Nonprofit focused on affordable housing celebrates 45 years, hosts fundraiser

Southside United HDFC-Los Sures Executive Director Ramon Peguero, Esq.


Brooklyn, NY: Forty-five years after opening its doors with a mission of developing affordable housing units in the Southside of Williamsburg, Southside United HDFC-Los Sures is still going strong. On Wednesday, April 26, at 6:00 p.m., the nonprofit will host its annual fundraiser at Freehold Brooklyn, 45 S. 3rd St., to honor its inspirational story, under the theme “Celebrating 45 years of commitment to affordable housing, community development and advocacy.”

“Now more than ever, with affordable housing still being a major issue for residents of Southside Williamsburg, our organization is keenly aware of its role in stabilizing families and the community as a whole, despite the challenges that we face,” said Southside United HDFC-Los Sures Executive Director Ramon Peguero, Esq. “Many organizations close down after 45 years but we are determined to achieve even more in the next 45 years as we work diligently to meet the needs of the community and continue to be a beacon for those who rely on our services.”

The non-profit has expanded its mission over the years and now it not only develops affordable housing units. Los Sures manages affordable housing units, operates a weekly food pantry, hydroponic farm, senior center and provides entitlement services such as tax preparation at through its social services office. Additionally, the organization operates a local museum, El Museo de Los Sures, which is a hub of exquisite artistic expression, attracting patrons from the neighborhood who are eager to experience diverse artworks.

“We hope that the community members will come out in large numbers to support our 45th anniversary fundraiser because it is through their involvement that we are able to provide the menu of services that we do,” Mr. Peguero said.

Among the distinguished individuals who will be honored at the event are Luis Garden Acosta, Founder and President of El Puente; City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso and NY City Council General Counsel Jason Adolfo Otano. Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP will receive the corporate award and a surprise humanitarian award will be presented at the event. Dime Community Bank, which is based in Williamsburg and has been in operation since 1864, is the event’s legacy sponsor, while FG-PH Corporation is the platinum sponsor. Kings County Politics (KCP) is the media sponsor. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact For interviews, please contact

Southside United HDFC-Los Sures,, is a pioneering, community-based non-profit organization that was among the first to answer the call to rebuild North Brooklyn 45 years ago. Not only has Los Sures undertaken large-scale rehabilitation of many buildings, allowing families and individuals to live comfortably while creating an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood, but the organization provides a range of social services, including a food pantry, a fresh produce distribution center, a senior center, tax preparation assistance, community and tenant advocacy and workshops. The organization also operates a community museum, El Mueso de Los Sures, which showcases diverse artists.––

Take time to solidify your brand


By Carmen Glover

What is your brand? What is your identity? What skills do you possess? What skills do you have to offer to potential clients? Who are you? What is your life’s purpose? What is your passion? What drives you? What goals will you tackle with enthusiasm this year?

Before you can provide excellent service to a potential client, it is important for you to be able to offer compelling answers to those questions. After all, how can you begin to define, establish and solidify a brand or strategy for others if you have not developed one for yourself?


Take the time this week to assess yourself and examine those questions. As you slowly arrive at the answers you will find it easier to carve out your personal niche. which is fundamental to your ability to branch out and help others develop their own brand and identities.

Don’t delay, research and develop your brand and identity today. Once you have done that, move forward with purpose, urgency and determination. Yes, the year is young, but there is a lot of work to be done and time is of the essence. Share your progress with us so that we can continue to cheer you on..––


October is National Women in Small Business Month, ready to dive in?

October is National Women in Small Business Month.

October is National Women in Small Business Month.

By Carmen Glover

The month of October is traditionally filled with events to address domestic violence, breast cancer, mental health and anti-bullying awareness. But did you know that female entrepreneurs are also celebrated in the month of October? Do you feel inspired to become a female business owner or are you already taking steps to launch a business?

