Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) is hosting a Latino Business Seminar later this month all designed “to Help Latinos Achieve the American Dream.” It’s all about helping Latino’s learn what it takes to open and operate a small business and features a list of speakers and sponsors you’ll all find on the Republican ballot this November. What’s noticeably missing is anyone with actually small business experience.
Here’s the press release:
SACRAMENTO: Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), working in conjunction to Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Board of Equalization Vice-Chair Michelle Steel, will host a seminar later this month in Anaheim to help Latinos start and become successful at running their own small business. A legislative update on California’s business climate will be provided and the seminar will be interpreted in Spanish. Spanish speaking representatives will also be available to help answer questions.
The seminar will take place Wednesday, May 21st from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at The Rock Anaheim Four Square Church, West Auditorium located on 101 E. Orangethorpe Ave. in Anaheim. The seminar is open to any and all participants. There is no cost to attend.
“An economy built to last includes boosting entrepreneurship opportunities in California’s Latino communities,” said Senator Huff. “According to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, business ventures launched by Latinos represent the fastest-growing segment among U.S. small businesses. This seminar will tap into that success to find out what business ventures are working and why.”
Partnering organizations for this event include The Rock Anaheim Four Square Church, Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo Bank, State Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board and the Employment Development Department.
According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, the 2012 purchasing power of California Latinos totaled $310.5 billion—an increase of 353% since 1990. California’s 566,573 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $80.3 billion and employed 458,922 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available.
“The goal of this seminar is to help California Latinos achieve the American dream of small business ownership and success,” said Senator Huff.
Outside of Senator Huff, who has some business experience with his family farm and in grain commodities, it’s hard to make a case that anyone else featured here has any successful small business experience. Senator Mimi Walters was a stockbroker before turning to politics; judging from her home in Laguna Niguel, she’s been pretty successful as a trader, but that doesn’t mean she has meaningful small business experience.
Young Kim claims to have been a small business consultant and just revived a 20 year old dormant business that helps small business grow, but that business seems to have no clients and no website; she lists experience as a controller for a Southern California manufacturer and a position with a bank without ever naming the company or the bank. People still think she works for Congressman Ed Royce even though she left that job in September.
Michelle Steele claims to be a successful businesswoman but aside from a 15 year stint as a commentator on Korean radio, there’s no evidence that Steele has any actual business experience anywhere (judging from a lack of response from her staff, they have no idea either) .
Ceci Iglesias has no business experience of any kind. None. She has held only government jobs as a social worker, a non-profit and as a contract administrator for Orange County. And she’s great about showing up for photo opps though. Perhaps she should stop blowing off Los Amigos meetings for folks who want to ask her hard questions.
It’s doubtful Huff or Walters will actually attend the event, and two of the three featured guests are Asian. The only Latina has no small business experience. We made a couple of calls each to Young Kim’s campaign consultants over a two day period and we also called Michelle Steele’s staff twice; both camps were non-responsive to the simple question of how either woman is successful in business. From Kim’s standpoint, reviving a small business consulting firm started 20 years ago says she was unable to make it successful 20 years ago. From Steele’s perspective, hard to say how being on the radio is a successful business career; commenting is simply provided content which anyone with an opinion and a microphone can do. Iglesias…..business…I got nothing. Let’s call this event what it is — Republican outreach to Latino voters.
For Latinos seeking to start a small business, there are much better places to go and get real help from people experienced in small business who aren’t trying to buy your vote. When starting a business, there’s a lot to consider from location, to products/services, business licenses, taxes, rents and regulations. The best place for this sort of endeavor is not Senator Huff’s event, but rather a call to the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. They’ll be helpful.
Senator Huff is simply parading Republican candidates in front of Latino voters; candidates who can’t really help Latinos start a business because frankly, there’s little evidence that anyone there has any real private sector business experience that matters.