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Money, Money, Money at First Fridays

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On Friday, July 3, 2009, First Fridays is the first Networking Mixer in the Inland Empire the keynote speaker is Tanya Humphrey will be the guest speaker telling everyone how to get “Money, Money, Money, Money...

Tanya has 30 years human services experience.

Spanning from executive non-profit administrator, CDBG Housing and Neighborhood Programs Manager for the City of Tulsa, Grant Administrator for the Tulsa Housing Authority, and program manager.

She has been an independent consultant since 2000 where assisted agencies with strategic planning, capacity building, grant-making and grant management, and outcomes evaluation.

First Fridays is located at the Jazz Cafe, 1133 W. 6th Street, Ontario, CA 91762 (one block south of the 10 fwy). Call 909.391.9119 for directions. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. $10 per person.

Vendors call Mary Welch @951.809.8833, vendor space is limited.

Message from IEAACC President Carl Dameron

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By Carl Dameron --

As President of The Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce one of my principal concerns is ensuring that the businesses and their employees in our community have the highest level of healthcare available to them, and that all health-related policy is in the best interest of our communities. SB 772 a ban on flame-retardants has recently come to my attention, and as the California legislature considers this bill, it is vital to remember the far-reaching ramifications of this legislation.

I understand that Deca-bde is by far the most studied and most understood flame retardant available commercially.

In fact, it was the sole focus of a 10-year-long Risk Assessment conducted by the European Union, and has also been analyzed and by such other groups as the US EPA, the National Academy of Sciences and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, all of whom have concluded that the product is safe for continued use.

Most recently, a study sponsored by an industry affiliate concluded that Deca-bde poses no risk to human health. And yet, there is still speculation as to the long-term effects of this chemical on the environment and humans. While there may still be questions regarding yet-to-be determined risks,

there are things we do know about this chemical. We know that it saves lives. We know that its efficacy is unquestioned and that the crucial moments that it adds allow firefighters to extinguish a blaze and would-be victims to escape with their lives and possessions.

Unfortunately, it is often the most disadvantaged communities that bear the brunt of these hasty decisions. Moreover, this bill would disproportionately affect the minority community, as many of these neighborhoods have higher density living quarters and older living facilities.

Statistically, low-income and minority communities already experience a disproportionate number of fire-related deaths, and SB 772 only exacerbates that existing problem.

Across the country, medical professionals, fire personnel, and activists have spoken out against banning these life-savings chemicals; and instead, have advocated for more study.

There must be balance in this argument between being good stewards of our environment while ensuring the fire safety of our state.

I hope to see a dialogue develop amongst the various parties in order to foster a willingness to build a new and stronger form of regulation based on scientific data for the state of California. Most

importantly, I hope to see a regulation that considers the safety of all residents of our wonderful state.

Ramsey Named Senior Wealth Advisor For Union Bank’s Private Bank Division

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Union Bank, N.A., has named Rex Ramsey a vice president and senior wealth advisor for The Private Bank, which provides comprehensive wealth management solutions for individuals, families and businesses.

Based in the Inland Empire, Ramsey will be responsible for helping clients with banking, investment, estate planning and trust services.

In addition to the Inland Empire, Ramsey will serve clients in the surrounding desert and mountain communities, including Barstow, Apple Valley, Hesperia, LakeArrowhead, Big Bear Lake, Blue Jay and the Coachella Valley cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and Rancho Mirage.

“We are excited to have Rex join our Southern California Private Bank team,” says Union Bank Executive Vice President Mary Curran, head of The Private Bank. “He brings great experience working one-on-one with clients to develop customized financial solutions.”

Ramsey was previously a senior financial advisor for the bank’s subsidiary, Union Banc Investment Services (UBIS). Prior to joining Union Bank, he served as a financial consultant for Fidelity Investments, where he was responsible for providing financial solutions to affluent clients with managed accounts, mutual funds, life insurance, and fixed income and annuities. He also worked for Washington Mutual Financial Services as a financial consultant, specializing in 401(k) rollovers.

Ramsey attended the University of California, Riverside and is also pursuing a degree in business administration at California Coast University. He is a member of Kiwanis International and is president elect for the San Bernardino chapter. Ramsey holds a Certified Financial Planning

distinction and is also a member of the Financial Advisors Council for the Community Foundation.

Ramsey resides in Southern California with his wife Candace and son Anthony.

46th Annual Small Business Week Awards And Networking Expo

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On Thursday June 4, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino is proud to welcome the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Santa Ana District Office as they hold the 46th Annual Small Business Week Awards luncheon and networking expo in the Casino’s Yuhaviatam Room.

Since 1963, every U.S. President has declared National Small Business Week to formally recognize the importance of America’s small business community.

The award program pays tribute to the men and women who represent the best of America’s entrepreneurial spirit.

This year’s winners at the Regional level (CA, AZ, NV, HI, GU) include Bryan J. Zatica from Marco-Z Technology in Santa Ana, Carmen and Bud Wiesbart from A&R Tarpaulins, Inc. in Fontana,  and Cathy Daugherty from Trademark Insurance in Orange.

