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SBC Foundation Funds US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

SBC Communications Inc.'s philanthropic arm has awarded a $500,000 grant to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation to fund the establishment of technology resource and training centers at its chambers across the country.

The Excelerator technology grant from the SBC Foundation will support creation of 20 Casa Cyber Community Technology Centers throughout the United States. The centers will be community-based, small business incubation centers operated in conjunction with the local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

The announcement was made Thursday by SBC and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber in conjunction with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention & Business Expo in Milwaukee this week.

The first of the centers will be established in Metairie, La., to serve businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina. Local Hispanic Chambers will have to vie for seed money for the other 19 centers through a competitive application process. The projects will begin in summer 2006.

The Casa Cyber Community Technology Centers will provide technology infrastructure resources necessary for small, start-up businesses. The centers will help eliminate the initial expenses for technology-related overhead. The centers will provide resources such as computers, Internet access, office space, business-related services and a network of contacts.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, based in Washington, D.C., represents the interests of approximately two million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States. SBC and the chamber said Hispanic entrepreneurs are starting businesses at a faster rate that any other segment of the population.

San Antonio-based SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC) is the parent company of SBC Wisconsin, the dominant telecommunications services provider in the state.

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