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African American Chamber of Commerce, AACCWR - 20th Anniversary, 1996-2016
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U.S. Black Chamber: Right on time, right on message
Now is the time to advance a national black business agenda.

By Ron Busby, Sr.
President, U.S. Black Chamber, Inc.
Washington, DC

Pioneering black businessmen Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm coined a now-familiar phrase in the inaugural issue of Freedom’s Journal, America’s first Black-owned newspaper. The men eloquently stated, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”

The U.S. Black Chamber was founded on this principle and believes that this is the perfect moment in history to define, advocate for and execute an aggressive national Black business agenda.

Today – as never before –black-owned businesses are poised to make significant entrepreneurial and economic gains. We have a U.S. President who’s working to stimulate the economy through small business growth, African Americans in key regulatory positions that impact small business development, White House officials leading an ambitious small business agenda, and federal legislation aimed at expanding opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

These factors create an optimal environment for black business growth. However, if we don’t move expeditiously to advocate for ourselves, pool our resources, and leverage our influence, we will fail to achieve the level of economic success we rightfully deserve.

Too long we have suffered from the absence of a strong, competent and influential advocate to protect our interests. Our voice has either not been recognized, or our concerns have been improperly represented. Hence, now is the time to work together and advocate for our economic and entrepreneurial interests.

When I arrived in Washington, DC, I was taken aback at the fact that there is an advocacy group, lobbyist, or trade association for just about every conceivable cause I could imagine. From deep-pocket bank lobbyists to child advocates to sugar beet growers, everyone has some one representing their interests on Capitol Hill. That is, everyone except the African American business owner.

Needless to say, the presence of the U.S. Black Chamber (USBC) has sparked a firestorm of excitement in Washington. DC insiders who were looking for the right “voice” with which to ally themselves have embraced us. In less than a year, the U.S. Black Chamber has earned the respect, recognition and cooperation of White House officials, legislators, regulators and some of Washington most influential movers and shakers.

Put simply, we are proving to be the right organization, with the right agenda, at the right time. Consequently, the time is now for you to become engaged and join our national effort to fight for black business advancement.

The USBC has a clear and well-defined agenda based on our Five Pillars of Service: Advocacy, Access to Capital, Chamber Development, Entrepreneurial Training, and Contract Opportunities. We aim to spur black business growth by advocating for sound small business legislation, sparking the growth and development of black chambers, and helping entrepreneurs enhance their business management skills. Already, we are collaborating with black chamber executives on how to best serve local black business communities. And, we have established valuable partnerships with higher learning institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to provide valuable resources to USBC members.

Moreover, we have tapped the wisdom and expertise of some of the nation’s most influential black chamber executives who make up the USBC board of directors and have established USBC regional offices: Aubry Stone, USBC board chair and president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce; Clay Hammond, vice chair, USBC board and president of the Delmarva Black Chamber of Commerce; Aimee Griffin, USBC general counsel and founder of the New England Black Chamber of Commerce; Brandon Trainer, USBC comptroller and founder/president of the Raleigh Black Chamber of Commerce; Bill Diggs, USBC director of the Southwest Region and CEO of the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce; Charles O’Neal, USBC director for the Southern Region and president of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce; Robin Lisa Douglas, USBC director for the Northeastern Region and president/founder of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties; Kerwin Brown, USBC director for the Western Region and vice chair of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce; Kathy Taylor, USBC director of the Mid-Atlantic Region and president of the Lehigh Valley Black Chamber of Commerce; and Randon Pender, president of the Winston Salem Black Chamber of Commerce.

The time is now to join America’s fastest growing advocacy group for Black business. Make it your business to learn about our mission, our advocacy work, and how the USBC can help you grow your business and your chamber.

Visit and consider what a USBC membership can do for you.





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