren’t getting the business training they need. Four years ago, the SBDC started offering a 10-week business planning workshop in Spanish, to address the specific challenges Latino business owners face. About 600 entrepreneurs have attended that workshop since its inception. The addition of Primer Paso, Avila said, “brings with it the whole structure, all the steps necessary to do the feasibility plan prior to going into the business plan.” Avila told the class it is time to disassociate the word “Latino” from their businesses. Many Latino business owners are missing out on 90 percent of the business in Rhode Island, he said, because they migrate to areas dominated by Spanish speakers. Doing so allows them to cater to the Latinos who last year made up about 10.3 percent of the state’s population, according to Census Bureau estimates. But, Avila said, “They are missing out on opportunities to grow outside the Latino community.” Luis Rodriguez won’t have any trouble reaching outside the Latino community. He owns Wayland Bakery, in Wayland Square, on the East Side of Providence. Rodriguez has a business plan in his head, he said, but the day-to-day operations of his bakery have kept him too busy to write it down. Like many others, he didn’t always own a business. An elementary school in Guatemala, Rodriguez had to find a new career upon moving to the United States about eight years ago, he said. He said he got involved in the business by working for Daily Bread for about five years, before it folded. He worked his way up to head baker – then, when the opportunity arose to purchase Daily Bread’s Wayland Square bakery, he took it. Rodriguez said he is taking the class because he wants to learn. “If I want to expand, I’ll need loans,” he explained. And to get loans, he’ll need a business plan.

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An Entrepreneur’s Dream Requires Some Homework By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 09/29/2006 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the second article in the series. Miriam Garcia fondly remembers her father’s “social club” in Brooklyn. She can recall the pride he took in maintaining the club’s juke box, pool table, bar and display cases. She remembers the way he interacted with customers. That was before he died and her mother took Garcia, then 16 years old, and her four sisters to Puerto Rico. Garcia lived there for about 10 years before returning to the U.S. mainland. Now she has her own children – one 17, the other 13. She assesses new students for the Providence public schools to determine where they will be placed. But like her father, she wants to run her own business, and so, with two partners, she is opening a meat market in Pawtucket. She also hopes to open a day care center, after she retires from her school district job. That’s why Garcia is taking the Primer Paso FastTrac 12-week business planning course, taught by business counselor Tomás Alberto Ávila at the R.I. Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University. Avila is teaching the class in Spanish as part of an effort to reach out to the Latino business community. Garcia said that, although she is fluent in both Spanish and English, her partner’s primary language is Spanish, so she chose this class to help her as she, Felix Rodriguez (a butcher of 25 years) and Alexis Encarnacion open Fiesta Meats, off Broad Street. They hope to open the meat market by Oct. 28. But Garcia said they still have a lot of work to do. They are tearing up the uneven concrete floors, and building space for a walk-in cooler. “I’m still working on paperwork,” she said. Despite the difficulties of starting a business, the process also has helped to inspire Garcia’s day-care aspirations. “At first, you don’t want to take the risk,” she said. “We think we will fail … then you see there’s a chance. It’s going to take time and a lot of money to invest, but you can do it.” From the meat market, Garcia said she’s learned a few things “not to do,” such as spending money on rent, equipment and renovations before creating a business plan, acquiring the necessary permits and getting floor plans approved by the R.I. Department of Health. Avila told the class recently that many entrepreneurs start their businesses that way. “Most people spend the money, and then they plan.”

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Milenio Associates, LLC “The development of a business plan is not just for the purpose of obtaining a loan, but instead, its main purpose is to secure a successful business that will grow and produce positive revenue.” Garcia said she hadn’t realized a business plan was so involved. She thought it should be a basic outline, like a teacher’s lesson plan. “I didn’t know it was that important. I didn’t know it was important to grow your business,” he said. As homework, Avila gave the class a personal financial budget worksheet. “It’s pretty much for the individuals starting a business,” as opposed to those with existing businesses, he said. “Anyone who starts a business needs to make sure that their financials are in order.” As for Garcia, she said she is becoming anxious about Fiesta Meats’ opening this month, but she is gaining confidence about her plan to for a day-care center. There is a need for day care, she said. She sometimes sees 20 to 25 students a day coming into Providence’s school system to register for classes, and very often, they have young siblings. Garcia earned a degree in education in Puerto Rico and currently tutors children. “I think it’s one of my talents,” she said. But first, she must write a business plan. “That’s why I’m taking the class,” she said. “I want to do the first steps.”

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Entrepreneur Is Gearing Up To Grow His Repair Business By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 10/07/2006 Issue 21-26 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the third article in the series. Wilfredo Chirinos’ computer repair business, PC Repair & Network, used to be a one-man enterprise. He didn’t need much capital to start it – just a computer with Internet access, some basic tools and reference materials, and a small office. Most of his customers are referrals from friends or family, he said. That’s how he’s created a customer base while spending little money on marketing. And he’s managed to stay in business for five years. “Right now, I want to grow,” said Chirinos, who moved to Providence from Venezuela in 1994. Chirinos formed a partnership with Oscar Mejias two months ago to aid in expanding the business. But the pair is still short of resources to meet customer demand, he said. Their services include hardware maintenance and repair, virus and spyware removal, and network and software troubleshooting for individuals and small businesses. But expanding even more would mean hiring employees, purchasing more equipment and moving to a bigger space, and that is a “little scary,” he said. So Chirinos and Mejias are taking the R.I. Small Business Development Center’s Primer Paso FastTrac 12-week business planning course to determine how much money they will need for expansion and find the best possible way to finance it. Finance was the topic of a recent session of the class. SBDC business counselor Adriana Dawson spoke about personal credit scores – what they are, how they are calculated, how to improve them, and how important they are for securing a loan. “I would consider this the first phase of the educational piece on the loan process,” said Dawson, who is also the SBDC’s regional director for Pawtucket and Central Falls. “People might want to work on [improving] their credit scores three to four months before going to get a loan.” Credit management is a challenge for owners of existing businesses, she said, because they often use personal credit to finance the startup phase. “It can have a negative impact on their credit.” That was not the case for Chirinos. He said he started PC Repair & Network with his own money, while he was working as a quality-control inspector for a manufacturer of parts for refrigerators and air conditioners. “I didn’t have any problems with credit,” he said. “I was in very good standing.” But the class did give Chirinos helpful new information about the R.I. Economic Development Corporation’s microenterprise loan program. 174

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Milenio Associates, LLC Carmen Lorenzo, account executive for the RIEDC’s Every Company Counts program, said loans range from $5,000 to $50,000 for startups and $5,000 to $75,000 for existing businesses. They charge interest only for the first six months; then, borrowers are given a five-year payment plan. Every Company Counts’ micro-loan program started one year ago, said Louis Soares, director of business development and innovation at the RIEDC. The program evolved from conversations with small business owners in urban communities, many of them minorities, Soares said. “We didn’t have a finance package for smaller microenterprise,” he said. “We simply saw a market need.” Chirinos said such a loan might be an option for funding his company’s expansion. The program was one he hadn’t heard of before. Meanwhile, he said, he will continue planning to “develop the capacity to fulfill all clients’ needs.” He hopes to grow his business to “ensure the future of my sons,” he said. One is 6 years old; the other is 2. “This is a good time to take the class.”

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Lead-Safety Trainer Aims To Open Interpreting Firm By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 10/14/2006 Issue 21-27 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the fourth article in the series. Veronica Martinez has been providing translation services and filling out immigration paperwork for people in the Latino community for 10 years now. It is something she does at home at night and on weekends, as a favor. Her dream is to turn that sideline into a full-time, full-service translation business that also provides notary services, income-tax return preparation, immigration paperwork and an insurance brokerage – all bilingual. To help bring her dream to life, Martinez is taking the 12-week Primer Paso FastTrac business planning course, taught by R.I. Small Business Development Center business counselor Tomás Alberto Ávila. Identifying the value that products and services bring to the consumer was the topic of a recent session of the class, which meets at Johnson & Wales University’s Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship in downtown Providence. Avila encouraged the members of the class to think of reasons people might choose their products and services and ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. “I’m trying to get them to think outside the box” when it comes to products and services, Avila said. As an example, he said, a person who sells cell phones also might think about selling iPods and other small electronics, to broaden the client base. Martinez said she wants to offer interpreting services via conference calls, with three-way phone conversations between the interpreter, the client and the third party with whom the client wishes to communicate. The objective is to allow her client to access the interpreting service conveniently, from home – instead of having to travel to an office, as competitors often require. “Nobody has that, as far as I know,” she said. She also wants to emphasize customer service, she said. She wants to train her staff to be helpful and pleasant, because in her experience and that of many acquaintances, those skills are lacking, even in businesses that should be customer-focused. “I want to have a business where I’m going to bring pleasure to people,” she said. Martinez, who moved to Providence from Guatemala with her family when she was 15, hopes that by taking the business planning class, she will learn how to avoid classic mistakes, such as poor management of finances. “I’ve learned how difficult it is to write a business plan – but more importantly, to execute it,” she said.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Avila said many entrepreneurs “will have to struggle at being masters of everything, as opposed to being masters of the one position they held as employees.” Martinez currently works at the Community College of Rhode Island, as a training specialist for general contractors and tradesmen. She teaches them how to protect themselves while working with lead paint. Her goals for her business, she said, are to make it grow and prosper so she can retire and live comfortably while continuing to provide for her three children, who are 27, 19 and 16. Martinez said she is not going to limit her translating services to the Latino community. She hopes to offer services in as many languages as possible. The reason she started offering translation services from her home was to fill a need, she said. Her early clients “had no one” to help them communicate with the gas company or landlords or government agencies, Martinez said. And she saw other translators were filling out immigration papers without explaining the process properly to their clients. “I tell them what can happen if they lie,” she said. “They could get a fine or go to jail.” Martinez said she knows that starting her own business is “not going to be an easy task.” “But I am excited,” she said.

