WASHINGTON – Members of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce told members of Congress that regulations meant to protect businesses are becoming barriers as owners try to borrow money to improve their businesses.
Eleven members of the chamber attended 21 meetings Monday through Wednesday on Capitol Hill for their annual HC to D.C. Marketing Trip. They visited with Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn,both R-Texas,and Reps. Pete Gallegos and Beto O’Rourke,both D-Texas,to express their concerns.
The group also met with officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security.
Chief Executive Officer Cindy Ramos-Davidson has been organizing the trips for 15 years.
“It’s an informational channel,to be able to talk to elected officials about the challenges,the hurdles,the obstacles and the opportunities small businesses have in El Paso,” she said.
Ramos-Davidson said the group was able to bring up issues such as immigration reform,access to resources and regulations that affect small businesses owned by minorities,women and veterans.
“Everyone is understanding that more and more as we go to these meetings,” Ramos-Davidson said. “We’re able to show them case examples of how rules and regulations hurt the businesses that we’re trying to help.”
This was Chamber Board Member Von Washington’s fourth trip with the group. He is also the president of Integrated Defense Applications Technology,which provides technical and IT services to federal agencies and commercial businesses.
“These issues have resonated over the last several years,but also we come to find out exactly what types of changes are taking place with legislation and regulation,” he said. “So our understanding of how the landscape is changing for your small business and for our locale is very important.”
Washington said it is important for local business owners to understand how legislation,including sequestration and budget cuts,will affect them. He said the group will continue to make phone calls,write emails and send letters to elected officials in an effort to reduce regulations.
“Change in Washington comes very slow and always with a price,” he said. “But it doesn’t come if you aren’t heard and you have to continue to bring that message.”
Cornyn sympathized with the group and told them he would try to share their concerns with other members of Congress to stress the “Texas model.”
“To me,that’s the part that is least well understood here in Washington,” he said. “We all know the federal government is not good at dealing with differences in regions in the country in different circumstances,it’s not one-size-fits-all.”
Reach reporter Jasmine Aguilera at [email protected] or 202-326-9866. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.