News Column

Corner Office

December 16, 2010

Jesus Chavarria, Editor and Publisher

It's been more than 40 years since President Richard Nixon signed Executive Order 11468 on March 5, l969. The signing of the seminal document launched efforts to create equal opportunity for minority enterprise development in federal markets. It's a struggle that continues to this day.

And the results to date are not quite impressive as two important articles in this issue show. "Filling the Business Gap" and "In the SBA's Face" both clearly describe the state of minority enterprise development not only in the federal markets but at various levels of government in the country. The equal opportunity law is on the books, but obstacles have proven intractable. Among them the issue of enforcement remains critical.

There are other obstacles as well. Not the least of which is finding hard data describing government contracting; indeed, identifying to whom contracts are awarded broken out by minority ethnicity and gender. New York's MWBE Coalition is diligently trying to develop an information base explaining and advocating about how government contracting to small business can promote economic and business development in underdeveloped communities beset with unemployment. One of their spokespersons declares: "The coalition is aware that the state of minority business will determine the future of the economy in New York."

Read ahead about community-based efforts in the northeast to promote economic growth and development by relying, in part, on creating business development opportunities in government markets. At the federal level the SBA or Small Business Administration was created to facilitate credit and government contracting opportunities to the nation's small business. Read about what has really happened in the real-time world of government contracting.

The Big Stories

December is customarily the month for a broad look at the U.S. Hispanic communications industry, or as the medley of stories is called in this issue: The 2010 Special Media Report. While in recent years market growth has not been as robust as in past years, ad expenditures did increase this year by 5 percent (while spending contracted last year). So we decided to look at the Hispanic markets from different vantage points, including a wide-ranging interview with Gisela Girard, a principal at Creative Civilization, an ad agency based in San Antonio, Texas, and outgoing chair of AHAA (the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies). While Ms. Girard provides insights into the workings of markets under stress, she broadly casts the Hispanic market as radiating growth potential despite tough times.

All the same, we see a new phenomenon rising in the form of "The New Face of Social Media" feature, or, the spontaneous
rising of Latina bloggers across the nation. There's brash excitement among the network of "buzz-builders" replicating themselves in major metro markets as blogging communities focused on all kinds of subject matter pertinent to the bilingual world. Read on and find out what's on their minds.

Somehow it seems all these stories have a common thread, which is the business of communications in emerging markets.

Source: (c) 2010. All rights reserved.

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