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Couple Want To Build Their Business Right This Time By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 10/21/2006 Issue 21-28 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the fifth article in the series. Domingo Tejada knows construction. He started building and fixing houses with his uncles and cousins in the Dominican Republic when he was 17. So, when he moved to Providence in 2001, Tejada decided to continue in the business he’s known for 21 years. A year later he met his fiancée, Rosa Vizcaino, and they decided to start their own construction business, D-N-R Building and Construction Inc. (The D-N-R stands for Domingo ’n’ Rosa.) Things were OK for about three years, Vizcaino said. They put up vinyl siding and did interior remodeling – putting up wallboard, installing floors, installing cabinets, sinks, windows and doors. Tejada did the manual work, while Vizcaino handled the administration. Then, “in the middle of 2005, things went haywire,” Vizcaino said. People were rejecting contract proposals because they thought the company’s estimates were too high. Customers would return to them, she said, after the cheaper contractor asked for money up front, then didn’t return to finish the job. But, “They wanted us to eat the cost [they had lost from the scam],” Tejada said, “We couldn’t absorb the cost on our own, starting up.” In addition, Vizcaino said, people would ask for financing on jobs, which the company also couldn’t afford. Funds were running low and requests for jobs were growing sparse, so the couple put their business on hold. Tejada started subcontracting, while Vizcaino began working part-time at the R.I. Coalition for Minority Investment and AIDS Care Ocean State. Then, Vizcaino found out about the R.I. Small Business Development Center’s Primer Paso FastTrac business planning workshop – a 12-week course taught in Spanish to reach out to the growing number of Latino entrepreneurs. She encouraged Tejada to take the class, she said, because “I wanted him to see what can happen. … I wanted him not to get discouraged.” So far, it’s working. In a recent class, Tomás Alberto Ávila told the students about the importance of researching their industry: “Many times, businesses fail because they stay in an industry that’s going downhill.” He encouraged them to study their competitors and they can find their own niche. “They have to specialize rather than be a generalist,” he said. “They have to find another way to compete.” 178

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Milenio Associates, LLC Tejada plans to compete by offering timely delivery of services, plus a one-year warranty written into every contract, because “there are many people in the industry, many promising contracts with individuals and not fulfilling services.” The couple had his contractor’s license number printed on their business cards. And on the back of the cards, they explained how to check a contractor’s license and record at www.crb.ri.gov. Still, Tejada wants to focus on preparing a business plan; he said part of the reason their first business failed was a lack of planning and finances. Vizcaino – who is taking the same course as Tejada, but in English, with the R.I. Coalition for Minority Investment – said she is hoping to take another swing at construction. Her parents owned and operated four restaurants while she was growing up in Providence. “I knew nothing else but to be self-employed.” Tejada said his hope for the future is “to grow the business, to grow and provide employment, provide better services.” He added: “I know there are many companies out there, and many obstacles, but that shouldn’t stop us from pursuing our dream and our vision.”

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Big Dreams Begin With Latino Plantain Treats By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 10/28/2006 Issue 21-29 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the sixth article in the series. Cesar Cuevas has a vision. He would like to have a Papiajo Frituras food vending truck or restaurant in every city and town in Rhode Island. His specialty product is a plantain basket stuffed with meat or vegetables and fried. It’s called “papiao.” Cuevas started the business three years ago, by purchasing a food vending truck and equipment. He operates in the evenings, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., near the corner of Broad Street and Prairie Avenue in South Providence. “Every month, I see more new customers,” he said. “More people are asking for the same product.” To grow, he’ll need another truck or a bigger truck or a permanent location, he said. That’s why Cuevas is taking the R.I. Small Business Development Center’s Primer Paso FastTrac business planning workshop – a 12-week course, taught in Spanish to reach out to the state’s growing number of Latino entrepreneurs. At a recent class, SBDC business counselor Tomás Alberto Ávila invited marketing consultant Leon Mesa to speak. Mesa described the perfect marketing mix as consisting of four P’s: product, price, promotion and publicity. The first goal is to differentiate the product or service, he said. The second, to price it. Before thinking about promotion and publicity, “you have to define your marketing segment and customer segment,” he said. “The more we identify and get to know our client the better we’ll be able to satisfy them.” Cuevas said his client base is mostly Hispanic families and young adults. And they tell him what they want. He recently started making larger orders of papiao for parties and other events, because his product works well as an appetizer. But Cuevas hasn’t done any promotion or advertising, because he doesn’t have the resources to supply a large influx of customers. Even those like Cuevas who haven’t invested in business cards, a Web site or ads, Mesa said, can use price as a marketing tool. “You can sell at a low cost when you have a variety of complementary products that will allow you to recoup the loss on a particular product,” he said. “You can sell a product at a higher price than your competition when you have a superior and differentiated product.” Cuevas charges $1 per papiao, he said, because he wants his product to be affordable to his customers but also profitable. 180

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Milenio Associates, LLC Cuevas moved here in 1993 from New York City. A native of the Dominican Republic, where he was a police officer, he has a wife and three daughters, ages 12, 13 and 16. He had worked in construction and as a taxi driver before going into businessm because “it’s a better economic base for my family.” From the class, Cuevas said, he’s learned “the importance of giving to people the best service and trying to be different from others doing the same business.” No one, to his knowledge, makes papiao in Providence besides him, he said. He also stands out by singing to customers sometimes. Even having a phone number and proper answering-machine message are marketing, Avila said, because they help represent the business. “Everything [they] said is new for me,” Cuevas said, adding that’s why he took the class, to gain more knowledge before expanding. He would like to eventually have a Papiajo Frituras in every state, like McDonald’s. “It’s in my head,” he said. “I can dream.”

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An Accomplished Latina Wants To Mentor Others By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 11/04/2006 Issue 21-30

Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the seventh article in the series. Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the seventh article in the series. Sandra Lake started the Extraordinary Woman Awards because she admires the many women who, like her, came to the United States from other countries and are improving themselves and their communities here. Lake established the program as a nonprofit almost immediately after moving to Providence in 1999. Each year, it honors nine local women and one woman abroad who have achieved personal or professional improvement in one of 10 categories. Most of the winners are Latinas, she said, but the award isn’t limited to them. The awards ceremony is held on March 8 every year – declared International Women’s Day by the United Nations 31 years ago. This year, about 200 people attended. Now, after seven successful years, Lake said, she is ready to expand the nonprofit to add workshops and seminars and help women improve their personal and professional lives year-round. But first, she’ll need more capital. That’s why she is taking the R.I. Small Business Development Center’s Primer Paso FastTrac business planning workshop – a 12-week course taught in Spanish to reach out to the growing number of Latino entrepreneurs. In a recent class, marketing consultant Leon Mesa taught the entrepreneurs how to balance expenses with pricing to come to a break-even point. Mesa said he doesn’t believe a business has to lose money to make money. He told the class to strive to meet the break-even point in their first year of business, and then build profit through pricing in subsequent years. Lake, who wants to keep her company as a nonprofit, said she already breaks even. She raises funds by selling ads in the awards ceremony’s program. But to function year-round, she’ll need more ways to raise funds, said Tomás Alberto Ávila, an SBDC business counselor and the class facilitator. He is helping Lake develop a proposal she can send to corporations, inviting them to buy tables at the event or make donations. Whatever she does, Lake said, she will continue to honor exceptional women. 182

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Milenio Associates, LLC Even when men share in the responsibilities, she said, women do “double work,” at home and on the job. It’s even more of an accomplishment, she said, for women who are also adapting to a new country, new customs and a new language. She can identify with that challenge. Eight years ago, she moved to New York City from the Dominican Republic with her husband and three daughters, now 13, 15 and 16. She had the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in education and 16 years’ teaching experience, she said, but with limited English skills, she had to take a job in a factory. Since then, Lake said, she has worked hard to improve her English, and she’s now a special education teacher’s assistant in a Providence school. By expanding her nonprofit, Lake said, she will be able to help others. “I can improve myself,” she said. “I can become an employer. I can build a future for my family.” Lake also wants to eventually own and operate a preschool, she said, because “the early years are the best years to teach good things, to model the personality.” From Primer Paso, she said, she is learning the first steps of organizing her business. “I don’t want to start and then learn; I want to learn before I start.”

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Immigrant Sees Potential For Year-Round Pool Firm By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 11/11/2006 Issue 21-31 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.I. Small Business Development Center. This is the eighth article in the series. Fidel Calcagno wants to buy a Woonsocket-based pool maintenance and supply company. It’s a perfect fit for him, he says, because before moving to Providence two years ago, he owned a similar business in the Dominican Republic, and he has 20 years’ experience. Being an entrepreneur comes naturally to him as well. Upon moving to the United States, Calcagno started a domain registration and Web site hosting business called Web Service America. He also works as a freelance translator for local health care and education clients. But the real reason he wants to buy the pool supply company is independence. “I realized it’s a better way to make more money than being an employee for someone,” Calcagno said in an interview. Purchasing a business is easier than starting one, he said, because an existing business has an established customer base, equipment and market knowledge. Calcagno said he would use the company’s existing attributes to expand the business. By offering new services, such as water filtration, reverse osmosis and water softening systems, he plans to turn the pool supply company into a year-round business. But in order to obtain funds to purchase the business, Calcagno needs a business plan. He said he is attending the 12week Primer Paso FastTrac business planning workshop at the R.I. Small Business Development Center because he will need a loan and a line of credit to cover the $200,000 to $300,000 purchase and startup costs. At a recent class, marketing consultant and guest teacher Leon Mesa reminded the group of Latino entrepreneurs to focus their marketing on those potential customers for whom their products or services would fulfill a need. Calcagno sees his market as not just swimming pool owners, but anyone who uses running water, whether at home or in a business. “Water comes with a lot of impurities,” he said. “And hard water, when used in a washing machine and dishwasher, doesn’t react well with the soap. In the shower, it can damage the skin. And soft water is better for water heaters.” Calcagno said he gained much of his knowledge and marketing skills through the experience of owning a water treatment company for three years. If he is able to purchase the pool supply company, he said, he plans to spend much of his time on marketing – from cold-calling, to direct mail, to e-mail blasts, to door-to-door visits. “I have expertise in this area,” he said. “I know about water treatment technically and I know how to sell it.” 184

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Milenio Associates, LLC As far as pricing and costs, Calcagno said, he has a basic idea of how much the products, equipment and services will cost, and of how to price them, but hasn’t established a financial statement that outlines the monthly income and expenses. When asked how he would differentiate his product from others, Calcagno said he would focus on customer service as the No. 1 differentiator from the competition. He plans to offer full-year packages for pool maintenance, supplies and water filtration systems, and he will be on call 24 hours a day, he said. He also plans to survey customers and find the best prices from suppliers. He plans to employ three people, including his 22-year-old son and 18-year old daughter, both of whom have prior experience working with him in the industry. His dream, Calcagno said, is to be “successful and happy, to enjoy the job and make money while doing it.”

