According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, about six-in-ten Black adults say supporting Black businesses is an extremely or very effective strategy for gaining movement towards equality in the U.S. This survey also revealed that the number of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. is disproportionate compared to the number of Black Americans in the country. Despite making up about 12.4% of the population, Black business owners represented only 2.4% of all employer-firm owners. Conversely, white Americans, who make up the majority of the U.S. population, represented about 86% of all employer-firm owners.
The number of Black-owned businesses saw an increase of 14% from 2020, according to the Census Bureau. In 2021, there were 161,031 Black or African American-owned businesses in operation, with $183.3 billion in annual receipts. Black-owned firms employed about 1.4 million people, collectively paid $53.6 billion in annual payroll, and more than a quarter – 45,015 of these businesses were in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. Furthermore, the data from the Census Bureau showed that Black women-owned businesses also experienced growth, increasing to 42% in 2021.
Research from the Brookings Institution found that Black-owned businesses are much more likely to hire Black workers and at the same time, Black adults are much more likely to be unemployed. This underrepresentation of Black businesses not only hurts Black communities and fuels racial inequality but also has significant economic implications, costing the U.S. economy millions of jobs and unrealized revenues, according to the report. These findings underscore the importance of supporting and investing in Black-owned businesses to promote greater economic and racial equality in the U.S.