Happy Women's Small Business Month

National Women in Small Business Month is one of the most significant features of October because it is dedicated to honoring and highlighting the reality that women-owned small businesses are integral to the success of the economy, which in turn drives a myriad of intertwining industries such as healthcare and income, which are necessary to ensure appropriate care for breast cancer, mental health and the effects of domestic violence.

The Small Business Administration (SBA), in publicizing women in business is hosting a series of weekly web chats dealing with women in business. Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau statistics, developed every five years, indicate that 7.8 million women-owned firms in 2007 and  90 percent of those are small businesses. Those same figures show that between 1997 to 2007 women-owned companies outpaced the rate of growth of male-owned businesses..


As the global economy changes, many women have decided to branch out on their own and venture into entrepreneurial waters. For some, it might be a simple dipping of the toes to test the waters before taking the big plunge, while for others it is an all-or-nothing leap with no thought of looking backward. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, here are some things to keep in mind: Follow your heart and if that leads to the creation of a business, go for it; Launching and sustaining a profitable business takes hard work and is filled with disappointments mixed with successes and finally, only you can tell if entrepreneurship is right for you, regardless of what your mentors and loved ones might think or say.

Having your own business, if it is successful, comes with the perks of being your own boss, setting your own hours, working in a style that suits you, and following your passion. But those perks must be balanced by a realistic ability to earn, support your family, save for retirement and expand your business so that it is a viable and reliable source of income. For many women, the first step to entrepreneurship is working hard at a hobby that does not generate steady income but provides an outlet to nurture a talent which brings joy and fulfillment. It that’s the most feasible approach for you, start there and add new steps along the journey towards entrepreneurship, based on ;your comfort level and long-term goals.––





MBDA allocates $10.2 million for new business, job creation grants

Learning the keys to starting a new business is crucial to success, experts say.

Learning the key rules to starting a new business is crucial to success, experts say.

WASHINGTON (October 7, 2015) — On October 7, the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) launched a search for prospective partners to operate their newly improved business center program. MBDA plans to award 29 individual cooperative agreements to operate MBDA Business Centers beginning April 1, 2016. The awards will cover a 5-year period and total $10.2 million annually. The centers will be located in areas with substantial minority populations and minority-owned small

“Our new and improved business center program was developed based on performance outcomes of our most successful centers and where we’ve had the most impact,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Under the new program, the nationwide business center network is more integrated, places more emphasis on collaboration, and was designed to ensure the quality and consistency of service delivery throughout our nationwide network of business centers.”

new business sign illustration design over white

Starting a new business is an alternative that many career changers find appealing.

MBDA is looking for organizations to deliver business consulting services to minority-owned firms, providing them increased access to public and private sector contracting opportunities, financing, and capital investments. Successful applicants will be those that have experience in assisting minority firms with obtaining large-scale contracts and financial transactions; accessing corporate supply chains; facilitating joint ventures, teaming arrangements, mergers and acquisitions; conducting export transactions; and performing minority business advocacy.

It takes courage, determination and conviction to live your life's purpose and embrace new career opportunities.

It takes courage, determination and conviction to live your life’s purpose and embrace new career opportunities.

The types of organizations are encouraged to apply include for-profit entities, non-profit organizations, state and local government entities, Native American tribes and educational institutions. Applications are due December 3, 2016. More information can be found on at or A pre-application teleconference will be conducted October 15, 2015 to provide background information and answer questions about the program and application process. Details are on

Many new college graduates and veteran employees have decided that it makes more sense to create their own jobs rather than compete for uncertain careers.

Many new college graduates and veteran employees have decided that it makes more sense to create their own jobs rather than compete for uncertain careers.

MBDA will announce more funding opportunities in coming months for additional cities and programs.This grant competition is to operate business centers in locations including Albuquerque, NM;  Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC; Dallas, TX, Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; El Paso, TX; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Mobile, AL;New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL;Philadelphia, PA;Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh or Charlotte or Durham, NC; San Antonio, TX; San Jose, CA;San Juan, Puerto Rico; Seattle, WA; New York, NY or Northern New Jersey; Washington, DC or Northern Virginia.