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Software Creator Focuses On Tour Operators’ Needs By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer Published 11/27/2006 Issue 21-33 Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs. To get a sense of the issues they face, Providence Business News is following 15 people through a 12-week business planning course for Latino entrepreneurs at the R.L Small Business Development Center this is the 10th article in the series. Oscar Mejias has already developed his software, called TravelSot, to help tour operators manage hotel reservations, travel packages and contracts with vendors and travel agencies. He has tested it with tour operators in Orlando and Puerto Rico, and has gotten positive feedback. Now, he is ready to take his project to the next level. He has almost completed a business plan, which he plans to pitch to the Slater Technology Fund. Mejias said he knows how difficult it can be to get funding for a technology startup, given the fierce competition. That’s why he decided to participate in the RI. Small Business Development Center’s Primer Paso FastTrac 12-week business planning course, which is being taught in Spanish to reach out to the state’s growing Latino business community. Mejias said he enrolled in Primer Paso because he wanted to be sure he was taking the right steps .to make his software company attractive to investors. At a recent class, SBDC business counselor and Primer Paso instructor Tomás Alberto Ávila stressed the importance of improving cash flow, which he said is the No. 1 issue for most small business owners. “Most of the time, they are concentrating on what’s coming in and what’s going out, without understanding how to maintain positive cash flow,” Avila said. As Mejias has compiled figures for his business plan, he has determined that he needs an operating budget of at least $150,000 to sustain the company for its first three years. In addition, he will need startup funds to assist in developing his software for the commercial market -specifically, to add self-installation and backup features, as well to translate the product into Spanish and Portuguese. Mejias wants to market TravelSot to Latin American tour operators, because he sees a need in that market to replace old software. For example, he said, much of the software he has seen in the industry was made to be used with Microsoft’s preWindows DOS operating system. Mejias built TravelSot to be compatible with Microsoft Windows, and with MS Word and MS Excel. And he added accounting and payroll applications to make the software a more comprehensive solution to travel companies’ needs. 186

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Milenio Associates, LLC For 14 years after earning his degree in computer engineering, Mejias worked in the IT department of an oil company in Venezuela. Then, in 2003, he moved to Florida. He started developing his travel software while working part-time for a tour operator in Orlando. He continues to provide technical support for the company though he moved to Providence in August. Mejias said he became interested in developing software for the tourism industry because his close connection through the operator in Orlando convinced him “it’s a big industry”. “They manage a lot of money,” he said. After heavily researching the industry he determined that with a quality product and successful marketing plan, he could turn his startup into a fairly lucrative business. “This is a market that is growing,” Mejias said. If his dream comes true, he’ll “have millions.

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PBN’s Myers joins 5 others in receiving Metcalf Award By Mark S. Murphy PBN Editor Posted May. 21, 2007 Providence Business News Staff Writer Natalie Myers was given one of seven Michael Metcalf Awards for Diversity in the Media by Rhode Island for Community & Justice this morning at the Marriott Providence Downtown hotel. Myers was recognized, in the print weekly/bi-weekly category, for her series of stories on the Primer Paso business-development program hosted by the Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University. Primer Paso is a Spanish language program that uses weekly classes to help entrepreneurs develop new business ideas as well as improve existing businesses. Myers attended all 12 classes last fall, and the subsequent series of stories had a significant effect on the businesses that participated. According to Tomás Alberto Ávila, the director of the program, subsequent to its publication, businesses that participated have been able to garner $200,000 of capital to build their businesses, while even more potential financing partners have approached the Primer Paso graduates. Other winners honored this morning included: • Deb Ruggiero, in both the radio and television categories, for the series on WPRO-AM and Rhode Island PBS, “Rhode Island Amazing Women.” • Joseph Fitzgerald, daily print, The Woonsocket Call, “The New Americans.” • Denise Dowling, monthly print, Rhode Island Magazine, “The Reluctant Warrior.” • Reza C. Clifton, technology of the new millennium, rezaritesri.com, “Jerusalem Women Speak, R.I. Woman Answers.” • Paul Davis, history coming to life, The Providence Journal, “The Unrighteous Traffick.”

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The Metcalf Awards were established in 1998 to honor Michael Metcalf, late publisher of The Providence Journal, and to showcase the commitment of journalists and media to promote understanding and respect for all members of the Rhode Island community. Primer Paso Read PBN reporter Natalie Myers’ award-winning Primer Paso series: 1. ‘Primer Paso’ a first step for Hispanic firms, Sept. 25, 2006. 2. An entrepreneur’s dream requires some homework, Oct. 2, 2006. 3. Entrepreneur is gearing up to grow his repair business, Oct. 9, 2006. 4. Lead-safety trainer aims to open interpreting firm, Oct. 16, 2006. 5. Couple want to build their business right this time, Oct. 23, 2006. 6. Big dreams begin with Latino plantain treats, Oct. 30, 2006. 7. An accomplished Latina wants to mentor others, Nov. 6, 2006. 8. Immigrant sees potential for year-round pool firm, Nov. 13, 2006. 9. To grow, insurance agent finds he’ll need to invest, Nov. 20, 2006. 10. Software creator focuses on tour operators’ needs, Nov. 27, 2006. 11. Theater gains confidence to seek nonprofit status, Dec. 11, 2006 12. Primer Paso’s new grads already see improvement, Dec. 16, 2006.

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Workshop Draws Fledgling Hispanic Entrepreneurs By Natalie Myers PBN Staff Writer Posted Dec. 10, 2007

SMALL BUSINESS In this follow-up to a 2006 PBN series on the R.I. Small Business Development Center’s Primer Paso business planning workshop for Latino entrepreneurs, we see how participants are doing a year later and how the workshop has grown. ECAS Theater, the state’s only Latino theater group, has taken great financial strides since taking the Primer Paso workshop last winter, artistic director Francis Parra says. The theater is still waiting to receive nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service, a process that can take two years, Parra said. But the volunteer-based group has received a $130,000 grant from Hispanics in Philanthropy, a global nonprofit dedicated to strengthening Latino communities by increasing resources for the Latino and Latin American civil sector. About $20,000 is being used to hire a consultant to develop a plan to raise funds for a permanent location for educational classes and performances, Parra said. The rest will be used for the theater’s first-ever salaried staff and for technology improvements, such as development of a better Web site. The theater group uses space at Rhode Island College to conduct theater classes and perform plays and this year began performing at the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theater in Pawtucket. “From Primer Paso we understood that we definitely needed a strategic plan,” she said. “Having the consultant is good. We don’t have time to be writing the plan in good English.” In addition, through contacts at the R.I. Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University, which facilitates the Primer Paso business planning workshops taught in Spanish, Parra was able to get help organizing ECAS Theater’s first fundraising gala dinner in October. “We never realized we had the tools to have a gala dinner,” she said. “This is very important for public relations.” Though the theater didn’t raise much money from the actual event, Parra said, 200 people attended and as a result new institutions are supporting the theater. While ECAS Theater is growing, results have been mixed for the rest of the 12 graduates from the 2006 Primer Paso class. Some have opened and closed businesses, others are struggling to survive.

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Milenio Associates, LLC And most are still trying to raise money. Tomás Ávila, Latino business developer at the RISBDC and instructor for the classes, says that’s not a bad thing because it saved them from going into debt. The 12 graduates together gained access to more than $200,000 in capital, Avila said. Miriam Garcia, who opened Fiesta Meat Place, a meat market in Central Falls, received $85,000 in loans from Navigant Credit Union, he said. But she and her business partners have since closed the business because interest on the debt financing they received was more than the revenue they were generating. Andres Almonte, owner of ABC Insurance on Atlantic Avenue in South Providence, was able to secure a $20,000 micro-enterprise loan from the R.I. Economic Development Center, which helped purchase new equipment, such as a fax machine, copier and three computers. The money also helped upgrade software on existing computers and open a second office for his son, also a licensed insurance agent, on Manton Avenue in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, he said. But his business is suffering this year compared to last year, Almonte said. “The economy is a little bit down,” he said. “So many of my clients are moving out of state … People say because we are the smallest state we are feeling the economy more … this year less people are buying new cars and getting insurance.” As for the workshop itself, it has expanded since last year, he said. It is now offered in two locations – at Johnson & Wales University downtown and Progreso Latino in Central Falls – and it is offered in the spring and the fall, rather than just the latter. Demand necessitated the expansion, Avila said. On Dec. 12, 47 Latino entrepreneurs were to graduate from the latest Primer Paso workshop. Total participation has grown 70 percent since last year. Oscar Mejias, a 2006 Primer Paso graduate, says the program helped him develop confidence and a plan for his business. He’s launching tour operator software he developed at the Travel Industry Association of America’s International Pow Wow May 2008 in Las Vegas. “Definitely the knowledge I got from Primer Paso led me to have a better vision about the future of my business,” he said.

