You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2010.

By Justin Velez-Hagan

National Executive Director

Washington, D.C., September 28, 2010.  Yesterday, the president signed into law the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act.  The bill has been touted as one of the best ideas for reinvigorating small business and job growth and, hence, deserves an analysis by The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, a staunch supporter of small business and entrepreneurship.

The legislation itself provides temporary tax incentives as well as a general account intended to provide local community banks with funding for small business lending.  Although its intent is clear, language within the bill does not guarantee funding for small business lending.  While 13 democrats voted against it, only 3 republicans supported the bill.  One of those democrats, the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to U.S. Congress, Nydia Velasquez (NY), voted against the bill amidst concerns that capital from the bill would not go to its intended source.

After examining the bill, it becomes clear that the tax incentives are temporary and greater strain will be placed upon small businesses, limiting their ability to stimulate the economy.  Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University, states that small business owners “don’t need more debt, they need more customers—and the government can’t provide those.”[i]

What Makes the Entrepreneur Tick? Read the rest of this entry »


The SBA’s yearly Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index was released this month and had some surprising results for both the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The index, according to the executive summary released with the report:

. . . builds on and improves earlier measures by capturing quantitative and qualitative aspects of entrepreneurship. It measures entrepreneurial performance in 71 countries over three sub-indexes, 14 pillars, and 31 individual and institutional variables. The United States appears among the top entrepreneurial economies and ranks third on the GEDI.

It has long been held that the U.S. is the land of opportunity, especially for budding businesspeople, so this new finding brings a shocker to our country.

But perhaps, just as shocking is Puerto Rico’s rise to number #17. Read the rest of this entry »

On September 16th and 17th, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (no affiliation) sent a letters to the USDOJ and the SEC requesting an investigation into a deal between the foreign-owned Diageo and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A quote from the letter sent to Representative Velasquez’s office on September 17th states:

This deal is unprecedented in that it effectively transfers U.S. tax dollars directly to a foreign company, with Diageo slated to receive almost half of all Cover Over revenues generated by the sale of rum produced at the facility. The almost $6 billion in direct payments over 60 years for only 40 jobs is equivalent to $2.5 million per job per year.

We applaud and support the National Puerto Rican Coalition in its continued effort to educate legislators on the untenable deal and persuade government authorities to look into practices which encourage corruption and misappropriation of U.S. Taxpayers’ money.

The letter to Congresswoman Velasquez can be found here.

By Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Guest Blogger, Christian Science Monitor

A new poll of small business owners is out this morning, conducted by Bill McInturff and Doug Schoen for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), and it shows that small business owners are not in a good mood.

“This poll reveals that there is a lot of fear among business owners in this current economic climate,” said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and ILR President Lisa Rickard.

According to the survey of 1,000 small business owners, 78% of respondents say that the U.S. economy will either remain stagnant or get worse over the next year. This is the most pessimistic findings I have seen in recent polls.

So what should be done by Washington? It seems that most small business owners agree with me on this one. Two-thirds of small business owners (65%) say government is doing too much that is better left to businesses and individuals. Read the rest of this entry »

As posted by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council:

Yesterday, the House GOP leadership released their “Pledge to America,” which included various proposals focused on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs.  Read SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan’s statement on the Pledge by clicking here.

Specifically, the pledge would stop tax increases on all taxpayers (when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year) and provide small business owners with another significant tax deduction to free up additional resources for investment and hiring.  The Pledge also repeals the new health care law, and replaces it with reforms that have long been sought by the small business community.  On the regulatory front, the Pledge makes members of Congress accountable for the laws they Read the rest of this entry »

originally posted by the Washington Times:

We may be witnessing the single worst example of corporate welfare in a generation. With all due respect to the crowd favorite, Archer Daniels Midland, the new contender essentially could give its product away and still make a profit – thanks to the generosity of the American taxpayer.

At the heart of the rip-off is a policy known as the “cover over” tax subsidy, which provides Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) a rebate on the federal excise taxes U.S. consumers pay when they buy rum produced in those territories. There are virtually no restrictions on the use of the money – though Puerto Rico currently uses 94 percent of the revenues to support investments in infrastructure, health, education and environmental preservation. (The additional 6 percent is spent on marketing for the island’s rum industry.)

To increase its revenue from the program, the Virgin Islands’ government two years ago signed an agreement with the British liquor conglomerate Diageo in which the company agreed to move its Captain Morgan rum distillery from Puerto Rico to USVI. Under the agreement, which makes the federal government‘s policy of paying farmers not to grow crops look penurious, the USVI government will give Diageo nearly half of all cover-over revenues generated by Captain Morgan sales. Read the rest of this entry »

as originally posted here:

Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host its first Minority Entrepreneurship Conference on Oct. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Trustee Science Center.

The conference will provide an opportunity for minority entrepreneurs to learn basic entrepreneurship skills, hear about contracting with the government and specific funding opportunities and network with other entrepreneurs and professionals that can help with their businesses.

“The addition of the Minority Entrepreneurship Conference is a natural fit with our mission both at the Edward Jones Center and Drury at large,” said Kelley Still, executive director of the EJC.

“Our relationships with the minority community Read the rest of this entry »

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the coveted contest in Puerto Rico, Exito Empresarial, which awards students from around the island with the best business plan a chance to compete in the “Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.”

This contest, and others like it, are great examples of ways in which a community can encourage the free flow of entrepreneurial ideas for innovation, which can eventually lead to businesses that create jobs.

For this reason, The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce has chosen to support the contest by becoming a sponsor, but we will also be supporting other similar contests throughout the country in the near future.

Email or call us for more information or visit

You can also read more about the contest in El Nuevo Dia newspaper.

The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with JetBlue Airways to raise money for the American Cancer Society.


According to the Intercultural Cancer Council:

Even though Hispanic women have lower rates of breast cancer (69.8 per 100,000) compared to non-Hispanic White women or Black
women (111.8 and 95.4 respectively), breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanics.

Although Hispanics have managed to maintain lower rates of breast cancer, it is quite humbling to know that it is still the leading cause of cancer deaths among Hispanics!

Help us support breast cancer research, awareness, and treatment for Hispanics, so that we can all live healthier, happier lives!

We are looking for 500 people to donate just $5.  Any donation will be accepted, but if you can only donate $5 you will still help us reach our goal!


We recently came across a book that caught our attention a little more than most.  This book, written by a professor and business school dean at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Dr. Jose Romaguera, offers a little bit more than your average book on entrepreneurship.  Entitled Chispa Empresarial (or “Entrepreneurial Spark” in English) the book provides helpful advice, thought-provoking questions, and true entrepreneurial success stories for the budding entrepreneur.

After reading other books on the subject of entrepreneurship, it becomes apparent that most classroom books study the mindset of the entrepreneur and attempt to demonstrate specific characteristics or tendencies of “the typical” entrepreneur.  Sometimes this is off-putting for the budding entrepreneur because if their own characteristics do not align with those of other “successful” entrepreneurs, they tend to become discouraged.

However, Chispa Empresarial, with its many stories/examples Read the rest of this entry »

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