WASHINGTON - The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the appointment of Ron Busby Sr., president, U.S. Black Chamber, to the newly formed SBA Council on Underserved Communities (CUC).
The CUC is part of the SBA’s ongoing efforts to expand its reach into underserved communities. It builds on SBA’s core programs and Recovery initiatives, and provides input, advice and recommendations on strategies to help strengthen competitiveness and sustainability for small businesses in underserved communities. These strategies will focus on increasing entrepreneurship and technical assistance, creating new and strengthening existing outreach and training, and raising awareness in underserved communities of SBA programs and services. To help SBA better address the challenges facing small business owners, the CUC will meet regularly and advise SBA on ways to increase access to capital and promote sustainability, growth, and job creation.
“This appointment is both a privilege and a great responsibility,” Busby commented. “Our nation is clearly on the cusp of an economic recovery and it is my goal, and the goal of the U.S. Black Chamber, to make sure that Black businesses benefit from an upswing in the nation’s economy. The USBC’s role on the CUC will ensure that the voice and influence of Black business is at the table, and that we are instrumental in bringing about regulatory and policy changes that positively impact small business development.”
Busby, also an entrepreneur, was tapped for this post in large part because of his experience as a small business owner who over came many challenges to grow a successful business. Prior to assuming the role of USBC president, Busby was recognized as one of the country’s best CEOs, having grown his own start up, USA Super Clean, from $150,000 annual revenue to over $15 million per year. Busby has also shown a strong dedication to promoting minority business and community development through various roles, including: president of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, president of the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area (Oakland, Calif.); co-chair of the XL II Super Bowl Host Committee; and board member for the Arizona Governor’s African American Leadership Council.
“One of SBA’s core missions is to support small businesses in traditionally underserved communities, including minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities and in rural areas,” SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns said. “The Council on Underserved Communities will provide valuable insight and advice into how we can ensure that small businesses in these communities throughout the country have access to the tools they need to grow, create jobs and win the future.”
The CUC is chaired by Catherine Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One and TV One, and will have 20 members who represent a diverse range of backgrounds and geographic areas. Other community and business leaders appointed to the U.S. Small CUC include:
• Hassell McClellan, Associate Professor, Carroll School of Management;
• Dasil “Das” Elius Velez, New York State Empire State Development Corporation;
• B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., President and CEO, Industrial Bank;
• Eric Collins, Chief Operating Officer, Mobile Posse;
• Derek Hyra, Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech;
• Randy Blass, Director, Florida State Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Program;
• Ned Fawaz, Founder and CEO, Energy International Corporation;
• Eddie Reyes, Historically Underutilized Business Coordinator, University of North Texas;
• LeeAnn Marker, Business Advisor, Hutchinson Credit Union;
• Roni Wisdom, Chief Financial Officer, San Luis Valley Development Group;
• Hilda Kennedy, Founder/Executive Director, AmPac Tri State CDC;
• Rod Hsiao, Director of Strategic Operations, BUILD;
• Hugh Short, President and CEO, Alaska Growth Capital; and
• Marilyn Strickland, Mayor, Tacoma, Washington.
The CUC’s first meeting will be held in Washington, DC in July. In preparation for this meeting, the U.S. BlackChamber will conduct a survey of its chamber and small business members to gather their views on what the black business community needs from the SBA.