Black-Owned Businesses Grow at Triple the National Rate

Written by: Bill Bostic, Associate Director for Economic Programs

February is Black History Month, a time when our nation celebrates the contributions of people of African-American heritage.

It’s also an appropriate time to acknowledge the growing impact the black community has had on our nation’s economy.

Data released today from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) highlight black-owned businesses and their growing numbers since 2002.

What’s exciting about the new SBO data is that it gives us a complete look at black-owned businesses (including industries and size of business), insight that we have not had since the last statistics were released from the 2002 survey. So what do these new data show us about black-owned businesses?

Map of Black-Owned Firms Percent of Firms in Each State, 2007 Between 2002 and 2007, the number of black-owned businesses increased on a rapidly upward track (60 percent), more than triple the national rate (18 percent) to 1.9 million businesses. The data show that, in terms of sheer number, black-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing segments of our economy.

In addition, black-owned businesses’ revenue increased to $137.5 billion (a 55 percent increase) between 2002 and 2007. These businesses employed 921,032 workers in 2007 (an increase of 22 percent from 2002) and their payrolls totaled $23.9 billion (an increase of 36 percent).

According to the data, nearly four in ten black-owned businesses operated in health care and social assistance; and repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services.

The SBO survey does much more than give us a complete picture of black-owned businesses nationally. It also provides us with a detailed look of black-owned businesses by smaller geographic areas, including cities, counties and metro areas.

For more information on black-owned business in your area, click here.

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2 Responses to Black-Owned Businesses Grow at Triple the National Rate

  1. Avery says:

    Wow! In a recession, it makes sense that people will start their own businesses– and it’s great to know that these new black-owned businesses are succeeding!

  2. M Smith says:

    This is fascinating, especially when compared to the reverse migration of blacks to the South. I wonder if this trend is the result of so many blacks witnessing black entrepreneurship firsthand? We know from Robert Fairlie’s research that a significant racially-differentiated predictor of entrepreneurial success is exposure, usually in the form of first-hand experience working in a family-owned business.
    This data set ends in 2007, just as the Great Recession began. It will be interesting to see this same data for now, four years later.

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