The New Health Care Reform Act of 2010

The new health care reform law, officially known as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The media, not all of whom are friendly to this legislation, often refer to the new health law as “ObamaCare”. Many of the negative media comments concentrate on the fact that this bill contains over $400 billion in new taxes on individuals and businesses.
This complex Act runs to over 1,400 pages. In this analysis, we will attempt to gauge the effect of the Health Care Reform Act on small and medium-sized businesses. We will not try to cover all the points as they relate to small business: there are just too many for a short report. We will however take a look at the Act’s principal provisions.
 The Act provides for an employer tax credit for small businesses: If you have 25 or fewer employees and a full-time work force with average wages of less than $40,000, you can get tax credits to help buy health insurance: up to 35 percent of the cost of the premiums this year, rising to 50 percent in 2014. This tax credit is effective if you (the employer) contribute at least 50% of the total health insurance premiums. This tax credit runs from the present (2010) through 2013. Beginning in 2014, small businesses that purchase health insurance for their employees through state health insurance exchanges can receive a two-year small business tax credit of up to 50% of the cost of the premiums.
For tax-exempt (not for profit) organizations there is a 25% tax credit. It is not clear how this would work for organizations that do not pay taxes .
 Penalties – Starting in 2014, if you have 50 or more employees and do not provide minimum essential health insurance (not yet defined) you will be charged a non-deductible fee. This fee will equal $2,000 times the number of your employees, but it won’t count the first 30 workers in that calculation. As an example, if you have 75 employees and do not provide coverage, you will a pay the penalty for 45 workers, or $90,000 (45 x $2,000). Employers with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from penalties.
It appears that there are no restrictions on the types of plans an employer may offer and the cost-sharing arrangements between a company and its employees.
 Penalty if Employer Offers Coverage But Employee Receives a Tax Credit An employer offering “minimum essential coverage” may nevertheless have an employee who chooses to obtain subsidized coverage through an exchange (see below). An employer may face a penalty of up to $3,000 for each such individual. This appears to be an effort to ensure that employers subsidize coverage sufficiently to keep such individuals in the employer’s plan rather than in the federally subsidized individual market.
It is important to note that these penalties are indexed for inflation.
 Employee W-2’s Beginning in 2011 there is a requirement that businesses include the value of the health care benefits they provide to employees on W-2s.

 State Run Exchanges Small Business Health Option Programs (“SHOP”) Beginning in 2014, health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses through state-run “exchanges.” These will require insurance companies to compete for business in a marketplace. The objective is to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to obtain health insurance at a lower price.
The exchange program for small businesses, known as the “Small Business Health Options Program” (SHOP), will allow small businesses to pool together to increase their purchasing power. This will allow these businesses to offer health insurance to their employees at rates similar to those available to large corporations.
SHOP is available to small businesses with up to 100 employees, although states have the option to limit participation to businesses with 50 employees or less until 2016. If a business participating in SHOP grows to over 100 employees, it may continue to take advantage of the program. Beginning in 2017, states may opt to allow businesses with more than 100 employees to participate in SHOP as well.

 Pre-existing Conditions – Starting six months after the enactment of the Health reform Bill, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny children coverage based on a pre-existing condition. Beginning in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to anyone with pre-existing conditions. As a small business employer, your entire work-force will be eligible for coverage in 2014 no matter the physical condition of any of your employees.

 The Administration has stated that the Health Care Act provides the following Benefits for small Businesses

• End of Price Discrimination Based on Illness: Health reform will end price discrimination. Starting in 2014, “community rating” rules will prohibit insurers from charging more to cover small businesses with sicker workers or raising rates when someone gets sick.
• Health Security Empowers Entrepreneurship: By providing health security for every American and eliminating exclusions for pre-existing conditions and price discrimination against those who are sick, health reform will make it easier for small businesses to attract the best workers and easier for entrepreneurs to strike out on their own.
• Reduce Hidden Tax by Dramatically Expanding Coverage: Health reform will significantly reduce this tax by covering an additional 32 million Americans by 2019.
• Health Reform Will Lower Costs, Making Coverage More Affordable: Taken together, the measures described above will significantly reduce premiums for small businesses. According to CBO, health reform will reduce the cost of a given plan in the small group market by 1-4 percent by 2016.

However, the one area that might prove to be a major issue for small and medium-sized businesses is the “Penalties” provision (see above). The Act establishes a strong disincentive to expand employment, particularly for firms looking to grow beyond the threshold of 50 workers per firm. For many companies in the U.S., the marginal cost may be great enough to forgo hiring additional workers. This would be counterproductive to the Administration’s job creation initiatives.

