Inspired By U.S. Postal Service Latin Dance Commemorative Stamp Hispanic Woman Creates First Stamp Honoring Hispanic Entrepreneurs

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Hispanic businesswoman creates first postage stamp approved for official U.S. domestic postage to honor Hispanic entrepreneurs.

– The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the new “Let’s Dance Bailemos!” postage stamps last week to honor Hispanics during Hispanic Heritage Month. The postage stamps celebrate four popular Latin dances: Merengue, Salsa, Mambo and the Cha-Cha.

But local Hispanic entrepreneur Elizabeth Avelar thought the U.S. Postal Service overlooked other aspects of Hispanic culture by commemorating only Latin dances. To bring attention to the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the Hispanic community, she created a postage stamp to commemorate Hispanic entrepreneurs. The stamp, named “Mi Negocio,” meaning “My Business”, has been approved for official U.S. postage and is the first to honor Hispanic entrepreneurs.

”The U.S. Postal Service should be commended for honoring Hispanic civil rights activist Cesar E. Chavez with a postage stamp in 2003” Avelar said, “And for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with examples of our rich artistic heritage. I simply believe the spirit of entrepreneurialism that runs deep within the Hispanic culture was missing.”

Substantiating the need for a stamp honoring Hispanic entrepreneurs is a recent research study titled, Hispanic-Owned Businesses: Growth 2004 – 2010 by HispanTelligence which reported, “The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States is expected to grow 55% in the next 6 years to 3.2 million with total revenues surging 70% to more than $465 billion.”

To develop the image for the postage stamp the entrepreneur asked her sister, Joela Avelar, an aspiring artist and fashion designer attending Incarnate Word College, to paint an image commemorating Hispanic entrepreneurs past and present.

Elizabeth Avelar says it was her childhood memory of her entrepreneurial father & mother posing for a picture that inspired the painting. She remembers, “They had spent years sacrificing to achieve the American dream that brought them here more than 20 years ago. And the idea that hard work could bring financial freedom was clearly evident on their proud faces on grand-opening day. So I wanted to capture that moment that every entrepreneur feels on that special day.”

The unveiling of the artwork and the official first day of issue for “Mi Negocio” will be September 22, 2005, 2PM – 4PM, at 7800 IH-10 W Ste. 100, San Antonio, Texas, 78230. The stamps will be available for viewing and afterwards the stamps will be available at http://www.eavelar.com. The original painting will be auctioned on http://www.ebay.com starting midnight September 22, 2005.

All the profits from the “Mi Negocio” postage stamp will be donated to ACCION Texas, the state’s largest 501(c) 3 non-profit loan fund whose mission is to provide loans to small business owners lacking access to commercial credit.

Elizabeth Avelar chose ACCION Texas as the recipient of the proceeds because, “They gave me the financial support and motivation I needed to become an entrepreneur when nobody else would. So I wanted to give back to the loan fund so others can have the same opportunity I did.”

“We are thrilled to have Elizabeth come full circle from borrower to donor,” says Janie Barrera, ACCION Texas’ President and CEO. “Over 70% of our clients are Hispanic, and they accomplish astounding things when given access to capital. Clients supported for an average period of 2½ years increase business profits by 96% and equity by 46%. Just one loan from ACCION Texas increases take-home pay by 24%.”

The first stamps to honor Hispanic entrepreneurs are sold in sheets of 20 and are available in seven denominations: postcard, 1 pound priority mail piece, large 1 oz envelope, regular 1 oz., 2 oz, 3 oz., and 4 oz. sized envelopes.

“ACCION Texas will make every effort to use the commemorative stamps in the course of our daily business in honor of our Hispanic clients,” says Barrera.

Details About Stamp

Issue: Mi Negocio

Denomination: 37 cent stamp

Issue Date & City: September 22, 2005, San Antonio, Texas

Illustrator: Elizabeth Avelar

Artist: Joela Avelar

Purpose: To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by commemorating Hispanic entrepreneurialism with a postage stamp approved for official usage.

Authorized & approved by: stamps.com

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