USBC President Ron Busby talks Advancing Black-Owned Businesses:
Advancing Black-Owned Businesses
Starting a business is hard enough, but black entrepreneurs can face additional challenges, biases and obstacles that their white counterparts do not, including higher interest rates and potential discrimination at traditional banks and lending companies.
“You ask any small business owner, they would say access to capital is their number one concern. But if you ask an African-American, they’ll say their top one, two and three concerns are access to capital,” Ron Busby, president and CEO of U.S. Black Chambers (USBC), says.
Busby says it is common for black entrepreneurs to be held to a higher standard when applying for business funding, with lenders requiring higher credit scores from black people than white people. And when they do get loans, often the rates can be much higher than for white-owned businesses, he says.
In a USBC statement put out earlier this year, Busby points to the story of Freddie Lee James Jr., a St. Louis, Missouri entrepreneur who was denied a business loan from a bank even though he had a credit score of around 750 and his product —homemade barbecue sauce — generated about $200,000 in profits and was sold in 1,000 stores, including major retailers like Home Goods and Hy-Vee.
Resources for Black Entrepreneurs:
USBC’s Small Business Financial Education Program
The USBC’s 6 week Small Business Financial Education Program helps Black business owners prepare for loans, contracts, and business opportunities.
Experienced trainers and business coaches will provide participants with step-by-step instructions to help business owners prepare for business funding.
Participants can expect:
• At the end of the program, participants can pitch USBC’s corporate and government partners
• Access to USBC’s banking partners, supplier diversity companies, government agencies and subject matter experts in marketing, finance and leadership
• Access to USBC as a resource for capital access and procurement opportunities
Click here to Register for the March 24th Class
New Goldman Sachs Program
Attend an 8-week experience providing Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access the best of Goldman Sachs – from industry experts to influential networks – while building relationships with investors.
The application deadline is Friday, April 17.
Funding Resources for Black Entrepreneurs:
USBC recently launched a new micro grant and loan program to help Black-owned businesses in the Gulf region including: Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana with funding that alleviates the impact of previous storms and weather disasters that have impacted business operations. Sponsored by BP, this program enables small firms to identify an area of distress in their business that has hindered their growth over the past two years.
The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) partnership with BP the oil and gas company, will provide funding to Black-owned businesses in the gulf coast region. The program is managed by two USBC member Chambers – the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation (LCCF), and the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce (BCBCC).
Click Here to Apply for Funding
Advancing Black Pathways:
Making the economy work for more people is a key focus for JPMorgan Chase
As part of that mission, JPMorgan Chase launched Advancing Black Pathways (ABP), a new initiative that builds on our existing Entrepreneurs of Color Fund efforts to help Black entrepreneurs chart stronger paths towards economic success and empowerment through:
• Access to working capital and cash
• Funding for capital expenditures like new equipment or an office redesign
• Financing for a commercial real estate purchase
Make it Count! Be Counted in the 2020 Census
As a part of the “Make Black Count” initiative, the National Urban League, on behalf of the 2020 Census Black Roundtable will host a 2020 Census National Tele-Town Hall on March 10, 2020 at 8:00pm ET.
Click Here to Learn More
The 2020 Census National Tele-Town Hall will feature national civil rights, civic, faith, and local elected leaders who will discuss the importance of the 2020 Census and steps we must take as the Black community to get our fair share of federal resources, political representation and power.
The keynote speaker for the TownHall is Martin Luther King III, he will be joined by other civil rights and national leaders, including Marc Morial, Rev. Al Sharpton, Derrick Johnson, Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner, and Beverly Smith, National President, Delta Sigma Theta, Black Roundtable co-convener, Melanie Campbell, CEO and President, National Coalition for Black Civic Participation will be featured, as well.
In addition to civil rights leaders, mayors from New Orleans, LA, Inglewood, CA, Buffalo, NY, Dallas, TX, Mt. Vernon, NY will join in on the call to discuss the importance of an accurate count to their communities.
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Time: 8:00 PM EST/5:00 PM PST