Compiled by:

Alan J. Rude
NMBC Consultant

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THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMY (Opportunities for M/WBEs In Emerging Markets Worldwide)

By John F. Robinson and Gary D. Mizel

Overview

In doing research for this article regarding emerging markets, we came across an article by Chuan Li from The University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development.  We are using a portion of Mr. Li’s article for which we want to give credit at the outset.

Emerging markets are countries that are restructuring their economies along market-oriented lines and offer a wealth of opportunities in trade, technology transfers, and foreign direct investment.  According to the World Bank, the five biggest emerging markets are China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia.  Other countries that are also considered as emerging markets include Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Poland, Turkey, and South Korea.  These countries made a critical transition from a developing country to an emerging market.  Each of them is important as an individual market and the combined effect of the group as a whole will change the face of global economies and politics.  We want to make sure that we include Botswana (just above South Africa) as an essential part of our group of emerging market countries.  We also wanted to include in the emerging market menu of countries Peru, Uruguay, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania – we are additionally including the Asian countries of Taiwan and Malaysia.

Taiwan is in the process of creating its own emerging market by promoting the free thinking ideals that led to their move from mainland China.  These principles are being prepared within the Taiwanese media to offer full and fair reporting plus accurate and reliable data within the programming scheme from Taiwan and its like-minded allies.  For geological greatness, Taiwan is an island that is sequestered – providing privacy from any nearby islands or any giant land masses such as Asia and China particularly.  Not to be misunderstood, Taiwan is developing trade relations with China and considers that country to be a vital emerging market.

According to the authors, the leading emerging market countries are from South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Latin America; to name a few places. We feel it is crucial to look at either the public or private sector of the mentioned countries for new business opportunities. These countries represent a new frontier of business opportunities for minority and women

owned businesses based in the United States of America.  Understanding that the US economy is in the process of a transitioning that is emphasizing global trade by the business community, for both small and large businesses alike. If M/WBEs do not seek out global business opportunities that are needed to survive as business owners in America, they will be very hard pressed to survive in a rapidly changing American economy where opportunities are shrinking for small, minority and women owned businesses as well as large enterprises alike.

Background on Emerging Markets

There are two critical reasons for the importance of emerging markets in this new decade; the failure of state-led economic development and the need for capital investment by emerging market countries.  First, state-led economic development has failed to produce sustainable growth in the traditional developing countries.  This failure and its tremendous negative impact pushed those countries to adopt open market policies and to change from the state’s being in charge of the economy to facilitating economic growth along market-driven lines.  Second, the developing countries desperately needed capital to finance their development, but the traditional government borrowing failed to fuel the development process.  In the past, the government of an emerging market country borrowed either from commercial banks or from foreign governments and multilateral lenders like the IMF and the World Bank.  This often resulted in heavy debt overload and led to a severe economic imbalance.  The past track record of many developing countries also demonstrates their inability to well manage and efficiently operate the borrowed funds to support economic growth.  In light of the unsatisfactory results of government borrowing, developing countries began to rely on equity investment as a means of financing their economic growth.  They sought to attract equity investment from private investors who would become their partners in development.  To attract equity financing, a developing country has to establish the preconditions of a market economy and create a business climate that meets the expectations of foreign investors.  This change in financial structuring thus became another factor leading to the rise of emerging markets.

As a precursor to engaging in emerging markets, we want to state emphatically that the worldwide emergence of entrepreneurship is the key element or trait necessary to succeed within this market environment.  Minority business enterprises based in the United States of America may find that they have a competitive advantage in doing business in countries that share their roots of origin.  That competitive advantage will only make it perhaps a little easier to do business in an emerging market country, but if your product, service, or price is not what a country is looking to obtain from your business your ethnic roots to that country will not help you “close the deal”.  Like any other place in the world that a business owner wishes to do business, he or she must be competitive and superior in its business transaction, whether with a country or a private enterprise within an emerging market country.

The rise of emerging markets is changing the traditional view of development as follows:  First, foreign “investment” is replacing foreign “assistance.”  Investing or doing business in emerging markets is no longer associated with the traditional notion of providing development assistance to poorer nations.  Second, emerging markets are rationalizing their trade relations and capital investment with industrialized countries.  Trade and capital flows are directed more toward new market opportunities, and less by political consideration.  Third, the increasing two-way trade and capital flows between emerging markets and industrialized countries reflect the transition from dependency to global interdependency.  The accelerated information exchange, especially with the aid of the Internet, is integrating emerging markets into the global market at a faster pace.

