There is a lot to cover on the subject of this column - minority owned business development - so to keep the effort focused and useful, I will organize articles around four main topics, Resources, News, Strategies, and Profiles. Resources articles will focus on government and private industry sources of information, tools, and business development. News articles will highlight current events, economic trends and legislative/regulatory information of interest to our readers. Strategy articles will feature research, marketing and business development best practices. I believe this structure will allow for the broadest exchange of information in the shortest amount of time. Of course, I welcome your feedback, so let me know what you think.
There are actually more resources available to minority owned businesses than most people think. They are not always easy to understand and the application process alone can be the most difficult part. But that's part of the point. You really have to work at it, you really have to want it. There may be resources to be had but you must demonstrate motivation, commitment and a fair amount of your own skin in the game.
Today I'm going to focus on resources that target Hispanic business owners. As I've done in the past, I will highlight other ethnic-centric organizations in future articles.
Organization: Puerto Rican/Latino Business Development Center
Branch of: Empire State Development Corporation
Address: 633 Third Ave., 32nd Fl.
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 803-3238
Fax: (212) 803-3223
Contact: Nicolas Torrens
Organization purpose: Serves as a resource for Hispanic-owned businesses in need of capital and expertise by providing loans and technical assistance with a minimum amount of $50,000.
Web Page: www.empire.state.ny.us
Organization: Hispanic Federation of New York City
Address: 2530 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10458
Phone: (718) 562-6224
Fax: (718) 562-6225
Contact: Lorraine Cortes Vazquez
Web Page: www.hispanicfederation.org
Organization: Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company
Address: 666 5th Ave., 15th Fl.
New York, NY 10103
Phone1: (212) 245-1200
Phone2: (212) 333-0333
Fax: (212) 974-1940
Contact: Neil Watlington Armstrong
Organization purpose: Provides support to industries such as the measuring, analyzing, and controlling instruments industry, the plastics industry, and the electronic and electrical equipment and component manufacturing industry.
Web Page: www.pridco.com
Organization: Interracial Council for Business Opportunity
Address: 51 Madison Ave. #2212
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (800) 252-4226
Fax: (212) 779-4365
Contact: Lorraine Kelsey
Title: Executive Director
Organization purpose: Provides assistance for minority businessmen and women in developing and managing their own business with significant success.
Organization: Audubon Partnership for Economic Development
Special Interest: Technical Assistance
Branch: Affiliate of NCLR
Address: 5000 Broadway #A
New York, NY 10034
Phone: (212) 544-2470
Fax: (212) 544-0248
Contact: Walther Delgado
Title: Executive Director
Organization purpose: Provides technical assistance for small businesses
Organization: Minority Business Development Agency
Branch of: New York Office/U.S. Department of Commerce
Address: 26 Federal Plaza #3720
New York, NY 10278
Phone1: (212) 264-3483
Phone2: (212) 264-3262
Fax: (212) 264-0725
Contact: Ralph J. Perez
Title: Business Development Specialist
Organization purpose: The agency is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, specifically created to encourage the creation, growth and expansion of minority owned businesses in the U.S.
Web Page: www.mbda.gov
Organization: National Hispanic Business Group
Address: 81 Spencer St.
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Phone: (718) 222-5631
Fax: (718) 222-5683
Contact: Gilbert Rivera
Organization purpose: Seeks to create an organization designed to advance business goals and opportunities for its members, while supporting positive social change and complete community involvement.
Web Page: www.nhbg.org
Organization: Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Inc.
Address: 198 E. 161st St. #201
Bronx, NY 10451
Phone: (718) 590-3948
Fax: (718) 590-3499
Contact: Jose L. Ithier
Organization purpose: Assists businesses in need of capital and expertise by providing loans and technical assistance
Web Page: www.boedc.com
Before you contact these organizations make sure you are prepared. This means that you must be able to clearly state your business objectives, performance to date, and future plans. Update your business plan and in particular, your financials. Impress the organization by doing a little research beforehand. The more you know about their mission, application process and requirements, the more professional and prepared you will appear.