Why Atlanta Stands As The Number One City For Black-Owned Businesses In America

Atlanta stands as the number one city for Black-owned businesses in America, according to new findings presented by LendingTree. 

The study revealed that Atlanta has the highest rate of Black-owned businesses in America as 8.8% of businesses in Atlanta are Black-owned, with 10,689 businesses. The rate increased from 7.4% in 2020. Following Atlanta with the next highest rate of Black-owned businesses are Washington, D.C. (7.6%), and Memphis, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga. (tied at 6.7%).

Atlanta has been able to achieve those numbers with programs and initiatives within the metro area that supports Black-owned businesses. 

Dr. Tiffany Bussey, founding Director of Morehouse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, spoke with ADW during a past interview and shared how the program helps businesses to scale. 

“Our mission is twofold,” Dr. Bussey said. “We will focus on the community business side, but the institution center itself, we like to say we start scaling growth businesses. Whether it is with our students, or with businesses in the community. We’ve also touched over 2500 students with our core curricular activities of really helping students understand what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset and to think entrepreneurially.”

Black women are also leading the charge. The study shared that 39.1% of Black-owned businesses are headed by women. According to a 2021 report from Harvard Business Review, 17% of Black women in the U.S. run a new business or are starting one.

However, barriers still exists as only 3% of Black-women-owned businesses survive past the first five years due to issues  in accessing capital and other challenges. 

In Atlanta, the value of Black-owned businesses are significantly lower than that of white-owned firms as most have no paid employees, according to BusinessIsBlack. 

The study from LendingTree also revealed other notable numbers such as Black-owned businesses consists of 2.7% of businesses overall with a total of 161,031. In contrast, white-owned companies accounted for 82.0% of businesses in America. 

Portland, Oregon has the lowest rate of Black-owned businesses with only 1.1%, an increase from 0.9%.

In terms of industry, 28% of Black-owned businesses focus on health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services make up 13.9% of businesses.

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