What are the challenges for companies interfacing within emerging market countries?  In their effort to create a market economy and to ensure sustainable development, emerging market countries still face big challenges that come from fundamental problems associated with their traditional economic and political systems.  A market economy requires those countries to redefine the role of the government in the development process and to reduce the government’s undue intervention.  Another serious problem that those countries have to confront is controlling corruption, which distorts the business environment and impedes the development process.  An even more challenging task for those countries is to undertake structural reforms with a disciplined and stable economy that is relatively free of political disturbances and interference.

Conclusion

The growth of emerging market countries will be determined by such key factors as the successful growth of world trade markets and global financial stability, emerging market countries will become critical players in the global economy based on their success of integration into the whole global marketplace.  Emerging markets countries have a huge untapped potential if they are determined to undertake domestic reforms to support sustainable economic growth.  If they can maintain political stability and succeed with their structural reforms, their future is promising and will provide great business opportunities for small, minority and women owned enterprises based in the United States of America and other countries around the world over the next decade.

If any of our M/WBE readers have comments about the above article, please communicate with us through our blog at NMBC.org.

Copyright 2010

National Minority Business Council, Inc.

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NMBC BUSINESS SURVEY RESULTS

◈RESULT OF MNBC BUSINESS SURVEY◈

FALL 2009

FROM:  NMBC MEMBERS

SUBJECT: IMPORTANT BUSINESS SURVEY

● QUESTION 1

In view of the current economic situation, we would like to know whether your business has benefited from the stimulus Bill by new contract or expanded financing to your business through your local bank?

ANSWER:  YES: 1 (6%)

NO: 16(94%)

COMMENTS:

1, The billions for biotechnology research awarded for NIH did not go for small biotech-IT

2, Nothing in the bill helps manufacturing, financing is tough to find

3, In the mental arena and nothing a advantage of stimulus funds, though they are dealing

with suicidal clients daily who are situations due to lost job

● QUESTION 2

Based on recent business activity during the third quarter(July, August and September, 2009) has your business profitability in creased?

ANSWER: YES: 2 (12%)

NO: 14(82%)

SAME: 1(6%)

COMMENTS:

1, Manufacturing has dried up, major corporations have no money

2, lost city contracts and competitive bids and finding the healthcare arena to stay a float

3, Business is dramatically down

●QUESTION 3

Do you feel that your business` bottom line will improve in the first quarter of 2010?

ANSWER: YES:  6(36%)

NO: 8(48%)

NOT SURE : 3(18%)

COMMENT:

1, Manufacturing is a an all time low

2, Yes but not because of the stimulus funds

3, Forecast no increases but staying about the same

We sent this survey to 300 NMBC members and   7% responded.

According to the answers most of the stimulus funds didn`t work in small business and most money floated into big company. Only 12% of the people said they had their business profitability increased during the third quarter (July, August and September, 2009).  Most people said their businesses decreased and some people were worried about contracts which they lost, due to the recession.  About 70% of the people think that their business’s bottom line will not improve in the first quarter of 2010.

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NEW FINANCIAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE

January 2010

NMBC Announces New Financing Initiative for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Dear NMBC Member:

The National Minority Business Council is pleased to announce a new, major financing initiative designed to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in obtaining ‘permanent’ funding to grow their businesses.

The Council is partnering with a substantial private equity/ venture capital investment fund working to provide equity financing for qualified companies.  This assistance will be in the form of Alternative Public Offerings (“APOs”), an attractive alternative to the traditional costly and time-consuming IPO approach. If your company meets the following criteria you may be eligible for this program:

  • A minimum of three years of continuous operations
  • Financial statements for the past two years prepared by an outside accountant
  • Revenues of $3,000,000 per year or more
  • Profitable operations in the past year
  • Doing business in the following growth sectors: healthcare and biomedical, information technology, water pollution control, clean/green energy or infrastructure

The mechanics of the APO program are straightforward.  You would merge your company into a clean public vehicle with its stock already listed either on the NYSE – AMEX or the Bulletin Board.  Simultaneously we would provide the required equity financing to enable your business to move forward. This equity financing would be in the range of $2 million to $10 million depending on the size and type of company being financed. Unlike the typical private equity or venture fund we would NOT demand majority control of a firm we are financing.

