Corporate Profile

Corporate Profile

The Latin American Chamber of Commerce (LACC) was founded in 1976 by 18 entrepreneurs to provide professional management consulting services and technical assistance to small businesses, and to promote the concept of entrepreneurship and business development as the formula to increase the employment level of local communities in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. To date, the LACC is one of the most recognized small business consulting groups in Illinois in the areas of financial consulting, business planning, contract procurement and entrepreneurship education. The LACC generates most of its clients from its membership base but also generates significant business referrals from financial institutions, CPA firms, attorneys, and government agencies and authorities.

The LACC is managed by its Board of Directors elected by the General Membership to serve in a voluntary capacity. The Board of Directors sets the corporate policies and oversees the operational, technical and fiscal functions of the Corporation.

The LACC ‘s daily operation is the responsibility of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee meets on the first Monday of each month to evaluate operating performance and financial results.

In keeping with its mission, the LACC has become one of the largest small business consulting groups in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Its fields of specialization include:

  • Business Financing: Writing financial proposals and obtaining loans for clients through the placement of debt financing directly with banks or through loan participations or government financing programs, guarantees.
  • Accessing New Markets: Preparing M/W/D/VBE and SBA 8(a) Certification packages and obtaining certification status on behalf of its clients with the City, County, State and Federal agencies and authorities.
  • Contract Procurement: Providing bid leads and assisting clients in obtaining contracts with government agencies and prime contractors; assisting clients in obtaining surety bonds and lines of credit.
  • Management Consulting: Assisting clients in all aspects of business development from writing business plans to formulating marketing strategies.
  • Management Development: Providing specialized training to upgrade the expertise and competence of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Corporate Milestones

1976

Incorporated in the State of Illinois as a small business consulting group and trade association.

1986-2000

Established the Hispanic Entrepreneurial Training and Support Institute (HETSI) in cooperation with the City of Chicago, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. This pioneering entrepreneurship training program was designed to provide management education and training to Hispanic and other minority entrepreneurs interested in starting a business.

1989-2013

Signed a cooperative agreement with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development-Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection “BCAP”, to provide management and technical assistance to small business located throughout the City of Chicago.

1989-2005

Established the Latin American Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Center (LACC-SBDC) though a cooperative agreement with the Illinois Department of Commerce (DCCA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to provide financial and management consulting services to small businesses.

1990-1993

Established The Chicago Procurement Assistance Center (CPAC) through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The CPAC provided procurement consulting services to small business interested in contracting with the Department of Defense and its prime contractors.

1990-1991

Signed a cooperative agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide management and technical assistance to minority and women-owned businesses interested in participating in the reconstruction of the Kennedy Expressway.

1994

Became a “Certified Loan Packaging Agency” under the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) Certification Program.

1995-2015

Designated a Participating Plans Room by the Illinois Capital Development Board. Under this designation, the blueprints and contract specifications for all State of Illinois’ construction projects are housed at the LACC Plans Room for the use of M/W/D/VBE and SBA 8(a) Certified Contractors.

1995-1997

Appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Small Business Advisory Board.

1997

Signed a contract agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide management and technical assistance to DBE Certified Firms or firms planning to become certified in construction, design or road material supply trades, in the State Highway District 1.

1997-2003

Established the Chicago Minority Business Development Center (The Chicago MBDC) under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Chicago MBDC provided financial consulting, and management and technical assistance to minority business enterprises in the Chicago region.

1998

Signed a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration to increase participation of Hispanic-owned companies’ in the SBA’s Capital Access, Procurement, International Trade, Women-Owned Business, Welfare to Work, and Advocacy Programs.

1998-1999

Signed a contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide management assistance to disadvantaged business firms located in State Highway District 1.

1999

Received the “SBA’s Office of Advocacy’s Model of Excellence Vision 2000 Award”. This award was given to LACC in recognition to its outstanding record in providing procurement technical assistance to small businesses in Illinois.

1999

Signed a participation agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to partner in marketing and implementation the SBA’s Pre-Qualification Loan Program. Under this program, LACC prepares loan packages for minority business borrowers and submit the packages to the SBA who renders a decision to guarantee the loan within 3 days. The LACC then finds a bank offering the most attractive rate and terms to the borrowers.

2000-2016

Designated as a Census Information Center (CIC) under agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census. This designation authorizes LACC to disseminate census data and demographic information to the Illinois business community. The LACC-CIC is part of a national network of 1,800 State agencies, universities and economic development organizations participating in the State Data Center Program, 1,300 Federal Depository Libraries, 1,230 local public libraries designated as Census depository Libraries, and the Information Services Specialists in 12 Permanent Regional Census Offices where the public can find Census data locally.

2002

Received the U.S. Department of Commerce “Top Performance Award” in recognition for being the highest producer of contracts awarded to M/W/D/VBE Certified companies in the nation during 2001.

2002-2003

Signed a contract agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide management and technical assistance to disadvantaged business enterprises located in State Highway District 1.

2002-2004

Signed a participation agreement with LaSalle Bank (subsequently acquired by Bank of America) to provide financial and management consulting services to bank borrowers under the SBA Community Express Loan Program.

2002

LACC was awarded a contractual agreement to provide management and financial consulting services to subcontractors in construction and construction related trades participating in the Lakefront Redevelopment Project (Soldier Field) in Chicago. 

2002-2004

Signed an Interagency Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish the Chicago Minority Business Opportunity Center (MBOC), a vital resource center formed to facilitate opportunity for minority business through the utilization of Federal, State and local government institutions, and private sector organizations that provide minority business owners with enhanced access to the marketplace, promote relationship building and sharing of business information, assist in identifying sources of capital, conduct outreach to disseminate economic data and create inventories of resources.

2003

Received the U.S. Department of Commerce “Overall Performance Award” in recognition for generating the highest volume of loans for minority and women-owned companies in the nation during 2002.

2003

Received the U.S. Department of Commerce “Top Performance Award” in recognition for being the highest producer of contract awarded to M/W/D/VBE Certified contractors in the nation during 2002.

2007-2009

Signed a cooperative agreement with the World Trade Center Illinois to promote exports and facilitate international trade for Illinois-based companies interested in trading with Latin American countries.

2007

Received the “Premio Empresarial La Raza 2007” awarded by La Raza Publications to the Chamber of Commerce offering the best management and technical assistance programs to small businesses in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

2008

LACC was awarded a grant by BP America, Inc. to implement a Youth Entrepreneurship Program at local high schools where selected students were taught the value and importance of entrepreneurship through a series of lectures presented by a selected group of guest speakers.

2008

Signed a grant agreement with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to implement a venture capital program for new entrepreneurs through “The Business Venture Challenge”, a successful business plan competition.

2008

Signed a sub-contract agreement with the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce under contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), to provide management consulting services and technical assistance to companies located in State Highway Districts 1-3.

2012

Designated a Participating Plans Room by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA). Under this designation The LACC Plans Room receives copy of all the plans and specifications issued by the ISTHA under its 15 year, $12 Billion Capital Program. The LACC Plans Room makes the ISTHA’s plans and specifications available to LACC Members and clients for review and bidding consideration.

2014-2016

Established the LACC Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC) in cooperation with the City of Chicago, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The LACC NBDC provides management consulting services to small business and entrepreneurs in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

2015-2016

Established the LACC Small Business Opportunity Center (LACC SBOC) in cooperation with the City of Chicago, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The LACC SBOC specializes in providing financial consulting services to small business including loan packaging and loan placement services, for commercial and industrial loans as well as revolving lines of credit. It also assists early stage companies in accessing venture capital.