The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) is committed to building a national database of Black businesses. USBC will begin by leveraging its national network of 110 member chambers of commerce and 240,000 businesses to extract relevant business information from these entities. USBC's 110 members are located in 23 states including: Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Mexico, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Michigan, Delaware, Mississippi, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Virginia, and Nevada.
With this commitment, USBC will leverage its strategic partnerships with national organizations such as; NAACP, National Urban League, and National Bankers Association to become the repository for Black business statistics and serve as a resource to Corporations, business owners, consumers and other stakeholders. USBC will provide the initial data to be imported into the national database from their USBC members. USBC seeks to capture the economic benefits from the creation of the database such as; creating and tracking jobs, encouraging support of African-American owned businesses, and opportunities to increase the participation of Black Businesses in the supply chain and the government procurement pipeline.
USBC commits to expand its existing strategic partnership with Around The Way App, a mobile application which allows users to find the nearest Black-owned business, to further develop this listing of businesses. The USBC seeks to include data on; the number of employees, annualized revenue, NAICS codes, industry, # of years in business, and other statistical information. The Around The Way App has done an excellent job at locating businesses, however the data on these businesses is limited to fundamental information. USBC will leverage its partnership with Around The Way to have the most recent information on Black businesses at ones fingertips. USBC will also partner with economic experts, and researchers to continue gathering information on Black businesses nationwide. Additionally, USBC will collaborate with ESRI, an IT company, to build the database.
The USBC plans to have 10,000 businesses imported into the database within 12 months after launching and 25,000 by 2015. By 2020 USBC plans to have 250,000 businesses within the database. USBC has set four quarterly (three month) phases.
6/2013 - Public announcement of the creation of the national database
7/2013- 9/2013 - USBC will begin conversations with member chambers and other national organizations on combining databases. For the first three months after the launch date, USBC will be leveraging strategic relationships to collect business data. USBC will hire additional staff to begin research and data collection on existing USBC members.
10/2013-12/2013 - USBC will work with ESRI and Dell to build the database framework. To begin, only USBC and its regional directors will have access to the national database. The database will be accessible online, but only to a few select members in the beginning. As more businesses are imported and more public interest has developed, USBC will expand accessibility to additional partners. Additionally, USBC will begin with its strongest chambers to begin importing their business directory into the national database. These select chambers are the USBC regional offices, consisting of: the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties, Inc., Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.
1/2014-3/2014 - USBC will continue to import business information from its member chambers, as well as collaborating with other national organizations to import their directories of business owners. USBC will also leverage its strategic partnership with Around The Way App to incorporate the businesses listed in the app. After the third phase, USBC seeks to have registered 5,000 businesses in the database.
4/2014-6/2014 - USBC will continue to leverage its members, other national organizations and individual businesses to facilitate the combination of all business information. USBC seeks to have registered a total of 10,000 businesses by the end of June 2014.
The U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census Survey of Business Owners (SBO) reported that there were 1.9 million African-American owned businesses in the United States, an increase of 60.5 percent from 2002. These Black-owned firms accounted for 7.1 percent of all non-farm businesses in the United States, employed 921,032 individuals and generated $137.5 billion in receipts. The most commonly referenced public data on African American businesses is from the Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners which was last published in 2007. The next report is scheduled to be released in 2015. Due to the infrequency of these reports, stakeholders, investors and consumers are vulnerable when making business decisions based on outdated information. From consumers looking to find information on local Black businesses, to aspiring entrepreneurs seeking the newest high-growth industry to compete in, up-to-date, relevant, business data is essential to improving our American economy.
The lack of current, adequate and accurate statistics on African-American owned businesses highlights the need for the creation of a central database of Black businesses. Stakeholders will no longer be restricted to using outdated information when analyzing the Black business segment. With the creation of a national database, users can make informed business decisions which can have direct impact on the economic community they live in. Since small businesses are the true job creators of the United States, it is critical to obtaining, and maintaining the most accurate statistical information on these entities to ensure economic prosperity for all. Additionally, considering that there is an increased demand for working with Black businesses, having a national database of Black businesses has the potential to address several economic concerns such as; increasing supplier diversity, business development, and market saturation.