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Kennedy Secures Funds to Assist with Job Development Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Central Falls, R.I.-Today, Congressman Patrick Kennedy delivered $182,000 in federal funds to The College of Business and the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RI SBDC) at Johnson & Wales University’s Providence campus and Progreso Latino, Inc to invest in a new generation of talent that will one day be competitive members of our local workforce. As the largest bilingual, multi-cultural social service agency in the state of Rhode Island, Progreso Latino improves conditions for members of the Latino and immigrant community with creative solutions that enhance our communities and strengthen our state. The funding provided by this appropriation will support entrepreneurial education, training and business coaching for Latino entrepreneurs in Rhode Island and build capacity and infrastructure for sustainable economic and community development through the focused partnership of Johnson & Wales University and Progreso Latino, Inc. “This is an exciting opportunity to increase small business ownership in the State of Rhode Island,” said Congressman Patrick Kennedy. “Small business is the backbone of our workforce and critical to our country’s overall economic health. It is imperative that we invest in young innovators to help maintain a strong workforce and take the lead in growing our economy,” he said. The program will focus on businesses in Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island. With Latinos making up 14% of the population in Pawtucket and 48% of the population in Central Falls, this funding will be effective in identifying and meeting the needs of this growing constituency. JWU students and faculty will also benefit from the real life experience of working with these clients and helping their businesses continue to make significant contributions to the local economy. 192

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Milenio Associates, LLC Ramon Martinez, President/CEO of Progreso Latino said of the appropriation, “I am very excited about our continued partnership with Johnson & Wales University's RI Small Business Development Center. Progreso Latino is proud and honored to support the SBDC's Fast Trac/Primer Paso program, which ensures that our entrepreneurs receive the necessary tools and resources to assist them with their capacity building. Our organization is also looking forward to the SBDC's continued involvement with our strategic planning and employee development process in order to better serve the needs of our constituencies” Martinez indicated he was grateful for the Congressman’s support of this important initiative and feels it will go a long way towards “fulfilling our missions to the communities we serve”. John Cronin, RI SBDC Executive Director also acknowledged the Congressman’s leadership in this realm. He said, “In partnership with Congressman Kennedy and Progreso Latino, we will provide world class education, training and business coaching to hundreds of Latino entrepreneurs who will work with JWU faculty and students to create a more prosperous future. We’re so proud and excited to advance this good work.”

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Kennedy Secures Funds to Assist with Job Development Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Central Falls, R.I.-Today, Congressman Patrick Kennedy delivered $182,000 in federal funds to The College of Business and the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RI SBDC) at Johnson & Wales University’s Providence campus and Progreso Latino, Inc to invest in a new generation of talent that will one day be competitive members of our local workforce. As the largest bilingual, multi-cultural social service agency in the state of Rhode Island, Progreso Latino improves conditions for members of the Latino and immigrant community with creative solutions that enhance our communities and strengthen our state.

The funding provided by this appropriation will support entrepreneurial education, training and business coaching for Latino entrepreneurs in Rhode Island and build capacity and infrastructure for sustainable economic and community development through the focused partnership of Johnson & Wales University and Progreso Latino, Inc. “This is an exciting opportunity to increase small business ownership in the State of Rhode Island,” said Congressman Patrick Kennedy. “Small business is the backbone of our workforce and critical to our country’s overall economic health. It is imperative that we invest in young innovators to help maintain a strong workforce and take the lead in growing our economy,” he said. The program will focus on businesses in Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island. With Latinos making up 14% of the population in Pawtucket and 48% of the population in Central Falls, this funding will be effective in identifying and meeting the needs of this growing constituency. JWU students and faculty will also benefit from the real life experience of working with these clients and helping their businesses continue to make significant contributions to the local economy. Ramon Martinez, President/CEO of Progreso Latino said of the appropriation, “I am very excited about our continued partnership with Johnson & Wales University's RI Small Business Development Center. Progreso Latino is proud and honored to support the SBDC's Fast Trac/Primer Paso program, which ensures that our entrepreneurs receive the necessary tools and resources to assist them with their capacity building. Our organization is also looking forward to the SBDC's continued involvement with our strategic planning and employee development process in order to better serve the needs of our constituencies” Martinez indicated he was grateful for the Congressman’s support of this important initiative and feels it will go a long way towards “fulfilling our missions to the communities we serve”. John Cronin, RI SBDC Executive Director also acknowledged the Congressman’s leadership in this realm. He said, “In partnership with Congressman Kennedy and Progreso Latino, we will provide world class education, training and business coaching to hundreds of Latino entrepreneurs who will work with JWU faculty and students to create a more prosperous future. We’re so proud and excited to advance this good work.” 194

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Latino Entrepreneurship Development Program Johnson & Wales University In Partnership with Progreso Latino, Inc. Purpose: To facilitate the entrepreneurial education, training and business coaching of 200 Latino entrepreneurs and to build the capacity and infrastructure for sustainable economic and Community development through the focused partnership of Johnson & Wales University and Progreso Latino, Inc. Background: Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s leadership created an appropriation of $1 82K in FY’07 to support and expand the Latino Entrepreneurship Development Program developed by the College of Business and the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University In cooperation with Progreso Latino, Inc. This document clarifies the program of work with the required budget adjustment from the requested $499,140 to the approved $182,000. Program of Work: The program’s two mutually supportive objectives are: 1. Education & Counseling of 200 Latino Entrepreneurs 2. Business & Community Development of Progreso Latino, Inc. 1.

Support the business development of more than 200 Latino Entrepreneurs. • Sustain grass roots outreach and recruit clientele • Facilitate the Kaufman Foundation’s Primer PasoTM program serving start ups: • Two winter/spring, 2008 series (Feb-May) for estimated 50 clients. • Two fall/winter, 2008 series (Sep-Dec) for estimated 50 clients. • Facilitate the Kaufman Foundation’s FastTrac® GrowthVentureTM program for mature businesses: • One fall/winter 2008 (Sep-Dec) series for estimated 15 clients. • Provide business coaching support and special project management support to more than 200 Latino businesses including the Primer Paso and Growth Venture participants. • Engage JWU faculty and students with SBDC personnel in client projects.

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Support the business and community development of Progreso Latino, Inc (PL). • Review and revise PL’s strategic action plan. • Assess needs of PL’s educational enterprise. • Provide JWU SBDC, JWU faculty and JWU student support to help achieve PL’s goals. • Transfer leadership of the Latino Business Expo from SBDC to PL. • Engage corporate sponsors and entrepreneurs at the 6th Annual Latino Business Expo (Fall, 2008). • Build PL’s capacity for corporate fundraising and business community services. Conclusion: With Congressman Kennedy’s approval, this program of work and attached budget will be used to structure a contract agreement. Johnson & Wales University looks forward to our collaboration in building a strong foundation of comprehensive business development services in cooperation with Progreso Latino, Inc. and the greater community.

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Latino Entrepreneurship Development Program Director Johnson & Wales University Rhode Island Small Business Development Center Latino Entrepreneurship Development Program Director Job Description —

The RI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Johnson and Wales University (JWU) provides emerging and established entrepreneurs with business education, training, and counseling resources as appropriate to develop, manage and expand their business. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs connect with University resources, the qualified consulting network and appropriate service partners through 4 regional service centers The Latino Entrepreneurship Program Director is responsible for providing and coordinating the education and counseling of 200 Latino entrepreneurs engaged with the SBDC through the Latino Entrepreneurship Development contract with the US SBA scheduled from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. The position facilitates bilingual English/Spanish entrepreneurship and economic Initiatives In the Latino and Minorities economies. The Program Director uses advanced, specialized knowledge of Latino business and entrepreneurship development to identify and cultivate partnerships & opportunities with Progreso Latino and other collaborating entities. The Program Director provides business counseling and client case management services. The position is responsible for connecting and qualifying clients to appropriate training and consulting expertise. The Program Director also prepares clients for collaboration with University faculty and students. The directors perform strong and consistent outreach to the small business community and work in concert with their region’s business and civic leadership to engage more high-impact clientele and to nurture an entrepreneurial friendly community. This position also researches, identifies, evaluates, and selects potential projects, and secures projects or grants promoting business development in emerging economies. Essential Functions and Responsibilities: • • • •

Assures that contracted deliverables (counseling and training) are met by service team members; Support and promote the Latino Entrepreneurship Program’s community building, networking, events, and public relations; Sustain grass roots outreach and recruit clientele; Facilitate the Kaufman Foundation’s Primer Paso™ program serving start ups: •Two winter/spring, 2008 series (Feb-May) for estimated 50 clients. •Two fall/winter, 2008 series (Sep-Dec) for estimated 50 clients;

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Facilitate the Kaufman Foundation’s FastTrac Growth Venture™ program for mature businesses: One fall/winter 2008 (Sep-Dec) series for estimated 15 clients; Provide business coaching support and special project management support to more than 200 Latino businesses including the Primer Paso and Growth Venture participants; Engage JWU faculty and students with SBDC personnel in client projects; Support, develop, and maintain

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• • • • • •

strategic marketing and communications activities of the Latino Entrepreneurship Program; Track prospective candidates and help to market the program in the community; Manage relationships and communications with corporate and events donors; Develops collaborative relationships with all sectors of the small business community; Works cooperatively with federal, state and local officials to enhance small business; Submits recommendations and assists with developing/making expenditures and monitoring/executing the fiscal budget; Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications: • Knowledge of small business issues and applications; • Experience in managing a small business; • Experience in business counseling and training; • Certification in the Kaufman Foundation’s FastTrac Primer Paso™ and Growth Venture~ programs; • Advanced knowledge of the local and national Latino community and growth challenges facing micro, small, and medium-sized Latino business community; • Knowledge and appreciation of the business development challenges of Latino start-up businesses; • Strong bilingual English/Spanish written and verbal skills including solid and engaging presentation prep, timing, and delivery skills, experience writing proposals; • Project management & resource management skills: proven ability to handle multiple projects, deadlines, and clients; ability to shift priorities and resources; • Interpersonal skills including the ability to communicate with a multicultural audience, and the ability to share information in written & presentation form in English and Spanish; • Experience seeking, composing, and securing contracts and grants for business development, entrepreneurship, or other business-related topic. • Proven capability in personnel management, financial management and marketing as they apply to business applications; • Ability to work with a variety of resources including the business and banking communities, government and academic agencies; • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Internet Explorer; • Excellent customer service, presentation and verbal/written communication skills; Follow-through and organizational skills; • Decision-making skills and problem solving ability; • Detail oriented.

