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Latin America Business News

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Calls for Review of 2011 U.S. Government Contracts Process

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Calls for Review of 2011 U.S. Government Contracts Process

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The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) today expressed its strong dissatisfaction with the federal government’s minority procurement efforts in 2011. In a recent Bloomberg report, U.S. government contracts awarded to Hispanic firms fell for the first time in a decade, decreasing at a faster rate than those awarded to all companies.

According to federal procurement data, contracts awarded to Hispanic-owned businesses fell 7% in 2011 to $7.89 billion, in comparison to all contracts decreasing at a rate of 1%.

“Hispanic entrepreneurs are opening businesses at a rate more than twice the national rate, and these firms are expected to grow 42 percent in the next six years to 4.3 million,” stated USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. “Federal procurement with Hispanic firms should be increasing to reflect the rapid growth seen within the Hispanic business community, not decreasing at the unacceptable rate of seven times more than overall procurement.”

It is clear from these results that President Obama’s minority business strategy has failed to achieve its goals. There is no excuse for this poor showing, and the USHCC calls on President Obama to undertake a full review of the causes for this decline.

In an effort to encourage competition and increase opportunities for Hispanic businesses, the USHCC has been strong in their support of higher small business and minority procurement goals across all federal departments and agencies. While some agencies, like SBA and the Department of the Treasury, exceeded their contracting goals in FY 2011, this report raises serious concerns over the Administration’s overall procurement and minority business strategy.

“It is crucial to note that the success of Hispanic business represents a door to America’s economic recovery and prosperity,” added Nina Vaca, Chairman of the Board of the USHCC. “Hispanic-owned firms grew 55 percent in 2011, and procurement goals that are unrepresentative of that growth hamper our nation’s economic recovery.”