Transitioning to a new phase on your professional path is often at the root of career and personal fulfillment yet many employees find it to scary to take the first step.

Transitioning to a new phase on your professional path is often at the root of career and personal fulfillment yet many employees find it to scary to take the first step.

MBDA,, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Our programs and services better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally. Services are provided through a network of MBDA Business Centers. After 45 years of service, MBDA continues to be a dedicated strategic partner to all U.S. minority-owned businesses, committed to providing programs and services that build size, scale and capacity through access to capital, contracts and markets. Follow them on Twitter @usmbda.––

African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group stunned by low sugar prices


Worker cuts sugarcane in a field that's ready for harvesting.

Worker cuts sugarcane in a field that’s ready for harvesting.

Brussels, April 22, 2015: The ACP Sugar suppliers to the EU market are deeply concerned with the sharp decline in the sugar prices which has come much sooner than expected. This, in ACP’s view, is the direct consequence of the imminent abolition of EU sugar production quotas to which they had strongly objected. The ACP had called for a longer timeline to allow the fragile sugar industries to implement in full the ongoing massive restructuring and reform programme with the support of EU funds. The EU Beet Growers Confederation had also supported the extension of the quota regime to at least up to 2020.

Latest sugar prices as of April 21, 2015.

Latest sugar prices as of April 21, 2015.

The majority of the ACP sugar-supplying States have initialed and signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) based in part on the expectation of the long-term outlook for the EU sugar market, in terms of access and maintenance of stable and remunerative sugar prices in a regulated EU sugar market. The EU decision to abolish sugar quotas prematurely therefore seems to contradict and undermine the EPA objectives and the concept of policy coherence for development to which the EU is strongly committed, and which is a fundamental aspect of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

The ACP Sugar Group reiterates that the value of the preference enshrined in these treaties depends on a combination of a guarantee of access and stability of price in the EU market and has long been crucial to the security of ACP sugar export earnings. These, in turn, underpin the ability of the many of the small and vulnerable economies to import other products, which help to provide food security. More importantly, thousands of small sugar growers in ACP countries continue to depend on these earnings for their livelihood. The importance of this key commodity to Economic Partnership Agreement signatories and the Least Developed Countries has been set aside in the latest EU sugar reform of 2013.

Low sugar prices threaten already shaky economies in the ACP group.

Low sugar prices threaten already shaky economies in the ACP group.

The ACP Sugar Group is also apprehensive of the planned greater alignment of EU prices with world market levels which is eminent, and, according to the EU’s own forecast, will be at levels rendering the preferences granted under the EPA almost, if not completely, valueless. Planning and investment decisions for sugar cane require a view of market conditions well beyond 2017. The ACP Sugar Group is concerned that several imminent intertwined factors could materially influence their prospects as sugar suppliers to the EU.

As the Caribbean and other nations within the ACP group deals with declining sugar prices, options have to be considered for extra revenues.

As the Caribbean and other nations within the ACP group deals with declining sugar prices, options have to be considered for new sources of revenue.

The ACP Sugar Group has appreciated the innovative accompanying support programme, initiated and funded by the EU, granted to the former ACP sugar protocol States. However, significant constraints relating to implementation in terms of management and slow disbursement of the funds continue to pose serious challenges. The support program is far from providing the so-called “soft landing” as has been widely claimed.

The ACP countries had consistently warned the EU that the abolition of EU sugar production quotas in 2017 will lead to drastic price reductions and major market instability which will seriously undermine the substantial investments in the reform and adaptation processes of their sugar industries. The ACP sugar suppliers strongly believe that they would continue to need additional support to complete the much-needed reform programs already underway to allow them to genuinely attain a level of competitiveness in order to face the market challenges.–

Financial summit set for Atlanta, Georgia, with focus on empowerment


Atlanta, GA: Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) will host its 41st Annual Summit  in Atlanta, GA, from June 4 to 6.  The event will be hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and promises to be one of organization’s most strategic and powerful events of the year. The summit will provide attendees with information and tools that will allow them to be more strategic and profitable with their businesses, employers and communities.

