(NNPA)—Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Urban Caucus, has urged colleagues to support federal and private initiatives that provide venture capital in urban markets and minority communities.

“The greatest untapped market for American business can be found right here at home in the economic shadows,” Fattah said Monday at an Urban Caucus briefing for House members and staff.

Chaka Fattah

“If the urban markets catering to African-Americans and Hispanics were a separate country, those markets would represent the world’s ninth-largest economy—and it’s an underserved market that can be developed to jumpstart our broader national economy.”

Fattah, an eight-term Congressman from Philadelphia who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was joined at the Capitol Hill session by officials of the National Association of Investment Companies in describing the role of private equity in creating jobs in urban areas. They unveiled a report that details these emerging markets and provides a blueprint for minority entrepreneurs and investors to reach them.

The NAIC, founded in 1971 with member firms now managing more than $10 billion in capital, is the premier financial industry association for private equity firms that invest in an ethnically diverse marketplace.

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

The Congressional Urban Caucus has more than 50 members representing the nation’s largest urban and metropolitan areas. It has conducted half a dozen briefings during the 111th Congress to advance a comprehensive urban policy covering education, housing, public safety, the environment, investment and economic recovery.

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