Hispanic Task Force Hosts US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Capitol Hill

Discussion centered on the economy, access to capital, education, and immigration

Washington, D.C. – Policy solutions to strengthen the economic recovery and identifying critical issues that concern the Hispanic community were the focus of today’s discussion between members of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and Senate Democrats. As part of USHCC’s 23rd Annual Legislative Summit, members of the Hispanic business community from across the country met with Senate Democrats to listen to policy proposals put forth to help Hispanic-owned business grow and succeed.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair of Business Outreach for DSOC, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) met with USHCC members.

“I was glad to have the opportunity to meet with Hispanic business leaders from New Jersey and across the country to discuss how we can work together to ensure the prosperity of America’s small businesses,” said Sen. Menendez. “As we learned in the last election, the face of America is changing, which leads us to conclude that the success of our economic recovery is very much dependent on the success of the nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned firms in this country.”

“Expanding opportunities in America’s boardrooms isn’t just good for corporate America, it’s good for our families and our communities,” said Sen. Begich. “Latino small business owners already create jobs for millions of Americans and I believe we will all benefit from this entrepreneurial spirit.”

“Today’s event with Hispanic business owners exemplifies the strong contributions of this community,” said Sen. Kaine. “Hispanic-owned businesses are the fastest growing in the United States thanks to the hard work of the Latino business community, but more work needs to be done to reduce red tape for start-ups and eliminate roadblocks that make it difficult for minority-owned businesses to prosper and create jobs.”

At the reception Senator Menendez unveiled the second “Corporate Diversity Report”- an initiative designed to measure and monitors the progress of diversity among Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies’ board of directors, executive management teams, and suppliers. This year’s survey raises awareness and provides a blueprint for a strategy on how to make sure the message of diversity reaches corporate America.  This year’s survey found that women and minority representation on corporate boards continues to lag far behind the national population percentages.

“Corporate diversity remains a critical component in the availability of adequate capital to help businesses expand, grow and create jobs,” said Senator Menendez. “The Fortune 500 corporate diversity report I unveiled today found that not much has changed since 2010, when I first began these efforts. Minorities and women still remain significantly underrepresented compared to their population figures, and far too many companies still do not have any Latinos on their boards. One of my top priorities as Chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force has been promoting and expanding diversity at all levels of our economic, political and social sectors, and the basic understanding of the corporate landscape provided in my diversity report will help guide us in doing so. I look forward to continuing efforts to bring attention the corporate diversity issue and ensuring that we cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit that drives Hispanic businesses to succeed.”

The full Diversity Report can be found here.

About the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force

Since its inception in 1989, the Hispanic Task Force (HTF) has sought to ensure that the Latino community is at the table during every major legislative discussion in the senate. The HTF’s mission is to strengthen relationships with the Hispanic American community and ensure that their concerns and priorities are addressed in the U.S. Senate. For over twenty years, the HTF has hosted policy forums on increasing educational and economic opportunities among Hispanic communities nationwide. It is part of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, and is chaired by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)