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).