The event will include information sessions and workshops that will focus on topics such as business development; career planning and management; information technology, cybersecurity, regulatory and economic updates; servant leadership; and wealth management. Additionally, the Mark 1 Emerging Leaders Program and Oratorical Competition will be offered to youth desiring to be future members of the financial services industry and a Community Empowerment Day will be offered free of charge to the Atlanta community. The Summit will culminate with an awards reception at which the UFSC will recognize its corporate sponsors and outstanding chapters, members and youth program participants. It goes without being said that Atlanta will be a wonderful location to have fun and build lasting personal and professional relationships.

Call (404) 443-1234 for hotel registrations and use the code UFSC or visit for additional information about the Summit and check back often for updates regarding events and speakers. —

NBA players’ exemplary financial maturity is a model for other athletes

Grant Hill

Grant Hill retired after a 19-year NBA career in 2013. Hill partnered with billionaire investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh to develop an ownership group to place a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers. Hill currently works for NBA TV/TNT.

By Charles Glover

NBA players are recognized for their talent on the basketball court but there is also a growing number of current and former NBA players who learned entrepreneurial lessons from their predecessors. This new breed of player-entrepreneurs know how to put what they learned in business to grow their personal brands and enhance their financial legacies.

Webber was the #1 overall draft pick in 1993. He retired after the 2008 season. Webber owns a restaurant, and an investment company. He currently works for NBA TV/TNT.

Webber was the #1 overall draft pick in 1993. He retired after the 2008 season. Webber owns a restaurant, and an investment company. He currently works for NBA TV/TNT.

Recent NBA retirees like Grant Hill and Chris Webber have learned their lessons and have an eye towards NBA ownership. Hill put together a group of investors that attempted to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, while Webber put together a group that is hopeful of purchasing the Atlanta Hawks.

But despite the examples set by the player-entrepreneurs, there have been many accounts of professional athletes, and in particular some NBA players, who have blown their fortunes shortly after retiring from the game of basketball.

Rumeal Robinson

Rumeal Robinson last played in the NBA in 1997 after being the 10th overall draft pick in the 1990 NBA Draft. Robinson’s legal troubles include charges for bank fraud, bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and perjury.

There’s the tragic story of former NBA guard Rumeal Robinson who swindled his foster mother out of her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2003, Robinson tricked his foster mother into signing over the deed to her own home. He then transferred the property to people unknown to her. These thieves eventually forced the foster mother from her home of over 30 years.

Jason Caffey

Jason Caffey was taken 20th overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1995. He finished his NBA career in 2003. Caffey faced a brief jail stint for failure to pay child support.

There’s also the unfortunate story of former Chicago Bulls players Jason Caffey. Caffey eventually had to file for bankruptcy after having trouble paying child support for 10 children with 8 different mothers. Former NBA power forward Derrick Coleman also had to file for bankruptcy after having a series of investments go sour. Coleman’s former New Jersey Nets teammate Kenny Anderson has also faced serious financial hardship for many years following his NBA career.

Latrell Sprewell

Latrell Sprewell was the 24th overall draft pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1992. Sprewell was a four- time All-Star, making the team with the Warriors and New York Knicks. Sprewell endured many financial woes including a $200 million lawsuit against him from an ex-girlfriend and auctioning off his yacht to make his defaulted mortgage payments.

Latrell Sprewell, after turning down a three-year, $21 million extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves was quoted as saying “I’ve got my family to feed.” A few years later Sprewell’s home was in foreclosure and he had to sell his yacht as he experienced financial difficulties shortly after retiring.

