New York City College of Technology (City Tech) became a regional center of the New York State Small Business Development Center, offering full-time expert management and technical assistance to startup and existing businesses in Brooklyn. The office is located in the Howard Building, 25 Chapel Street, 11th floor, in Downtown Brooklyn, and is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Professional SBDC advisers offer free one-on-one business counseling, research and training. Individuals considering locating or moving a business to Brooklyn can receive help preparing business plans or simply receive answers to questions about marketing, production issues, finance and other topics. To contact the SBDC office at City Tech, please call 718-797-0187, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
The nation’s Hispanic population increased to 45.5 million on July 1, 2007, or 15.1 percent of the estimated total U.S. population of 301.6 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Hispanics are the country’s largest minority group, with Blacks (single race or multiracial) second at 40.7 million in 2007. Blacks were the largest minority group in 24 states, compared with 20 states in which Hispanics were the largest minority group. The population of whites (single race and not of Hispanic origin) totaled 199.1 million. With a 3.3 percent increase between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, Hispanics were the fastest-growing minority group, followed by Asians with a 2.9 percent population increase during the period. The white population grew by 0.3 percent during the one-year period.
Record Alumnus Pledge
Verna B. Dauterive, a University of Southern California alumnus, pledged $25 million as a way to thank the school for its “dedication to diversity and global outreach.” It is the largest gift from an African-American ever made to a U.S. university. The school said Dauterive was making the donation in the name of her late husband, Peter, who was a USC business graduate and who founded a Los Angeles savings and loan association that provided mortgages in the inner city. In 1985, the Dauterives endowed the school’s first scholarship for minority doctoral students in education.
Black Catholic Schools
The Committee to Save Black Catholic Schools asked Pope Benedict XVI to intervene in the Washington, D.C., Archdiocese’s decision to close seven schools and take specific steps to keep the schools open in the District and help Catholic schools across the country continue to educate minority students in urban areas. In a letter to Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s highest representative in the United States, the committee encouraged the Pope to support an annual national collection for urban Catholic education, noting that the Archdiocese of Washington led the integration of Catholic schools even before desegregation of public schools became law. In September, Archbishop Wuerl proposed that eight Catholic Schools with predominantly Black enrollments be closed or turned into public charter schools, contending that the Archdiocese of Washington had run out of money to sustain them.
Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest student lender, says it cannot write money-losing student loans indefinitely. Experts say that unless the government intervenes or market conditions rapidly improve, Sallie Mae could have no choice but to stop writing new federally backed loans. House lawmakers late April approved a measure to boost the availability of credit for Sallie Mae and other student lenders. Sallie Mae lost $104 million in the first quarter as it grappled with higher borrowing costs, restructuring charges and other factors. Even though the majority of student loans are highly rated and carry a federal guarantee, investor demand for securities backed by these assets has plummeted, a sign of just how nervous investors are about securities backed by mortgages, student loans and other debt.
Bankruptcy filings rose 38 percent to 850,912 in 2007, from 617,660 the previous year, the American Bank-ruptcy Institute reports, citing data from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The increase follows a significant drop in bankruptcy filings in 2006, after a new law made it more difficult for consumers to seek bankruptcy protection from creditors. Consumer bankruptcy filings rose to 822,590 in 2007, up 37.6 percent from 597,965 in 2006, and business bankruptcies increased 44 percent to 28,322 from a record low of 19,695 in 2006, the ABI said. Business filings averaged 35,293 in the decade ending in 2007, the ABI said. Retailers are among those that have been hard hit by the economic slowdown, and many have filed for bankruptcy protection, including Sharper Image Corp. and Lillian Vernon Corp.
Ethnic communities in the U.S. will spend $59.8 billion on telecommunications services in 2008, accounting for more than one-third of all residential telecom expenditures, according to The Insight Research Corp. The firm says Hispanics will spend the most and notes that the ability to tap into the increased spending power of the Hispanic-, African- and Asian-American communities will be crucial to the survival of telecommunications providers over the next five years. An Insight study, “U.S. Hispanic Use of Telecommunication Services 2008-2012,” examines spending and usage patterns of U.S. Hispanics for wireline, wireline calling cards, cellular and pre-paid cellular services and compares these spending patterns to those of the general population, as well as other minority segments, including Asian-Americans and African-Americans.
GLOBAL NEWS - African Diaspora Conference
Bermuda will again host the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference, July 26–30. Designed for educational, government and tourism professionals, the conference is part of a 2001 initiative launched by the Bermuda Ministry of Tourism to unite African descendants from all over the world, encourage the development of African Diaspora Heritage trails and promote stabilization of economies in Diaspora communities. Participants include social activist/actor Danny Glover, the conference’s co-chair; Howard Dodson, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Andrew Young, chairman of Goodworks International Inc. and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN; and singer Rita Marley, widow of late reggae music icon Bob Marley. For more information, please call 301-650-5700 ext. 507 or go to www.adht.net .