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Latinos Eager to Start Businesses By Denise Perreault PBN Staff Writer Providence Business News Focus: Minority Business Posted Dec 22, 2008 Osiris Gonzalez, 37 years old and the father of two young children, works full time. At the same time, for the last few years, he’s been working to grow his own business from home. His company is Prudentia Technology Consultants, specializing in information technology, and he has three clients so far. Someday, Gonzalez would like to leave his current job ad an information technology specialist and earn a living working for himself. But, several months ago, the North Providence resident realized he needed more formal training in business practices. “I’ve been doing this [consulting work] on and off for six years, but this year, I got real serious about it,” he said. “I needed more direction, on getting everything so that I cross my t’s and dot my i’s, so to speak.” He went on the Web, found the R.I. Small Business Development Center (SBDC) site, made a few phone calls and became one of 50 entrepreneurs of Latino heritage who recently graduated from Primer Paso, Spanish for “first step.” Primer Paso is a free 12-week course offered twice each year at two locations to assist Latino’s who want to start their own businesses. “It was the biggest and best class ever,” John Cronin, executive director of the SBDC, which is housed at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, said of the Dec. 10 graduates, the ninth class to complete the course since Primer Paso began about four years ago. Thirty-five of the recent graduates took the latest installment of the course in Providence and 15 others were at a satellite site in Central Falls. Yes, this can be a tough time to start a business, Cronin agreed, but not an impossible time. Depending on the business model chosen and the niche it fills, starting a business today “requires a lot more diligence, a lot more study and knowledge to minimize your risks,” Cronin advised, “but it is still a good time. Some companies are doing well.” Certainly, Primer Paso is doing well. “We are growing by leaps and bounds,” said Tomás Alberto Ávila, Primer Paso administrator and instructor who works out of the SBDC office at Johnson & Wales. He recalled that the class started about four years ago in Providence with just 15 participants and grew so quickly that a second program was added at Progresso Latino in Central Falls in the spring of 2007. The spring 2008 graduating class also numbered 50, Avila noted. “What has happened is that, as people graduate, they spread the word to relatives and friends in the community,” he said. “That has fueled the increase.” Like Cronin, Avila acknowledged that the economy right now presents challenges to the new business owner. But, he said, Primer Paso participants “are very entrepreneurial, they feel they can accomplish the American dream of owning their own businesses. They feel this is the right time,” so when the economy improves, they will be ready. The course is offered for free because of a $187,000 federal grant that U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy helped obtain this year for work force development in the Latino community. The grant went to the SBDC and Progresso Latino. “We were fortunate to receive the grant,” Avila said.

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Milenio Associates, LLC Restaurants, a cleaning company, an event-planning firm as well as retail stores selling food and clothing are some of the new businesses that the recent graduating class hope to start, according to Avila. “Some of our participants already do operate their own businesses,” he said, and they come to Primer Paso for help in such areas as marketing “without the problem of any language barrier” because classes are in Spanish. For Gonzalez, the Primer Paso class “pretty much blew my expectations out of the water,” he said. “It got me more focused on what my target market should be. It gave me the tools I needed to focus on the market I’m going after.” Guest speakers offered worthwhile advice, he said, and he especially enjoyed meeting other small-business owners. “Within two or three years, I’d like to make it [Prudentia] full-time and say goodbye to my 9-to-5 job,” said Gonzalez, a divorced dad with children 5 and 7 years old. The course covers the administrative, marketing and financial aspects of starting and operating a business, according to Avila, with particular emphasis on formulating a feasibility plan to see how realistic a business idea might be. He described the feasibility plan as similar to and a precursor of a full-blown business plan. The 2009 spring session of Primer Paso is scheduled to begin next month. Because the Primer Paso course has proven so successful, Avila and Cronin are working on an advanced offering, a 10-week course entitled FastTrac Growth Venture that will start in January and is limited to 15 participants. Growth Venture originally was slated to begin in the fall, but Cronin said it took longer than expected to organize. Avila called the advanced course “more intensive” than Primer Paso. “We will provide help with business plans,” he said, “and allow existing business owners to do strategy and research and improve whatever business plans they already have.” Details of Growth Venture are still being worked out, Avila said, but he intends to be the instructor for some classes and will call on colleagues “from across the Latino community” to teach classes as well. In Rhode Island, Latino’s are the largest minority group with 11.2 percent of the state’s population as of 2006, according to the most recent figures available from the U.S. Census Bureau. That amounts to approximately 116,000 people. Between the 1990 census and 2000 census, the state’s Latino population grew by 98.5 percent, one of the highest rates in the country. Latino’s accounted for all of the increase in Rhode Island’s population during that decade, the census said. In New England, Massachusetts has the largest number of Latinos, at almost 500,000 in 2000.

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Local Latino investment club says now is a good time to buy stocks Sunday, September 7, 2008 By NEIL DOWNING Journal Staff Writer

http://www.projo.com/business/yourmoney/content/BZ_investment_club07_09-07-08_DRBFJSL_v17.3fe789.html

PROVIDENCE — The stock market is down, the nation is at war and the cost of energy, food and other items is sharply higher than a year ago. Just the right time, in other words, to start an investment club, according to Tomás Alberto Ávila. Ávila is the leader of a group of Rhode Islanders who formed an investment club in Providence this year — and they have no plans to stop, despite the economic downturn. With 22 members, all from Rhode Island’s Latino community, the group formed Futuro Brillante Investment Club L.P. The idea is to buy low, when stock prices are slumping, and sell later on, when prices rebound, Ávila said. Ávila, 54, of Providence, a native of Honduras, is a business counselor with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University. He teaches a class for Latino entrepreneurs. Some of his students wanted to learn how to invest, he said. That provided the spark to form a club, he said. Each member paid a $75 initial membership fee, and agreed to invest $25 a month thereafter into the club’s investment pool, Ávila said. As the pool grew, members studied how to run a club and how to select investments, said his wife, Eva Hulse-Ávila, 54, of Providence, a native of Honduras who works as a technical specialist for Amica Mutual Insurance Co. in Lincoln. “Since we really didn’t know how to invest, we learned,” she said. The group relied in part on books that it obtained from BetterInvesting, a nonprofit organization that serves as the umbrella group for about 11,600 investment clubs nationwide. The group recently began to make its first investment selections, the first step in what it hopes will result in an increase in wealth for the club and its members — and, eventually, a source of ready capital for members who want to form or expand local businesses, Ávila said. Investment clubs were particularly popular in the late 1990s, when the stock market was propelled upward by Internet companies, said Jordan E. Goodman, author of Fast Profits in Hard Times – 10 Secret Strategies to Make You Rich in an Up or Down Economy. But some clubs disbanded after the market bubble began to collapse in 2000. 200

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Forming a club this year, with the market slumping anew, takes some courage, said Goodman, who was raised in Cranston and is a former Wall Street correspondent for Money magazine. “Markets are so volatile, and the outlook so uncertain … it could get a person kind of discouraged,” he said. Nevertheless, an investment club can be an effective way to learn about money and markets and how to invest, said Goodman, who has written a number of books on investing and money matters. “I’ve always said, the more attention you pay to investing in general, the higher your returns are going to be,” he said. And because clubs typically take a disciplined approach to investing, with an emphasis on study and analysis, “An investment club can be a good way to earn a higher rate of return over long periods of time,” Goodman said. Most clubs are organized as limited partnerships, so the Futuro Brillante club took the same approach, Ávila said. He is one of five general partners in the club, which also includes 17 limited partners. Five or six club members serve on its investment committee. They typically meet once a month to make recommendations on how the money is to be invested, said Viviana Knowles, 27, of Providence, a native of Colombia and club member. After researching and analyzing their picks, they bring their investment choices later each month to a meeting of all club members, who then make the final decisions, she said. The group made its first investment July 24, using about $530 to acquire 100 shares of Ford Motor Co. through an online discount brokerage, Ávila said. “Pretty much the strategy we are utilizing to invest is companies with a long history … whose stock price is low at this point,” he said. The idea is to hold such stocks for a number of years “and watch them grow.” “You invest when stocks are low and hold them, and eventually they will go up,” Hulse-Ávila said. Knowles said she studied financial economics and business administration at Methodist College in North Carolina, then worked at an investment company. One thing she learned is that if a company has had a long history of steady growth, “That company will grow again and history will repeat itself,” she said. That is why she supported the club’s decision to make its first investment in Ford stock, she said. When the nation’s economy rebounds, “The value of the stock is going to increase as well, so it’s just a matter of holding it” long enough, she said. Hulse-Ávila put it this way: “You invest when stocks are low and hold them, and, eventually, they will go up.” The club is studying the stock of other companies, including some financial businesses, club members said in a recent informal gathering at an apartment complex in Providence where one of the members lives. © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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In time, the club hopes to generate enough wealth so that at least some of its entrepreneurial members can use their share to create or expand local businesses, Ávila said. One of the club’s main goals is “to educate the Latino community about investing. It’s needed, and we’re trying to play a role in the community and help invest and create capital,” he said. The club has no plans to quit. “You only lose when you get desperate and sell,” Ávila said. Club member Esperanza Gomez, 50, of Providence, a native of Colombia who works as a Latino medical liaison for Home Hospice Care of Rhode Island, said, “People should be creative, learn how money works and take advantage of every situation.” Ávila added, “We’re going to keep putting money in and keep on investing, and as that investment grows, the capital will be there” for some local entrepreneurs. “The Latino community has a big, big power, and we need to redirect that power to create capital for our community and for the U.S.,” Knowles said. Although the club has only begun to invest, and has yet to diversify its investment portfolio, Hulse-Ávila said, “Give us a year.” To which her husband replied, “Less than a year.” The club’s name, translated to English, means “Brilliant Future.” INVESTMENT CLUBS Most investment clubs nationwide are affiliated with a nonprofit umbrella organization known as BetterInvesting. The group is based in Michigan and was formerly known as the National Association of Investors Corporation. • BetterInvesting provides investment information, education and other services to about 119,000 members. • The group says it has about 11,600 investment clubs, some of which are based in Rhode Island and other New England states. More information about the group is available by calling toll-free at 1-877-275-6242, or using the group’s Web site: www.BetterInvesting.org ndowning@projo.com

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MoneyTack Season Three The third season of MoneyTrack is dedicated to empowering people of all income levels to be savvy stewards of their money, showing them how to invest wisely and how to avoid common and dangerous financial scams. Hosts Pam Kruger and Jack Gallagher, along with renowned experts such as John Bogle and Burton Malkiel, offer commonsense advice to help take the fear and mystery out of the investing process. Featuring real-life stories of financial success and hardships, season three is sure to help you take control of your financial future.

