You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.

By: Justin Velez-Hagan, National Executive Director

Inc. magazine recently published an article that gave the author’s take on a “highly practical, eminently doable, totally reasonable plan to revitalize the American Dream.” (Bluestein and Barrett, July/August 2010) Admittedly, they came up with some stellar ideas for jump-starting up-starts!  Given that The National Puerto Rican Chamber’s number one concern for our economy is business growth and job creation, we thought this article deserved a close look.

Promote Entrepreneurship in all schools, not just B-schools

This seems like a common sense idea that most overlook.  Universities far too often rely on B-school students as society’s sole source of future entrepreneurs.  However, many of the top companies in the world were founded by individuals who had no business background.  Take, for example, Google–its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were engineering students vying for a Ph.D. Read the rest of this entry »


That’s right!  Our official Press Release will be sent out this week, but we wanted to give you the head’s up that most of you have already seen on Facebook or on our Website.  Our entire mission is to promote economic development and entrepreneurship and that includes helping you with your business . . .

Our sponsors and our volunteers have been so good at supporting our mission that they we are now able to offer a FREE one-year membership, which includes all of the FREE services and advice that our members receive!   Read the rest of this entry »

By Jorge Bauermeister – November 11, 2010

Haga clic aquí para recibir una copia electrónica de este artículo en español.

A newly released U.S. Department of Commerce study entitled Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States finds that while broadband adoption is growing dramatically, disparities exist among low-income and minority households. According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Economics and Statistics Administration, both of which contributed to the development of the study, states in the Northeast and West have greater broadband connectivity than states in the South and Midwest.  This assessment was determined through the study’s broad survey of about 54,000 U.S. households. Read the rest of this entry »

Over the past year, The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce has grown beyond our original plans, as well as developed a role outside of its original intended scope.  Our membership has grown to include representation from the Bronx, NY to Issaquah, WA (I know, I hadn’t heard of it either) to nearly every metropolitan area within the U.S. and, of course, Puerto Rico.  However, much to our surprise, our membership also now includes countries as far away as Korea and Australia, and original hometowns from a dozen Latin American and Spanish-Speaking countries.

Despite our differences, perhaps the binding quality that we all share is that we are aware of the uniquely American belief that with a simple idea and a strong work ethic, we all have the opportunity for success in life.  This drive to innovate, to develop an idea, to bring it to fruition, and to take a leap of faith in order to have the opportunity to even touch the heels of success is what drove all of our ancestors, whether our parents or our parents’ parents’ parents, to come to this land of opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

By:  Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

If you followed the news this month, the big buzz has been about the GOP gaining the majority in the House of Representatives just two years after the Democrats reinforced their majority in 2008 from their gains in 2006.  The GOP made strong gains in the Senate, tightening the party line divide.  We have a divided legislature and divided government, not to mention a new Speaker of the House.  Outside of the Federal level, Republicans made strong gains, taking control of state legislatures, and gained many seats in governor’s races.

Those are probably the headlines you have read.  What you probably haven’t read is that according to Rob Mandelbaum of the New York Times, 33 small business owners and entrepreneurs were elected to Congress.  Read the rest of this entry »

Por: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

Con  la colaboración de Justin Velez-Hagan, National Executive Director

Traducido por: Julia Cortazar

23 de noviembre de 2010, Washington, D.C. – Puerto Rico ha sido fuertemente afectada por la crisis económica mundial.  En la actualidad, la cifra oficial de desempleo trepa a una tasa del 17%, la cual no incluye a los subempleados y a quienes han dejado de buscar empleo. Al mismo tiempo, hay escasez de mano de obra en el sector agrícola. Desde la semana pasada en Puerto Rico se está discutiendo el Proyecto de Ley 1038, el cual permitirá la importación, de manera temporaria, de mano de obra extranjera para la cosecha del grano de café y otras cosechas. (Para mayor información sobre este tema haga clic aquí)

Existen dos cuestiones importantes en juego –la primera desde la perspectiva empresarial y económica– los cultivos y las tierras sembradas necesitan ser cosechadas. Cada año, hay una caída en la producción por la falta de trabajo físico en las cosechas. Esto lleva a una ineficiencia en la producción y, eventualmente, podría causar que la isla pierda competitividad en la producción de café y otros productos agrícolas. Read the rest of this entry »

By: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

With contributions by: Justin Velez-Hagan, National Executive Director

November 23 2010, Washington, D.C. – Puerto Rico has been hit very hard in the global economic crisis.  Currently, there is an official 17% unemployment rate, which does not include the underemployed and those who have given up looking for work.  Yet, at the same time, there is a shortage of labor in the agricultural sector.  As of last week, Puerto Rico is discussing Bill 1038, which will in essence allow the Commonwealth to import foreign labor on a temporary basis to assist with the coffee bean and other harvests.  [For more information on the policy, click here]

There are two important issues at play – one is from the business and economics perspective – the crops and the fields need to be harvested.  Each year, there is wasted production and wasted output because the fields lack the physical labor needed to bring them to harvest.  This leads to inefficiency of production, and could eventually cause the island to lose any competitive edge it has in the production of coffee and other agricultural endeavors.  The second issue is that there is inefficiency in the labor market if there is an excess of labor (which 17% unemployment clearly shows) and unwillingness for Puerto Rican’s to work as laborers in the agricultural sector.  This is not a new phenomenon; we have seen this for a long time in the lower 48 of the United States.  Macroeconomics teaches us that an economy will never have a 0% unemployment rate, due to seasonal, frictional, and structural factors. Read the rest of this entry »

as posted at

“Beyond the dollars that can be saved with an Internet connection, being online brings unquantifiable advantages like access to education, job opportunities, social networking and on-demand information,” said Bruce Mehlman, IIA co-chairman. “Congress and the FCC should focus their efforts on policies that encourage investment in more robust networks and policies that expand digital literacy to those offline, rather than aggressive regulatory detours that discourage investment.”

10 ways being online saves you money

Read the rest of this entry »

By: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

Mr. Kirby joins The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce with an experienced background in Public Policy Analysis.  He has worked for Americans for Informed Democracy, the Center for US Global Engagement, and for local governments in Virginia on issues ranging from international finance, national security, and other areas of foreign and domestic policy.  He holds a Master of International Development Degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

In the news, a lot of time and coverage has been spent on the issue of taxes and the responsible course of action of spurring economic growth in a recession and balancing real concerns of government deficits when major spending cuts are no longer politically feasible.  In Washington, there is a lot of political rhetoric surrounding tax cuts and tax credits for the middle class and small businesses or whether increasing taxes on the top earners and large corporations will bring relief to the struggling or help pull the country out of the recession.   In Puerto Rico, there are similar talks, especially as the governor has announced a new policy which has left many at odds over the decision.

Luis Fortuno, the young governor of the island, has made a shocking move that has left differing stakeholders at odds.  Read the rest of this entry »

por Gwendolyn Gonzalez

Hoy más que nunca entiendo quien eres
Eres aquella que me brindo identidad y un hogar
La que sintió con cosquilla
mis primeros pasos sobre su piel
La que me brindo calor y frio
durante noches y amanecer
Hoy más que nunca entiendo quien eres
Aquella que nunca pregunto porqué
Porque tantos abusos, coraje, dolor y llanto manifesté
Fuiste la que nunca me abandono
y siempre demostró fe
No sé porque nunca te dije lo mucho que te ame
Pero ahora veo tu gran gloria
Aquella que has logrado conservar
Aunque muchos dolores te he hecho pasar
Hoy más que nunca además de entender
Aprecio, valoro y añoro todo lo que me has brindado
Y los que has de ofrecer


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