The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) 2023 National Conference Empowered Black Businesses to New Heights. Visionaries and trailblazers united to drive economic growth and design a prosperous future for Black businesses.
The 2023 U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) National Conference, held from July 19th to 21st at the prestigious Waldorf Astoria in Washington, D.C., concluded with resounding success, gathering over 600 entrepreneurial enthusiasts from across the nation. The event was an unprecedented celebration of Black entrepreneurship, leadership, advocacy, and economic empowerment.
Kicking off the conference on Wednesday, July 19th, USBC President & CEO, Ron Busby Sr. delivered the State of Black Business Address powered by AT&T and joined the dynamic and renowned Ed Gordon for the much-anticipated armchair conversation. The two leaders engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue on entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, and fostering a supportive environment for Black businesses to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.
The conference featured a diverse lineup of distinguished speakers who lent their invaluable insights. During the event, Ron Busby, Sr. joined the stage with National Action Network President & Founder Rev. Al Sharpton, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President & CEO Derrick Johnson, and National Black Business Month Founder John Templeton to discuss the state of Black America while highlighting the importance of unity and collaboration in driving economic growth within the Black community.
This year’s national convening also received exciting addresses and remarks from esteemed public officials, including the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Deputy Secretary Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency’s Under Secretary Donald Cravins Jr., Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser, U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Glen Ivey (D-MD), Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), among others, reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to advancing Black entrepreneurship.
Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) took the main stage during the conference to express his unwavering support for the USBC’s mission to uplift Black commerce and drive forward the Black wealth agenda. His pledge to collaborate with the USBC and USBC’s recently launched USBC Media Network marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of economic prosperity for Black-owned businesses.
Thursday, July 20th, was marked by a captivating keynote address from the newly appointed President of Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Reverend Dr. Frederick Haynes III. His empowering message resonated with attendees, inspiring them to strive for greatness and overcome obstacles in their entrepreneurial journey. As Rainbow PUSH and USBC look to join forces, we are committed to bridging the gap between Black businesses and Black faith-based institutions with a shared vision of designing a prosperous future for both the Black business community and the communities they serve.
During the USBC 2023 National Conference, outstanding individuals and organizations were recognized for their exceptional contributions to the Black business community. Rep. Al Green (D-TX) was honored with the prestigious Advocate of the Year award, acknowledging his relentless efforts in advancing Black entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. Presenting sponsor Google received the Corporation of the Year award for the company’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within the business landscape. The Upperstate New York Black Chamber received the coveted Chamber of the Year award, celebrating its outstanding leadership and impactful initiatives within the Black business community.
“The USBC National Conference served as an extraordinary gathering of visionaries, trailblazers, and change-makers. As we conclude this year’s conference, we leave with renewed inspiration to drive transformative economic change and foster a future where Black businesses can thrive, uplifting our communities and making a lasting impact on the Black wealth agenda. The remarkable energy and enthusiasm displayed by the over 600 Black chamber leaders and business owners reaffirmed the resilience of Black businesses. This event underscored our unwavering commitment to empowering Black chambers and entrepreneurs, who remain the driving force behind our communities and the nation. I’d also like to highlight that meeting with President Biden and senior administration officials on Bidenomics has been a tremendous honor, perfectly aligning with our mission to close the three-day event.” stated Ron Busby, President & CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
Walmart Business, one of the event’s title sponsors, facilitated informative mainstage sessions, offering valuable insights on how Black businesses can transition from e-commerce to traditional retail, expanding their reach to the aisles of brick-and-mortar stores. Wells Fargo, another title sponsor, demonstrated its unwavering commitment to fostering economic growth and diversity within the business landscape by providing $100,000 in micro-grants to select Black chamber leaders.
This year’s National Conference also witnessed groundbreaking moments with the signing of historical Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). These significant agreements included an MOU with the MBDA, signifying a strong partnership in advancing opportunities for Black businesses through support and resources. Additionally, the MOUs with the Botoga Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Trade highlighted a commitment to driving global commerce and opening doors for Black entrepreneurs on an international scale. Another pivotal partnership was solidified through an agreement with Lendistry, which aims to enhance access to capital and financial resources for Black businesses. These historic MOUs underscore the USBC’s dedication to fostering growth and prosperity within the Black business community, propelling it towards new heights of success and impact.
As the USBC National Conference drew to a successful close, a momentous event marked its conclusion. The White House Office of Public Engagement and National Economic Council hosted a briefing with the USBC to delve into the transformative vision of Bidenomics—the President’s strategic plan to foster economic growth from the middle out and the bottom up, with a dedicated focus on expanding economic access and opportunity for Black communities. The meeting brought together over 80 influential leaders, and to their pleasant surprise, President Biden himself made an unexpected appearance to express his heartfelt appreciation for their ongoing partnership. During his address, President Biden celebrated the historic advancements in the nation’s economic direction, including record-breaking job creation, the lowest Black unemployment rate ever recorded, and the highest Black labor force participation rate since August 2008. This extraordinary gathering marked a pivotal moment in the relentless pursuit of economic prosperity and inclusivity for all Americans, especially within the Black community.
The 2023 USBC National Conference embodied empowerment and unity, creating a platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and collaboration among attendees. The event’s success was a testament to the resilience and innovation of Black businesses and their pivotal role in shaping the nation’s economic future.