This episode focuses on investment clubs, and how members should make an informed group decision instead of simply following the herd. Meet Tomas and Jose Avila, identical twins who each founded an investment club. Their members, Honduran immigrants in New York City, research companies and mutual funds, and decide where, when and whether to invest. Whether their holdings skyrocket or stutter, members of both clubs view every decision as a great lesson in investing wisely. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmiyMZ1QX00 There are right ways and wrong ways of investing with other people. In our Investing 101 segment, Dennis Genord of the National Association of Investors Corporation describes the Dos and Don’ts of being a good club member. The club environment can easily become the perfect setup for a scam. In Scam Alert, meet another investment club in Florida whose story unfortunately has a very different ending. One member joined up with her entire nest egg of $25,000 but found out later that the club leader, a church pastor, had shady ways of signing people up and spending their money. He stole $23 million from more than 1,000 people – but authorities have only recovered $9,000 to date.

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RIEDC Latino Business Roundtable Luncheon 06/15/2010 Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation 315 Iron Horse Way Providence, RI 02908 Tomás Alberto Ávila Tuesday June 15, 2010

Participants 1. Denzel-La Paz 2. Dr. Pablo Rodriguez-Womencare 3. Armando Palacios-Solar Contact, LLC 4. Jose Marcano - JC Paiting 5. Bill Cumplido - Cumplido Painting 6. William Cumplido - Cumplido Painting 7. Rosaura Polanco-Motivated Temp 8. Nuris Romero-Erick Photo 9. Oscar Alexis Mejias-HITEP 10. Herman "Sony" Padilla 11. Ramon Martinez-Business Management Consulting 12. Monica Castro-Catering 13. Cecilia Paz-Domestic Bank 14. Alexandra Izurrieta-izulec Salon 15. Tomás Ávila-Milenio Real Estate Group 16. Pablo Rodriguez Majoan-Marketing 17. Dra. Carmen Sanchez-Comfort Dental

RIEDC Personnel 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Keith Stokes, Executive Director Mike Saul-EDC Capital Katherine Flynn-Business Development Sherri Carrera-Small Business Services Claudia Cardozo-Small Business Account Executive

Keith Stokes Main Points 1. The Latino community has the consumer and business market necessary to grow and expand. 2. The Latino business community is an integral part of the RIEDC significant transformation in 2010. 3. The population growth has been recognized by the business community and its time government recognizes it as part of the state commerce. 204

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4. It represents an opportunity in the present realignment of the RIEDC: growth opportunity and service development. 5. There are some very obvious need such as access to capital, work force training. This is a start and we won't dwell on resolving any of the challenges you are facing and the goal is to enjoy good food and an open dialogue.

Goals 1. Facilitate a consensus initiative where we can identify five tangible outcomes within the next 12 months. 2. Developing a case statement of services for the Latino business community. 3. Spend more time in the business districts meeting with owners and entrepreneurs. 4. The Latino business community is the right market opportunity at the right time to do this initiative.

Tomás Ávila Recommendations How can RIEDC communicate with the Latino business community? Do we need to partner? RIEDC needs to develop a comprehensive marketing plan and invest in Latino media to communicate with Latino business community radio, newspaper, etc. The plan needs to be consistent with standard marketing strategies used in the general business community but tailored to inform the entrepreneur, business owner and the consumer about the RIEDC, its services and resources. The Latino population in the United States and Rhode Island offers a way to expand business substantially. As the Latino population continues to grow, government need to reach out and connect with this lucrative consumer base emotionally, rationally, culturally and relevantly. Taking the time to prepare for this lucrative opportunity will pay dividends, today and mañana for the state of Rhode Island. Latinos are a marketer’s dream because they have the 3 Ls: they have a large population are lucrative, and are loyal. Latinos are the youngest of all ethnic groups with their prime earning years ahead of them. The service infrastructure needs to be developed by experience bilingual, bicultural professionals in the business development industry and then present it to the entrepreneurs for comments and feedback. Need to involved and hire bilingual bicultural consultants who understand and are engaged in the grassroots business development of the Latino community, instead of what has normally has been the norm to hire consultants to offer their expertise and services base on the standards of the American business system without a true understanding of the Latino business culture and its customs.

Challenges Expressed 1. Language barrier 2. Financial literacy © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Access to capital Payment cycles Cash Flow Mentorship Financial Management Planning Marketing

Questionnaire What role should EDC have in RI Latino business development? How can the EDC improve and expand its services to better serve the Latino business community? Can you identify entrepreneurial opportunities available to the Latino business community? How can the EDC help Latino business ascend to the next growth level?

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The Growth of Latino Small Businesses in Providence By Kerry Spitzer and Sol Carbonell Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Spring 2012 Providence was hit hard in the Great Recession. By June 2011, the city’s unemployment rate was over 15 percent, above the national average and the highest in New England. [1] But a positive trend recorded before the financial crisis—when the city’s Latino-owned businesses grew in number from 731 in 1997 to 2,999 in 2007—may hold promise for the future. [2] That change—substantial both in absolute terms and in comparison with other small and midsized cities in the region—led researchers from the Boston Fed to investigate. Their conversations with business owners, technical-assistance providers, and micro lenders from the nonprofit and government sectors offer a better understanding of the Providence phenomenon. What Has Changed? According to the census, the Latino population in Providence has been growing for decades. In 2010, 67,835 Latinos were counted (up 30 percent from 2000), comprising 38 percent of Providence’s total population of 178,042. Among the largest groups today are Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Bolivians, and Colombians. [3] Originally, Latinos found employment in textile and jewelry manufacturing. But with such jobs scarce today, nearly every interviewee mentioned the decline of manufacturing as a reason for the increase in selfemployment. One business owner, who had lost her job in the jewelry industry, cited herself as an example. (See “Share of Latino Population that Own Businesses.”) The loss of manufacturing and a lack of in-demand skills have led to the increase in Latino small businesses, especially among first-generation immigrants, but others have suffered from the same issues. By themselves, these reasons do not explain the high growth in Latino businesses. Is It Clout? No one group dominates Providence’s Latino population, which sets it apart from otherwise comparable cities. In Springfield, Massachusetts, for example, 86 percent of the Latino population is Puerto Rican. There is more diversity in Providence, and the pan-Latino community has a history of organizing to demand services. The Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee, founded in 1998, has contributed to the ascent of several Latino political leaders, including Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. But when asked about the correlation between increased political representation and the growth of Latino small businesses, most interviewees say that Latinos may feel empowered to make greater demands but they have not seen additional resources. One owner commented, “The only connection I see is more personal. Not businesswise. I mean, what’s happening is [that] as Latinos, we’re getting a little more guts.” © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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Another said, “While we still don’t have the power to make decisions and bring a direct benefit, [representation] generates more confidence. … We have people that can help us and represent us at the right moment.” Is It Resources? The researchers talked to business owners who varied greatly in their education, English-language competence, and business skills, with the second generation often being stronger in those areas than the first generation. But that was not always the case. Several first-generation immigrants had extensive advanced degrees. Nevertheless, second-generation Latinos were more likely to open “professional” businesses— for example, in web design or insurance. One owner whose family came to Providence to work in the textile mills before his birth reported, “A lot of my peers … went to college. We’re all professionals now.” In fact, according to the census, the share of the Latino population in Providence with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased from 7 percent in 2000 to 11 percent in 2009. Even with the increased educational attainment of many Latinos, a third of Providence households live below the poverty line, 44 percent over the age of 25 have less than a high school diploma, and 35 percent don’t speak English or speak English “not well.” The entrepreneurship service that bilingual business owners most often reported using was the mentoring offered by the Small Business Development Center at Johnson and Wales University. SBDC links entrepreneurs with experienced faculty, professionals, and students, who assist people on a one-on-one basis. Such services were seen as being instrumental in forming business plans and developing websites. The business owners who used SBDC were first-generation immigrants. Most of the interviewees expressed a feeling that, in general, small-businesses services such as those offered by the city and local nonprofits were not for them. Some interviewees were not even aware of the services. A lack of English may have been a reason. With regard to financing, nearly all said they relied on family or personal assets, an approach they found preferable to trying to access money from the government. Said one owner, “It has been more costly [in terms of higher interest rates] but certainly faster and more effective.” Only a few reported receiving loans or lines of credit from a bank, and no interviewee had participated in the city’s microloan or storefront-improvement program. A few owners had approached the city or the Small Business Administration about obtaining loans, but the lending requirements were perceived as “too complicated” and the process for seeking assistance or applying for funds as “too lengthy.” After being denied an SBA loan, one owner reported using the equity in her house: “I got discouraged … so I did my own thing.” A few owners, especially those who were not bilingual, reported using prestamistas who charge very high interest rates (essentially loan sharks). Mainstream Providence institutions have not played a big role. As one business owner said, “There are organizations that are doing a great job, but on average, they can assist eight to 10 people. There are 2,000—3,000—of us. The programs are very good, but what’s needed is scale. … There is a lack of vision, perhaps, on the potential that Latinos represent.” 208

