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Top cities for black-owned businesses: Did yours make the cut?

A survey was conducted to find out how many businesses across U.S. cities are operated by black business owners – find out if yours made the list.


Slowly on the rise

Black-owned businesses are on the rise. Despite the recession, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of black-owned businesses actually increased 2.3 percent between 2007 and 2012, bringing the total number to 9.4 percent of U.S. businesses overall.


About they survey

This statistic made researchers over at Thumbtack, a consumer services website that generates an annual Small Business Friendliness Survey, curious to find out more about which cities are the most supportive of black-owned businesses.

The general survey asks 18,000 small business owners to rate their city or state’s government when it comes to the tax and licensing laws and regulations that can either smooth the way for small businesses, or make things impossibly difficult. From this data, Thumbtack ranks cities and states from best to worst.

Usually younger and event-based

This time around, Thumbtack specifically surveyed 1,663 black small business owners. They found that, in general, black business owners tend to be younger than business owners of other races, and are more likely to work alone.

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Thumbtack also looked at what types of businesses blacks own. Black business ownership was particularly concentrated in events (such as caterers or DJs), cleaning services, moving services, tax preparation, and computer repair.

9 of 10 in the South

When assessing the “friendliness” of their cities, black business owners had the same concerns as other races: are there government-sponsored training or networking programs available? How easy is it to manage your taxes? And are licensing rules doable, yet well-enforced?

Hats off to those cities who ranked in Thumbtack’s top ten for friendliness towards black-owned businesses, including Austin, Dallas, Columbus, West Palm Beach, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Kansas City, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Raleigh.

The numbers

Nine of the top ten cities are in the South. Three have black mayors, and six have a median household income for black families that is above the national average.

Thumbtack also noted a few cities where black business owners rated their city more highly than business owners of other races, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Oakland, New York, and Chicago, to name a few.

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black-owned businesses


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Orlando Coombs

    January 7, 2016 at 2:32 am

    This article to me is really bullshit. As for black business friendly why were Atlanta, D.C. and Oakland not on there.? Why was L.A. not on there.? Those places are bastions of black owned businesses and have been for well over 100 years. I’m from the bay area and I can tell you for a fact that Oakland has a lot of successful black owned businesses and a large black middle class too, big time. But West Palm Beach aint cool for black people at all. South Florida on a whole aint cool for black people at all. Jacksonville I can see cause I hear a lot of good things about that place. Oakland over the last 6 years has seen a growth in black entrepreneurship. So has L.A., Detroit, Baltimore, and St. Louis. D.C. big time. Atlanta continues to be a hotbed for black entrepreneurs. Miami, New Orleans.m, Cincinatti, Milwaukee, and most of the midwest aint cool for black people, black owned businesses, or black families. So dont believe the hype.

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