There will be significant benefits to you and your firm – a few of these are:

  • An infusion of permanent capital
  • Control of a public company which will enable you to raise additional capital or acquire other businesses
  • Publicly traded stock which will enhance your ability to hire high-talent personnel
  • You will have stock which can be sold in the market at the appropriate time to provide liquidity for you and your family

If you believe your business might benefit from this Program please fill out the attached Questionnaire and forward to the NMBC at INFO@NMBC.ORG attn: John F. Robinson.  We believe that this may be the best time for a company to take itself public to be ready for the improvement in the economy that is sure to happen in the next five to six months.  Please consider this financial program as a way of taking your business to the next level. Any questions about this program please feel free to call me at the NMBC telephone number:  (212) 693-5050.

Regards,

John F. Robinson

John F. Robinson

President  & CEO

NMBC, Inc.

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NATIONAL MINORITY BUSINESS COUNCIL, INC., ANNOUNCES BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION AS PART OF ITS ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOT CAMP

Prizes Include Monetary Awards and Free Consultations with Boot Camp Instructors

Winners will be identified at a special luncheon in January

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: John F. Robinson, or

Fritz-Earle Mc Lymont

Tel.      : (212) 693-5050

E-mail : info@nmbcglobal.org


December 1, 2009 (NEW YORK) – The National Minority Business Council, Inc., announces a Business Plan Competition under its Entrepreneurship Boot Camp program for new, early-stage and seasoned entrepreneurs. The competition is open to members of the National Minority Business Council, and to other minority and women and veteran business owners.

“The NMBC decided to undertake this Business Plan Competition to help entrepreneurs fine-tune their business operations for survival and growth during these difficult economic times and beyond,” said John F. Robinson, the NMBC’s president and CEO. “Many people see the business plan only as an essential tool to get a new venture under way. However, it can be used by those beyond the startup stage to assess their business from the perspective of where they would like to be in the next five to ten years or more.”

Business plans submitted for the competition must be no more than 15 pages long, and must be submitted electronically to info@nmbcglobal.org no later than Friday, December 18. Submissions by any other means will not be accepted. Only the first 25 plans received will be considered. They will be judged by a panel of entrepreneurship experts that includes instructors of the NMBC Boot Camp.

“One of the most important business challenges for this century is productivity. Any business seeking a globally competitive advantage must be an efficient producer of its products and/or services. A sound business plan is a first step, and should be a part of the overall strategy for survival and growth,” said Fritz-Earle Mc Lymont, managing director of NMBC Global and an instructor with the Boot Camp.

In order to be considered, plans must adhere to the following outline:

  1. Title page
  2. Table of contents
  3. Executive summary

- more -

NMBC/competition/2

  1. Vision and mission statement
  2. Company overview
  3. Products and/or services plan
  4. Marketing plan
  5. Management plan
  6. Operating plan
  7. Financial plan and two-year projections
  8. Appendix, with supporting documents

Competition participants may request a free 30-minute consultation with any Boot Camp instructor while developing their plan. Winners will be announced at a special luncheon during the third week of January 2010. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $300, the second-place winner will receive $200, and the third-place winner $100. All 25 competitors will receive a free and confidential review of their plan. Every plan submitted will be treated as a confidential, proprietary document and will not be shared with anyone outside the panel of judges.

The NMBC Entrepreneurship Boot Camp was launched in February 2009, with sponsorship by The Bank of New York Mellon, The Network Journal, and New York State’s Division of Minority- and/or Women-Owned Business Development. Instructors help assess participants’ entrepreneurial readiness and fine-tune their skills to successfully operate business ventures, using such tools as lectures, role playing, and sharing in-the-trenches experiences. Lecture topics cover critical areas of running a business, such as goals setting, formulating success strategies, SWOT analysis, developing a business plan and controlling finances and personnel.

For further information about the Business Plan Competition or about the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, please call John F. Robinson at (212) 693-5050, or e-mail Fritz-Earle Mc Lymont at info@nmbcglobal.org.

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THE NEW ECONOMY: Wall Street and Main Street Become Equal

By John F. Robinson, Gary D. Mizel, and Gary A. Agron, Esq.

Three experts in business and the securities industry formed a think tank during the Wall Street debacle and have been preparing this article which is designed to predict the reformation that will take place among underwriters and predict how active the small business and ethnic business  communities will be in taking the lead to reassemble the money raising apparatus that fuels our capitalistic form of social organization.  According to Messrs. Robinson, Mizel, and Agron, the time for the minority business community to assert itself is now!

