News Column

Corner Office

Aug. 11, 2011

Jesus Chavarria, Editor and Publisher

Free to do what it does best, which is to create jobs.

As Juan Solana's economic outlook story in this issue aptly shows, payroll increases as tracked by the ADP National Employment Report, released July 7, rose by 1,526,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Now, 778,000 of those jobs were created by small businesses. During the same period, large businesses created 39,000 jobs. Medium-sized companies created the rest.

The picture that comes to mind is of a job-creating machine that in recent years has not been performing at its best. We've known for a while why the 3.3 percent growth projected for the first half of 2011 stalled. Weather, socioeconomic impacts of the Japan tsunami and earthquake on American markets, and deepening problems in Europe, among other variables inevitably roiled the American recovery. Consequently, hiring choked up, as did consumer demand. It is indeed remarkable the Fastest-Growing 100 Hispanic small-business companies presented in this issue (the ranking based on 2010 data) performed as well as they did. Many more did not fare as well in the first half of the current year.

Still, things were looking better for the end of year until the debt-limit crisis took over the national attention. At this point in time, there's no telling what outcomes negotiations between the White House, the House and the Senate will produce. Certainly the debate has not been inspiring. Instead, we get wannabe sound bites and plenty of hot-air rhetoric. There's a whole lot of that. It's truly amazing to watch individuals who themselves supported deficit-creating legislation act now as guardians of economic probity.

That's politics ...

On the small-business front, we find wealth creating endeavors, job creation and opportunity oft en obtained the old-fashioned way. Federal government policies have contributed to the national supply of opportunity. Take the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program, which enables select companies capable of meeting stiff requirements to compete and find federal contracts. Rebecca Villaneda's story on the SBA 8(a) program is a reminder of a federal program that's been around since the founding of this magazine which is still helping entrepreneurs find the keys to success.

Take MicroTech LLC, a large-scale technology services enterprise founded nearly seven years ago and located in Vienna, Va. This year crowns the third year in a row MicroTech has occupied the No. 1 spot on this magazine's 100 fastest-growing company rankings. MicroTech is an 8(a) firm, but it is also a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and is ISO 20000 and ISO 9001:2008 certified.

There were some notable new companies added to the 100 fastest-growing directory, InGenesis Inc., of San Antonio, for example. Its fi ve-year sales growth reached 1,574.7 percent, enough to place it at No. 6 on the directory. But there were indications of the recession's lingering effects. Twenty companies on the list posted revenue losses from 2009 to 2010 and only one company posted revenues of more than $1 billion.

Two companies, Molina Healthcare Inc. and Brightstar Corp., with combined revenues of $4.6 billion for 2010, did not make the list. Adding them to the equation, however, shows that Hispanic-owned businesses as a whole are holding their own in this struggling economic recovery.

Source: (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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