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Elusive Lessons The relatively small size of Providence and its role as a cultural hub and state capital appear to have supported the development of a cohort of professional Latino leaders who hold networking events that bring the community together. One prominent group grew out of the small business development class Primer Paso, a 12-week class funded by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation and based on Kauffman’s curriculum. The sessions, conducted in Spanish, were held at the SBDC and were offered several years in a row. One thing people loved about the classes was the chance to learn from peers and to network. As one participant said, “It was there that I understood that opening a business was not about having a store and opening the doors, but rather things associated with marketing, with having your accounts in good standing. The program gave me the opportunity to meet people [who] have been able to help me move forward.” Business owners and technical-assistance providers continued to attend the monthly networking events after the class ended. “The networking has been critical to developing my business,” the participant adds. He liked “the opportunity … to know what’s out in the marketplace. You can see globally what’s happening not only in the area in which you have your business but other related areas as well.” In sum, the growth of Latino small businesses in Providence has occurred organically. There is no one program or institution that explains why so many Latinos decided to start businesses—not political clout, not training programs, not networking. Many threads comprise the whole. The researchers believe that there is untapped potential in Providence that could help business owners more while boosting economic growth. Nationally, Latinos are experiencing more entrepreneurial activity than other groups.4 Providence would be well advised to make Latino entrepreneurship a priority, leveraging its past success and embracing the potential. City government, technical-assistance providers, and lenders should capitalize on the Latino community’s strengths and try to broaden the availability of services to bilingual and Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. Just improving public safety and streamlining the permitting process would be beneficial, as several owners indicated. Of course, expanding services can be a challenge in tough times. And small business owners frequently do not see value in closing their businesses to attend an event or a class. Overcoming the challenges will require outreach that is culturally sensitive and language specific. A coordinated, strategic, and collaborative effort by all service providers would be a good place to start. Kerry Spitzer, a doctoral candidate in the department of urban studies and planning at MIT, assisted with this research while an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where Sol Carbonell is a senior community affairs analyst. Endnotes [1] “New England Economic Snapshot” (white paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, August 2011), http://www.bos.frb.org/bankinfo/firo/publications/economicsnapshot/2011/EconomicSnapshotAug2011.pdf.

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[2] Ana Patricia Muテアoz, et al., "Small Businesses in Springfield, Massachusetts: A Look at Latino Entrepreneurship" (Public and Community Affairs discussion paper no. 2011-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston), http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/pcadp/2011/pcadp1102.pdf. [3] US Census Bureau, 2010 Census. [4] Entrepreneurship Index, Kauffman Foundation, http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/joblessentrepreneurship-tarnishes-steady-rate-of-us-startup-activity.aspx. Articles may be reprinted if Communities & Banking and the author are credited and the following disclaimer is used: "The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston or the Federal Reserve System. Information about organizations and upcoming events is strictly informational and not an endorsement."

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Rhode Island Hispanics: Moving Up By WILLIAM COLLINS Bureau of Government Research & Services Rhode Island College In the 1970s, a consultant projected that the population in Rhode Island’s capital city would continue its relentless decline. Several city schools were closed and sold off as a result. A few years later, there began one of the greatest migrations in the state’s history, as immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Colombia and other Latin American nations arrived in Providence, Central Falls and other cities in evergreater numbers. Today, Rhode Island’s Hispanic population exceeds 122,000. In Providence, 33% of the entire population speaks Spanish at home, more than in New York City, Denver, Tampa or San Diego. In Federal Hill and Silver Lake, formerly sacred ground for Italians, the percentage of Hispanics in neighborhood schools ranges from 62 to 83%. The elementary school in Olneyville, once Greek and Polish, is now 75% Hispanic. The West End, where a neighborhood Catholic Church used to conduct services in French, is now the largest Hispanic neighborhood in the city; remarkably, the Lima elementary school on Daboll Street is 90% Hispanic. The Hispanic migration has had profound effects on Providence. In vast areas of the city, English has become a minority language. The overall city population, which was indeed headed to its lowest level in a century, reversed direction in the 1980s, thanks to the Hispanics, and now exceeds 170,000. With so many new immigrants in the city population, Providence had a poverty rate in 2000 of 29%, one of the highest rates of any major city in the country. The Hispanic share of the city population, estimated at 36% in 2007, is just a few points below the percentage for non Hispanic whites. The African-American population, which had looked forward to assuming political leadership in the city, is now less than half the size of the Hispanic population; like the Irish and Italians of past eras, the two groups watch each other warily and do not easily work together. Meanwhile, the gentrification movement of young, college-educated whites in neighborhoods off the East Side has been swamped by the far-larger influx of poor Hispanic immigrants. Property values have also been affected. Hispanics over the last decade bought multi-family houses by the hundreds in poor neighborhoods, helping to raise property values, only to lose many of the homes to a flood of foreclosures. (Hispanics are now buying foreclosed houses at bargain prices.) Hispanics have also been highly entrepreneurial, transforming Broad Street and other main arteries into Hispanic shopping centers. Perhaps most startling, the Hispanic population, after less than a quarter-century in the city, is already showing evidence of moving up the social ladder. Poverty is decreasing, incomes are rising faster among Hispanics than the rest of the population, and Hispanics are seeking better opportunity for their children in charter schools and in suburban schools. School enrollment data makes clear that Hispanics are moving by the thousands to suburbs close to the Providence border. At a time when whites are leaving the state, many in search of employment, the Hispanic population continues to grow, albeit more slowly than in past decades. Between 2000 and 2008, the number of white Rhode Islanders declined by 41,000, while the number of Hispanics rose by 31,000. As a result, people with roots in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala are increasingly prominent, and they are beginning to enter the mainstream of suburban life. © Tomás Alberto Ávila

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It would not be surprising to find in 2010 that 15,000 Hispanics live in the suburban towns in Providence, Kent and Bristol counties. If these trends of assimilation continue, an Hispanic mayor of Providence or even an Hispanic governor within a generation is certainly possible. Civil wars, poverty and corruption drove many of the Hispanics to leave their home countries in the tropical zone, and head for what they believed would be greater opportunity for them in the temperate zone. Many headed first to New York City, with its huge Puerto Rican and Dominican neighborhoods, or to the small, teeming cities across the Hudson in New Jersey, places like Passaic, Perth Amboy, Elizabeth, Patterson and Hackensack. But crime and drugs in these cities caused many to migrate again, landing in Bridgeport, Hartford, Central Falls and Providence in the 1980s. Between 1980 and 2008, the Hispanic population grew by 520% in Rhode Island, more than in New York City, or the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In fact, Rhode Island’s Hispanic population rose at a greater rate during these years than in California, Texas or Florida, America’s great Hispanic states. Making it in Rhode Island has not been easy. Many Hispanics had very low education levels and spoke only Spanish. Just as the Hispanics began to arrive, the usual employer of immigrants, manufacturing, was beginning its terminal swoon in Rhode Island: factory employment has fallen by 60,000 since 1980. Hispanics faced other obstacles. The Catholic Church, which provided a safety net in prior decades for Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Italy and French Canada, has been cutting educational and social services in the cities in recent years as its focus shifted to the suburbs. In addition, the upward mobility of Dominican and Puerto Rican families has been restrained by the widespread weakness in their families. These are the two largest Hispanic nationalities in Rhode Island. In 2000, only 39% of Puerto Rican and Dominican families were husband-wife families. Single-parent households had poverty rates about 2.5 times greater than husband-wife families. Fortunately, Mexican, Guatemalan and Colombian families had much higher rates of husband-wife families. The Hispanic migration has actually slowed significantly in Rhode Island and the other states since 2000, and this is a major reason why Hispanics are rising in the socio-economic ranks. After at least doubling in the 1980s and again in the 1990s, Hispanic population growth in Rhode Island slowed to a mere 35% between 2000 and 2008. (Nevertheless, this rate was higher than in New York City, New Jersey or Connecticut.) With fewer impoverished countrymen to absorb, the more-established Hispanic population in Rhode Island has significantly improved its well-being in relation to other groups in the state. According to Census estimates, the median family income of Hispanics in Rhode Island rose by 49% between 2000 and 2007. By comparison, the income of African-Americans rose by 41%, and the income of whites increased by only 32%. As incomes went up, many Hispanic families rose out of poverty: whereas 41% of Hispanic families in Providence lived below the poverty line in 2000, this percentage fell to 34% in 2007. These were also the years when Hispanics were starting businesses and buying multifamily housing in Providence and other cities. Often, landlords could earn as much from rent as from wages. Anyone who scans the property sales in the newspaper knows that Hispanics have been by far the greatest victims of foreclosure over the last 18 months. It is too soon to gauge the impact on this group. It is true that many Hispanics are losing houses in poor neighborhoods, and that the houses often have mortgages of $200,000 or more. On the other hand, many Hispanics are buying similar houses out of foreclosure for well under $100,000. 212