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Santa Ana District (Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) winners include Medhat Gorgy from PYRAMID Laboratories, Inc. in Costa Mesa, Robert L. Farnsworth from Sonnet Technologies, Inc in Irvine, Silvia B. Ichar from Para Todos in San Juan Capistrano, Robert Brown from Robert Thomas Brown Company in San Clemente, Oliver M. Das from Trinity Management Consulting in Corona, Leila Mozaffari and Ruth Cossio-Muniz from Orange

County Small Business Development Center in Santa Ana, and Sallie Salinas from the Institute for Women Entrepreneurs in Santa Ana.

The entire community, especially small business stakeholders, is encouraged to help celebrate the backbone of the economy.

The event is also an excellent opportunity to network  with individuals from various industries and organizations. The cost is $40 per person before noon on Thursday, May 28; $50 per person thereafter.

To register, please contact Jennifer Hoff at (951) 781-2345 ext 246 or jhoff@iesmallbusiness.com.

Navigating Through the Market Turmoil

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By Napoleon Brandford, III

Napoleon Brandford, III
The turmoil that is gripping Wall Street today is far worse than anything that I have seen in the thirty years that I've been working in the financial industry. I've seen many kinds of financial crises, people making and losing fortunes, small companies growing to become giants, and financial institutions collapsing before my very eyes.

A Systemic Loss of Confidence

Yet, today's market turmoil is different from previous financial storms. It is an implosion brought on by a sudden collapse of confidence at a systemic level. We, in the credit markets, buy and sell securities worth billion and trillions of dollars based solely on a verbal "handshake." Therefore, we must have trust that the counterparty on the other side of the phone will make good on the trade. There can be no hesitation among market participants that upon settlement on the next day or next week that the proper securities or funds will exchange hands.

Bursting of the Credit Bubble

The easy credit of this past decade has led to unwise spending decisions by consumers and businesses. Just as people unwisely spend beyond their means by over-using their credit cards, many Wall Street firms were also on a credit binge - borrowing ever more to pay off their ballooning debt. Now, we must pay for our excesses. In the coming months and years, deflating the credit bubble will be a painful process for consumers and Wall Street. However, the prudently managed financial institutions will thrive just as prudent individuals on Main Street will make it through the financial and housing crisis.

Small Businesses to Feel the Credit Squeeze

In the near term, deflating the credit bubble will greatly impact small businesses. Community banks often rely on the large global banking institutions for inter-bank loans, which the community banks can then re-lend to small businesses. Tight credit in the foreseeable months means that small businesses will need to put expansion projects on hold. This does not bode well for our national economy because based on Labor Department statistics, small businesses create 75% of all new jobs added to the economy and represent over 50% of the private work force.

What Are Individual Investors to Do?

Each individual investor will have a unique set of parameters that will dictate a different course of action. However, there are common sense and prudent things that we all can try to do in the coming months. The first is not to act in haste. The worst possible reaction is to be pulled into a stampede for the exit door. Selling your stocks and bonds into a weak market is usually not the best thing to do. Markets always bounce back. That's why the individual investor should always be a long-term investor.

Bank CDs, Money Market Funds, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Bonds, et al

In turbulent markets, investors should put a high priority on principal preservation. That is, safety first before seeking higher investment returns. Any investment instrument that promises a return higher than other comparable instrument probably carries additional risks that may not be obvious upon a cursory review. There are neither free lunches nor easy money. Look for the hidden risks. Stocks, mutual funds and bonds are all long-term investments and should be treated as such. Constant trading is a sure way to have the transaction fees eat away at your investment return. Institutional investors can afford active trading because their transaction cost is usually very minimal. A money market fund that carries a higher yield often means the underlying securities may not be all high-grade Treasury securities. In recent weeks, there have been at least two money market funds that "broke the buck," that is, the fund share price went below $1.00. In direct response to this damaging development, the U.S. Treasury announced that it would guarantee up to $50 billion for the next year for both institutional and retail money market investors. This would be on top of existing deposit insurance programs.

FDIC and SIPC Protection for Depositors and Investors

For investors worried about the safety of their deposits at financial institutions, it is important to understand the type of protections that cover your financial accounts. For example, FDIC will cover bank accounts and CDs of up to $100K. SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) will cover brokerage accounts of up to $500K. However, these insurance programs will not cover market loss in the case of SIPC, or penalties from early withdrawals in the case of FDIC on bank CDs.

Rebuilding Our Credit and Confidence

ImageThe painful process of gradually deflating the credit balloon has already begun on Wall Street. As a result, individuals will likely experience tighter borrowing standards for home mortgages, car loans, credit card lines, and other consumer loans. I am very hopeful that our financial system will return back to the basics with focus on traditional products and reduced emphasis on esoteric financial instruments. We need to rebuild our fundamental understanding of what constitutes good credit. From there, our confidence in the markets and financial institutions will return.

Mr. Brandford is Chairman of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC, the nation's largest African American women-owned bond underwriter. The firm serves primarily institutional clients and provides investment banking services to state and local governments throughout the country. The firm does not provide investment services to individual investors.

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BVN National News Wire