Mr. Robinson’s vision of the commercial future is that the securities behemoths that dominated the past decade will be broken up by necessity, and will become smaller specialists as they organize around various industries and conduct private placements and public offerings in the $5 million to $15 million range.  This is quite a departure from the $50 million minimums of such firms as Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.  It is within these small to medium-sized offerings that “Boutique Firms” will gather and raise capital for companies of color as well as their mainstream counterparts.  Mr. Robinson believes in the fair construction of the new Wall Street as it takes on the accouterments of Main Street.

Mr. Agron, (the highly esteemed securities attorney, Gary A. Agron who has initiated scores of IPO’s in companies for whom he has performed securities work including introductions to underwriters), has provided us with insights that one cannot read in the financial media.  From his lofty perch in the world of broker-dealers he cites the following assertion:  “The biggest cause of the Wall Street collapse was the Securities and Exchange Commission’s desire to have fewer but larger securities firms so that regulation would be easier.”  Mr. Agron further asserts that penalties for smaller firms are worse because the SEC wants to put them out of business.  He goes on to say that commissions are now minuscule because the fees are the same for $100 purchases as for $100,000 purchases.  And now that there are relatively few IPO’s taking place, he wonders how people are going to make a living raising money in the securities industry.

Mr. Mizel, a broker-dealer himself for seven years, feels that nobody really knows the future of Wall Street.  He assumes, however, that the same forces that initiated our current dilemma have not changed and, therefore, the new Wall Street may look very much like the old one.  He recalls that back in the 80’s in Denver, which carried the moniker of “Wall Street West,” there were routinely public offerings in the million dollar range.  The typical new issue was around $3 million.  As a victim of the times, with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other commercial factors, there is no longer an active broker-dealer doing any IPO’s in Denver.  But considering the undiscovered value in minority businesses, companies of color may lead the Wall Street pack and become the “in thing” with regard to investing in the stock market.  These three business leaders, Messrs. Robinson, Mizel, and Agron are creating a philosophy behind the coming age of diversity and the concomitant business opportunities that arise from it.  The think tank is being wound up again for another round of discussions that analyze the securities industry and the place within it for small to medium sized and ethnic-owned businesses to flourish.

The next idea spinning off from our think tank is the Mizel claim that now is the time for people of color to have a voice in reshaping our financial system.  Wall Street, which barely recognizes minority businesses, must take a fresh look at our ethnic citizenry and understand that American citizens of color have a good amount of capital.  If they had a company they could believe in and which reflected their heritage, the investment capital would come pouring in as the greatest aspect of the securities industry is that stocks are liquid.  There is no waiting for the house to appreciate or other assets to recover their value.  Stocks provide liquidity and can be bought or sold within minutes.  This is mentioned as an adjunct to safety for our future share buyers.  Mr. Mizel goes on to present a simple idea.  In addition to the supplier diversity programs offered by the majority of Fortune 500 companies, Mizel would like to see an “equity diversity” program where companies of color would be vetted and, if qualified, presented to representatives of venture capital funds, securities firms, and other prestigious financial institutions.  If this idea were promulgated through the media and by our legislative representatives, it could serve as a major initiative to give a voice to companies of color during the Wall Street reconstruction.

Emerging from our confabulation are the ideas of Mr. Robinson who asserts that the small business community has the potential to grow the fastest and bring new growth to our economy in the shortest period of time.  He goes on to say that the government is buying commercial paper of smaller banks to fuel this growth.  Therefore, this Wall Street debacle is the great equalizer between mainstream and minority business as the Fed’s new  policy of promoting small business growth applies to white and colored entrepreneurs equally.

The crux of Mr. Robinson’s point of view is that in order to be seen as equal, the ethnic business community must begin to speak for the mainstream as well as itself.  He believes that small and medium sized businesses will be reborn and that people of color are in the same boat as the other firms on Wall Street.  The equal treatment of the melting pot of American businesses is based upon both surviving these turbulent times together and coming out equally from the quagmire.

“Our group, states Mr. Robinson, does not intend to use the condition of minority business as its central theme.”  The group looks upon Wall Street as a “start-up.”  Coming into the new economy we’re are all sitting at the same table with the same concerns and similar attitudes.  Let Wall Street emerge after our shared sustenance at the table of equality;  and when the new Wall Street is healthy again, we should see a good deal of integration of the securities industry after the experience of all being in it together – Main Street and Wall Street are merging.