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There is no question that Hispanics are very real estate-oriented. In past eras, the Irish, Italians and Jews used the income from rent collections to propel a launch into the middle class. Hispanics are moving in the same direction. Hispanics have also been moving their children into schools where, the parents believe, there is greater educational opportunity. This shows a determination to succeed in America that other downtrodden groups might learn from. Consider the population of Hispanic schoolchildren in Providence, Bristol and Kent counties. In 2000, 90% of the children were enrolled in the public schools of inner-city Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and Central Falls. By 2008, however, this percentage had fallen to 79%, as Hispanics enrolled in independent charter schools in the four urban districts, or in public schools in the suburbs. As the charter movement grew in this decade, the number of Hispanic students in the charters increased from 167 in 2000 to 1,535 in 2008. Hispanic enrollment in the suburbs more than doubled, increasing from 1,898 in 2000 to 4,011 in 2008. Warwick, Cranston and East Providence public schools each has more than 400 Hispanic students, quite a change from the days when the borders between Providence and its suburbs seemed to be hermetically sealed. Hispanics have also greatly increased their enrollment in Classical High School, the highly regarded examination high school in Providence. The number of Hispanic students gaining entrance nearly doubled between 2000 and 2008; there are now more Hispanic than white students at Classical. What will be the impact of Hispanics on politics in Providence or in the state as a whole? Will the Hispanics attempt to follow in the path of the Irish and Italians, and use political patronage governmental employment as one of the primary means of upward mobility for loyal supporters from their group? Even though Hispanics account for almost 12% of the population of Rhode Island, and 36% of Providence, it will take some time before they can attain political power. There are two major reasons why. First, the average age of Hispanics is only 26, versus 38 for Rhode Island as a whole, and a disproportionately large portion of the Hispanic population is below voting age. Second, among those aged 18 and above, 44% of the Hispanic residents of Rhode Island (52% in Providence) are not citizens and cannot vote. Undoubtedly, some of the non-citizens are also in the country illegally, and cannot follow a straightforward route towards citizenship. As a result, Hispanics represented only 5% of Rhode Island voters in the presidential election of 2004, and 9% in 2008. Blacks, who flooded the polls last year, were 13% of the vote. Over time, these numbers will grow. If Hispanics formed an alliance with African Americans, the two groups could have some impact on state elections and could be a force in Providence elections. However, the two groups are highly competitive, economically as well as politically, and voting as a bloc would not be easy. More important than gaining political power is gaining an education. Like other states in the Northeast, Rhode Island is increasingly using its brain power to earn a living. College educated workers, mostly white, are moving in, while the thousands of white middle-class workers -- those with no more than a high school degree -- are moving out. Hispanics have quickly shown that they have high ambitions for themselves and their children. Unless they move rapidly up the education ladder, however, these new Rhode Islanders will become servants in all but name, waiting on the college-educated class and longing for their style of life. ツゥ Tomテ。s Alberto テ」ila

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Leveraging Rhode Island Emerging Hispanic Market Tomás A. Ávila 01/01/2013 Back in 1992, Magic Johnson and Ken Lombard went to see Peter Guber then CEO at Sony Pictures with a proposal to invest in the development of a movie theater in a foreign county, and proceeded to ask him. What if we can tell you about a land, a foreign country which is the most vibrant market place for new theater? Let us tell you about this country, it's got one of the most robust market places for films ever, as much as any group in the United States or the world, it has a very very aggressive market. This land's citizens don't care about movie reviews, the citizens all are a close-knit community. Then they included the facts, viz: how often people went to the movies, how much they spent on concessions, etc After they finished the story, Peter Guber said, "Yes, let's build movie theatres there; and asked them where is it? Magic responded it is six miles from here in Baldwin Hills, the African American community in South Los Angeles that has been ignored for a long time, and it has the perfect metrics of where you want to build a theatre. The story by Magic Johnson became the foundation of the partnership established between Johnson Development and Sony Pictures and Guber green-lighted the development of Magic Johnson Theatres at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in the mid-1990s. The shining success of the theatres in a South Los Angeles neighbourhood overlooked by traditional investors led to a partnership with Howard Shultz, chairman of Starbucks, who arranged a special deal with Johnson to open Starbucks in urban neighbourhoods. Johnson was Starbucks’ only franchise operator until the agreement expired in 2010. Similarly global emerging markets – from Brazil, Mexico, and Korea to Indonesia and South Africa have proven that they have certain attributes in common: a young population, increasing productivity, rising per capita income, and an appetite for consumption that will fuel new spending. Rhode Island has such emerging market within its borders in the Hispanic American market. In fact, according to the united nation the coming decade will be the first in 200 years when emerging market countries contribute more to global growth than developed countries. Taking lessons from the above emerging markets and applying it to the emergence of the Hispanic community in Rhode Island and the United States and adapt it to catalyze similar growth in Rhode Island’s struggling economic development eco system. We need to integrate the Hispanic community to reinvent Rhode Island economy, and create a Hispanic emerging market strategic plan, that leverage the thriving Latino entrepreneurial spirit that without much encouragement or assistance from the government and other established institutions continues to thrive. Partnering with our local world class talent and our experience nurturing entrepreneurial communities, I envision the Hispanic market creating critical mass in Rhode Island’s emerging market space and launch a new wave of high growth market that will truly help reinvent Rhode Island economy for the next 20 - 40 years in the same fashion that previous immigrant communities have done. Rhode Island needs to amplify 214

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resources that already exist to accelerate the creation and expansion of successful, scalable Hispanic business in areas of our economy where we already have significant but unrealized market potential, and help policy makers, investors, foundations and private investors leverage such a big market opportunity right in front of our eyes but ignored for so long, and help foster an improve economic future for every Rhode Islander. Rhode Island’s Hispanic-owned businesses are a bright spot in the state’s economy that needs to be integrated into the state's economic development strategy and business development efforts to capitalize on this momentum, vibrant, dynamic market looking to grow and create jobs in our state. According to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 Survey of Business Owners, Rhode Island Hispanic-owned business jumped from 3,415 in 2002 to 5,764 in 2007, an increase of 68.8 percent. Over the same time period, revenues increased by 115.4 percent, from 213.7 million in 2002 to 460.4 million in 2007. This data helps to make more informed decisions to work towards integrating the Hispanic economic development in the state agenda and capitalize on the momentum of this thriving sector of our economy. Most importantly looking at the emerging market of Hispanic America, the U.S. Census projects that Hispanic purchasing power, will top $1.5 trillion by 2015. That means the Hispanic market in America would be the 11th largest economy in the world – just below France, Italy and Mexico and above Korea, Spain, Indonesia and Turkey. Put another way, if Hispanics were a nation, it would be a member of the "G-20," the international forum of the world's richest nations. In fact, Hispanic America's purchasing power per capita (at $20.4 thousand) exceeds the GDP per capita of every one of the four BRIC countries – Russia ($15.9), Brazil (10.8), China($7.6), India ($3.5) – and most of the remaining "G-20" nations: South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey (excepting only Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia). According to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Providence was hit hard in the Great Recession. By June 2011, the city’s unemployment rate was over 15 percent, above the national average and the highest in New England. But a positive trend recorded before the financial crisis—when the city’s Latino-owned businesses grew in number from 731 in 1997 to 2,999 in 2007—may hold promise for the future. The researchers believe that there is untapped potential in Providence that could help business owners more while boosting economic growth. Nationally, Latinos are experiencing more entrepreneurial activity than other groups. Providence would be well advised to make Latino entrepreneurship a priority, leveraging its past success and embracing the potential. City government, technical-assistance providers, and lenders should capitalize on the Latino community’s strengths and try to broaden the availability of services to bilingual and Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. Just improving public safety and streamlining the permitting process would be beneficial, as several owners indicated. Hispanic America's future growth is perhaps even more important than its current size and wealth. According to U.S. Census forecasts, the US Hispanic population is poised to grow by 83 million by the half century mark – from the current 50+ million to 133 million by 2050, making Hispanic America larger than the current population of Japan and just short of the current population of Russia.

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Put another way, the growth of Hispanic America over the next 40 years will be the equivalent of adding 10 additional New York Cities populated only with Hispanics. Indeed, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves opined that the growth of the Hispanic population is one of the big stories from the 2010 Census…and he was absolutely correct. A major opportunity for economic growth lies with the scores of Hispanic businesses throughout Rhode Island that manufacture unique ethnic products, import foreign goods for distribution or provide specialized services to immigrant communities. Many of these firms could easily expand their operations and create new jobs—by exporting their goods and services to other parts of the country that have emerging immigrant populations but few ethnic businesses of their own. With minimal support, some of the state's small Hispanic-run firms might become the next Goya or Golden Krust. Rhode Island should create a new initiative to actively target these businesses and provide resources to help them develop the expertise and capacity to export into new markets. Johnson also teamed up with Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, a Century City investment fund that manages about $18 billion for investors such as pension funds and university endowments. Together they have done a series of joint ventures investing hundreds of millions of dollars in densely populated, ethnically diverse communities around the United States. The Hispanic business community continues to grow; yet their true economic potential is still unrealized. Hispanic firms become an engine of Rhode Island job creation, with paid employment growing in the state. We should develop global financing solutions for Hispanic business enterprises such as: developing unique public-private partnerships to create funding vehicles for Hispanic Business, expanding the number of financing options and increasing surety bonding opportunities. Commit to making sure the growth and competitiveness of the Hispanic business community continues to be a priority. Foster innovation and entrepreneurship within the Hispanic community in high-growth industries such as: Clean and Renewable Energy, Green Technology, Healthcare and Information Technology that will create needed jobs, expand Rhode Island tax base while creating future wealth in the Hispanic community thereby improving our future economic outlook. Growth in wealth is advanced not only by population growth but also by expanding entrepreneurship and international business. Other benefits of a more integrated Hispanic business include strengthened social capital, greater opportunities for upward mobility, and increased income and purchasing power that is injected back into the economy. A better-integrated Hispanic population would facilitate greater multicultural communication and civic engagement and reduce social tensions, as well as minimize some of the costs associated with the arrival of new immigrants. Today, the private sector plays a key role in integrating this country’s largest pool of immigrants. In fact, workplace programs provide some of the necessary tools for integration into the wider community. Achieving greater integration of Hispanics business into the fabric of Rhode Island economic development is a public policy imperative with obvious benefits for the state bottom line.

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