Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, a nonprofit organization, and OPEN, the American Express small business team, created a “Make Mine a $Million Business” program for women entrepreneurs. Applicants with the most promising growth plans will compete in New York on Oct. 24 at the Manhattan Center Ballroom to receive one-on-one mentoring, marketing assistance, a line of credit from OPEN, a loan from Count Me In, technological support from Cisco Systems and the opportunity to take part in QVC’s product search and sell their products on the network. Twenty awardees will be chosen in this event. Applicants have until Sept. 29 to apply online at www.makemineamillion.org .
The physician group Partners In Care Corp. said that it will drive the implementation of the Bridges to Excellence Program in central New Jersey with an initial allocation of $30,000 in loans to its member physicians to acquire Bridges to Excellence (BTE) certification in the areas of diabetes, heart/stroke and physician connections. The initial goal is for 60 physicians to achieve at least one BTE certification by June 30, 2007. Currently there are no certified physicians in central New Jersey. The Bridges to Excellence program aims to have at least 1,000 physicians with all three BTE certifications and at least 250,000 patients with employers, union funds and health plans participating in the program by Dec. 31, 2009.
LaGuardia Community College, a City University of New York institution, will offer the Global Trade and Export Studies Customs Broker License Test Preparation this fall for those interested in taking the April 2007 examination. LaGuardia joins nine other New York schools offering the course, which is sponsored by the Global Trade and Technology Center. GTTC notes there is an acute shortage of customs brokers to handle burgeoning imports through New York area ports. Interested parties can contact LaGuardia Community College at 718-482-7244, or GTTC at 212-421-1015, for more information.
Twenty-three New York City high school students completed a mentoring program designed to teach them about construction and design-related fields. The students designed a recreation center as part of the Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE) Mentoring Program, founded by the principals of leading design and construction firms to introduce high school students to career opportunities in architecture, construction and engineering and to address shortages of qualified professional staff in those fields. Forest City Ratner Cos. is participating in the program as part of its Community Benefits Agreement developed for the Atlantic Yards project.
The National Federation of Indepen-dent Business praised President Bush’s signing of the Executive Order “Protect-ing the Property Rights of the American People,” but noted that “more needs to be done in order to avoid the slippery slope of seizing private property in the name of economic development: narrowly defining ‘public use’; making ‘just compensation’ truly just; and discouraging the taking of private property except for when the government truly needs it.” The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4128, the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005, but the Senate has yet to consider S.1313, The Protection of Homes, Small Businesses, and Private Property Act of 2005.
When Large Is Small
The American Small Business League called on Steven C. Preston, the new administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, to release the list of firms that were coded as small businesses for the purpose of federal contracting during fiscal year 2005. ASBL says giant defense contractors, including Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, have received billions in small business contracts over the last several years.
Small business groups are condemning a last-minute amendment to the Small Business Reauthorization Act that would repeal an existing federal law that prevents large companies from using their franchises as fronts in order to obtain small business contracts. Under the new policy, franchises of large companies would be granted small business status. Critics note that ServiceMaster, former employer of SBA Administrator Steven Preston, stands to benefit.
Not Colored Enough
The annual broadcast industry survey by the Radio and Television News Directors Association and Ball State Uni-versity shows that the percentage of people of color in America’s radio newsrooms has plunged by nearly two-thirds since 1998, when strict federal equal opportunity rules were scrapped. Local radio newsrooms reported that just 6.4 percent of their workers are people of color, down from 16 percent eight years ago.
Every year since 1989, U.S. Rep. John Conyers has pushed unsuccessfully for a federal law ordering a study of reparations. Disclosure laws have prompted Aetna, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia and other companies to apologize for slavery ties. After JPMorgan Chase reported that two of its predecessor banks owned more than 1,200 Louisiana slaves taken as collateral in the 1800s, the bank established a $5 million scholarship fund for Louisiana Blacks. Lawsuits against 19 insurance, textile, railroad, financial services and tobacco companies with similar ties are making their way through federal courts and advocates are calling for boycotts until such companies make reparations.