With protests entering their third week across all 50 states, and an ongoing pandemic exposing brutal disparities in both economic and physical health, this country is at a pivotal moment. The issues at stake are far from new. But a sudden convergence of tragic events have again exposed the dramatic inequality in America’s foundation. The federal government, corporate sector, financial institutions and small business will all have a role to play in delivering justice for black communities.
In order to explore a path forward, I turned to Ron Busby, President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. I have known and worked with Ron for more than a decade. He’s a successful former business owner, who grew his first company, USA Superclean, into a $15 million business and the largest black-owned janitorial firm in the country. Before that, Ron honed his skills at some of the nation’s largest corporations, including Exxon, Xerox, IBM and Coca-Cola. He has served on the Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities and the White House African American Leadership Council. I spoke with him about this historic moment, the challenges of health and wealth creation in black communities, and the role all of us can play in supporting black-owned businesses.