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Black Buying Power:
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Rep. Chaka Fattah urges venture capitalists to increase investment in urban markets

(October 26, 2009) Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Urban Caucus, told the nation's leading urban-market venture capitalists that investing in minority communities in the United States is smart business as well as a route to national economic recovery.

Fattah was the keynote speaker at the banquet and gala of the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), which held its 39th Annual Meeting and Convention in Washington D.C. at the Fairmont Hotel. NAIC members control more than $10 billion in capital for investment in ethnically diverse American markets.

"Even though emerging markets abroad are touted as hot prospects, the fact is that the greatest untapped market for American business can be found right here at home in the economic shadows," Fattah said in remarks prepared for the NAIC. "If the urban markets catering to African Americans and Hispanics were a separate country, those markets would represent the world's ninth largest economy."

Fattah said, "We can't have real economic recovery if private equity continues to ignore this market reality - which it does to its own disadvantage. Turning around and investing strongly in our urban minority communities is job-creating and wealth-creating. It's win-win for all."

Fattah, an eight-term Congressman from Philadelphia who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was the final speaker at the NAIC Convention. NAIC members earlier heard from Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), the House Majority Whip; Charles F. Bolden Jr., NASA's first African American Administrator; Robert L. Johnson, Founder of Black Entertainment Network; Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills; as well as leading experts in business, government, and venture capital.

Fattah is chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Urban Caucus, which has more than 50 members from the nation's largest urban and metropolitan areas. The Urban Caucus advocates for a comprehensive urban policy covering education, housing, public safety, the environment, investment and economic recovery.

NAIC describes itself as the financial industry association for private equity firms that invest in an ethnically diverse marketplace. Since NAIC's inception in 1971, its member firms have invested in well over 20,000 ethnically diverse businesses. Today, NAIC member firms manage more than $10 billion in capital and cover the full spectrum of private equity investment activity.

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