WASHINGTON, June 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) President & CEO Javier Palomarez joined SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet this morning for a Politico Panel Discussion titled "ProFinancial Service Briefing: The Future of Lending." The event was presented by the Independent Community Bankers of American (ICBA) at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC.
When asked about the state of small business lending, Ms. Contreras-Sweet and Mr. Palomarez expressed optimism about the progress made since the 2008 economic downturn.
"The state of Small business lending is generally improving, especially when you consider certain indicators: 51 months of consecutive job growth, for a total of 9.4 million jobs, including 217,000 jobs added last month alone. The administration has done good work in supporting small business by issuing 18 tax cuts, $380 billion in federal contracts and $130 billion in loans," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "The private sector is doing its fair share as well. JPM Chase – a close partner of the USHCC – has been the number one lender of SBA-backed loans for the last four years, and has issued $56 billion in credit to businesses in the last three years alone. Another shining example is one of our association's biggest funders, Wells Fargo, the number one lender for all small business loans in America for the past 11 years, last month committed an additional $100 billion in small business loans over the next four years."
Ms. Contreras-Sweet stressed the importance of small business, explaining how "small business is not small; it's a big deal" and how they account for more than half of American jobs. The SBA Administrator presented a strong case for why "small business is business in America."
Earlier this year, the USHCC launched a three-month campaign supporting Contreras-Sweet for SBA Administrator. The effort included leading a coalition of the ten largest business associations in the nation, and resulted in over 700 signatures of support from top business leaders. The campaign successfully urged Congress to unanimously confirm Ms. Contreras-Sweet – the first Latina appointed to the SBA since the post was elevated to a full cabinet-level agency.
"Maria Contreras-Sweet understands the plight of small businesses because she's lived it herself," Mr. Palomarez added. "One of the best ways to build the confidence of community banks is by educating small business owners on how to scale their operations and become responsible borrowers. That's why educational programs advanced by the Administrator are essential. On the commercial side, Visa's guide on how to build credit, as wells as Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses initiative are critically important. At the end of the day, the best way to grow our economy is by encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors – and the USHCC is lending its voice and membership to build that critically important bridge."
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative is a $500 million dollar investment focused on training entrepreneurs on the fundamentals of running a business and how to build successful models that position them for growth and success. The program has a 99 percent graduation rate, and participants showed substantial improvements just six months after graduating from the program, including:
In closing, Mr. Palomarez urged Congress and the White House to work together on behalf of American small business: "As you can see, the public sector – from the Administration to the SBA, and the private sector – from Wells Fargo, to JPM Chase, to Goldman Sachs, to Visa – are working collaboratively to avoid the bad practices that caused the 2008 economic collapse, and adopting best practices that benefit all parties involved. At the end of the day, negotiations, whether they're motivated by profit or politics, achieve their highest possible success when we recognize that cooperation works better than conflict, that solidarity outlasts isolation, and that our differences do not outweigh our common interests."
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of our nation's entrepreneurs. The USHCC advocates on behalf of nearly 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that together contribute in excess of $468 billion to the American economy, each year. As the leading organization of its kind, the USHCC serves as an umbrella to more than 200 local chambers and business associations across the nation, and partners with more than 220 major corporations.
For more information, visit www.ushcc.com.
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Ammar Campa-Najjar Associate Director of Communications 619-721-5148