Our think tank is very insightful – always looking within to solve problems first. We thought it only fair that we come up with an aspect of minority business where entrepreneurs of color may be at fault (to some degree) with regard to not being able to attract investment capital for their stock.  The most salient aspect of this self analysis is the assertion that ethnic business owners are reluctant to “open the books.”  Full disclosure is an aspect of the Securities Act of 1933 where companies must allow access and provide exposure so that potential investors can be warned in the event something is not “kosher.”

This legal point of view applies to any business although minority business has this particular reputation.  In posing the question to Mr. Agron, his retort was that all businesses hate the full disclosure requirements.  He went on to assert that passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, which hammers companies with disclosure regulations, has cost many millions for businesses as it drives up the cost of their offerings.  Therefore, once again small businesses (white or ethnic) are sitting at the same table and agreeing on many issues.  Primarily they all hate the SEC regulations.  Our group feels that this is a form of togetherness.

The information presented so far has coalesced into an attitude that the Wall Street debacle is the great equalizer.  All of our American business owners are being treated equally at this stage, which means no one has credit to rely upon for the operation of their businesses.  We summarize again that Mr. Robinson’s most prominent declaration is that minority businesses are in a position to speak for the mainstream.  This will create the integration of ideas first, and then the actions necessary for small businesses generally to do what they are famous for – growing faster than any other segment of our economy and providing more jobs than the large corporations.

Since Mr. Agron is a high powered securities attorney with an insider point of view, we asked him how long it took for the situation on Wall Street to develop.  To our amazement, he responded “a year and a half.”  That is all the time it took to over value homes so that after the trillions in mortgage-backed securities were sold in the aftermarket, the financial institutions that held them had to watch the equity securing their loans get wiped out, engendering an increase in the need for more net capital.  In the securities industry this process is called “taking a haircut.”  Essentially a broker-dealer has to pony up more money if his or her net capital falls under a certain point.  Without any equity (and prices plunging) the value of these mortgages had to be retrieved worldwide which has led to our government and governments around the world to try and keep credit available.  However, even the financial institutions who received a portion of the $825 billion in bailout money never loaned it out in order to show on their books the healthy net capital they had acquired.  Mr. Agron’s rhetorical question followed:  “Are the insurance companies next?”

Our think tank in general is very worried about unemployment on Wall Street.  Apparently, the job losses hit minorities first because in many cases they have less time invested.  What we find most disconcerting is that the current depression on Wall Street is only half way through.  In other words, we are only halfway to the bottom.  Luckily, the market usually begins to turn around after a recovery is only halfway initiated;  so the gyrations even themselves out.  What is our main point or idea that we want most to be promulgated?  It is the fact that 1% of the citizens of America own 35% of its assets primarily in stock and real estate.  Now, after the bloodletting on Wall Street, they only own 15%.  When the real establishment takes a hit like what is happening currently, one knows that the situation was really out of control.  Our group would like to extend its best wishes to the small business community (of which we participate in an important way) and speak for all of us when we say that we “the Rainbow Coalition of business owners” are surviving and laying the groundwork for a major comeback.

Our think tank of color has re-inherited the point of view that we discussed 20 years ago.  In Mr. Agron’s words, “the ethnic community needs to support itself like the Jews did back in the forties and fifties.  However,  (he laughs) it may have been simply that they had no one else to deal with but themselves.”

In any case, our determination is that people of color need to support companies of color with their investment capital.  Because of the social barriers to entrepreneurs of color, the quality of business managers in the minority community has been compounding for so long that the cream of the crop of ethnic business leaders are people of color.  Amazing!  Mr. Mizel extended the comments by saying that “the degree to which investors of color buy stock in minority businesses is the degree to which ethnic capital accumulation will engender real, commercial equality.”

In conclusion,  Mr. Robinson spoke for the group with this final analysis. According to Mr. Robinson, when reconstruction on Wall Street is over, we look forward to sharing the securities industry with our Main Street brothers and sisters.  As we stated at the beginning of this piece, small, minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses will be the leading force that will help to bring back the American economy to a degree of normalcy through accelerated job creation, thus bringing together Wall Street with Main Street for a better America.

Footnotes:

John F. Robinson is the co-founder, president and CEO of the National Minority Business Council, Inc.

Gary D. Mizel is a playwright, the founder and owner of a broker-dealer (1985-92) specializing in minority private placements, and founder of 7200 To 30 Productions, Inc. – representing the ratio of mainstream to minority public companies.

Gary A. Agron is a recognized and esteemed securities attorney performing state-of-the art securities work and accumulating highly valued shares of stock in the firms for whom he initiates private placements or public offerings.

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