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The National Business League was founded on this date in 1900. Formed in Boston, MA. by Booker T. Washington founded, it began as the National Negro Business League.
Five years later, the NNBL was incorporated officially in New York City. The organization was renamed and reincorporated in Washington, D. C. in 1966, when it became the National Business League (NBL); and reincorporated in Washington, D.C., in 1966, when it became the National Business League (NBL). It was established and operating 12 years before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was founded.
The National Business League, with its constituency and membership crossing all business lines, has been an important organizational vehicle for Black business persons and the Black community generally. The League started as an alliance of individuals and firms dedicated to the financial and commercial development of non-white America.
Although detractors labeled it the centerpiece of Booker T. Washington’s "machine," the records of the NNBL make it clear that it was much more. Its core membership included the elite of Black business leaders and professionals, but its ranks also included many upwardly aspiring black middle-class members.
A major goal of the league has been to include the minority business sector in the national economic priorities, not simply for its benefit but for the growth and stability of the national economy. As the nation’s oldest business and trade association, NBL membership encompasses a broad spectrum of business enterprises ranging from international trading firms and high technology manufacturers to small retail and service-providing companies and sole proprietorships.
Over the past 100 years, membership has grown throughout the United States. The NBL's national network includes chapters, a vibrant network of National Student Business Leagues, and a coalition of 30 association affiliates organized as NBL's National Council for Policy Review (NCPR). The NCPR is intended to represent every facet of activity in the country. Since its inception, NBL has developed a variety of business and trade associations, coalitions, and institutions.