Ray Williams

Ray Williams was the 10th overall draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1977. Williams finished his NBA career playing for the New Jersey Nets in 1987. Williams would experience extreme hardship in post-NBA career resulting in homelessness. Williams was a victim of a real estate scam and filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Williams died on March 22, 2013 of colon cancer in New York City at the age of 58.

Antoine Walker, formerly of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, has also had to file for bankruptcy after earning over $100 million during his playing career. There was also the sobering tale of 10-year NBA veteran Ray Williams. Williams, who played for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He ended up homeless, living out of his car in Florida, before dying at a relatively young age.

Russell Westbrook (i) and Kevin Durant (r).

In the summer of 2014, Russell Westbrook (l) had his Westbrook XO line debut at Barney’s New York and launched his own line of sunglasses. Kevin Durant (r) opened a restaurant in Oklahoma City in 2012, appeared in the 2012 children’s film “Thunderstruck,” and had a documentary about his life air on HBO in the summer of 2014.

Many of today’s NBA players have learned from both the cautionary tales and the impressive one. They new breed of player-entrepreneurs are making strides in taking care of their finances for their families’ future. The Oklahoma City Thunder have two dynamic All-Stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durrant has used his popularity to garner major endorsement deals and appearances in film and television. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook has taken his notoriety for style and turned it into an opportunity to earn through fashion. Westbrook not only has his own clothing line, as an extension through with his endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand, he also has his own brand of sunglasses.

Amar'e Stoudemire with the stars of Beyond the Lights.

(l – r) Writer/Director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, NBA Player/Producer, Amar’e Stoudemire, Co-stars of “Beyond the Lights,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Nate Parker.

Amar’e Stoudemire has taken some of his NBA earnings and translated it into a film production career that featured production credits on the recently released film “Beyond the Lights.” Stoudemire also has a clothing line and writes children’s books. Stoudemire’s New York Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony has taken some of his NBA earnings to begin to prepare for his post-NBA career through the funding of tech companies that he hopes can eventually grow to be successful as over the next several years.

Chris Paul (l) and Blake Griffin (m) on the set with Jimmy Kimmel (r).

Chris Paul (l) and Blake Griffin (m) on the set with Jimmy Kimmel (r).

Blake Griffin and his Los Angeles Clippers teammate Chris Paul have taken their popularity and translated it into off the court opportunities as well, with Paul contributing handsomely to President Obama’s social initiative “My Brother’s Keeper,” which is designed to offer opportunities to Black and Latino boys.

LeBron James.

LeBron James is not only a minority owner of the Liverpool soccer club but has also expressed interest in teaming up with soccer star David Beckham to own a Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Miami.

Perhaps no NBA player has done more to build his own personal brand then Lebron James. James has not only had large endorsement deals but he also has co-ownership  of the Liverpool soccer club in England. James is already on record as stating that he wants to become a billionaire and he appears to be on his way.  Kobe Bryant is also creating waves with his own production studio, to make films.

Magic Johnson.

Magic Johnson’s sports ownership includes being a part of the majority ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks. Johnson is also working to develop an expansion team in the MLS in the near future.

These current players seem to have taken the lead from two of the best 12 who ever graced a basketball court in Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Both Johnson and Jordan are owners of major sports teams. Johnson is the majority owner of the  group which purchased the  Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks while Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Michael Jordan.

With the recent increase of his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets to 89%, Michael Jordan has had his personal value evaluated at over $1 billion.

Jordan and Johnson are phenomenal businessmen who provide a template for their contemporaries and future NBA stars, while sending the message that it is important to value themselves as professional commodities beyond the game of basketball. The example set by Jordan, Johnson, Hill, Weber and the current player-entrepreneurs is a strong reminder that it is important to prepare for life after basketball. Their examples offer a good mirror for other athletes to use and plot their future before their sports careers–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management/employee training and benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on For business inquiries contact (646) 309–1938.