Black Owned Businesses

Black owned businesses in the United States increased 60.5% between 2002 and 2007 totaling of 1.9 million Black firms. More than 94% of these businesses are made up of sole proprietorships or partnerships which have no paid employees. Nearly 4 in 10 black-owned businesses (more than 700,000) in 2007 operated in the health care, social assistance; and other services such as repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services sectors. 

Total Black Owned Businesses

Administrative Support, waste management, and remediation services made up 11% of Black owned firms totaling 216,763. Transportation and warehousing was the fourth largest industry making up 9% of Black firms. 

Black Share of U.S. Businesses

Despite the 60.5% increase of firms, 55% increase of receipts, and 13% increase of businesses with paid employees, Black owned businesses only make up 7% of all U.S firms and less than a half percent of all U.S business receipts. African American Adults (ages 10 and up) make up 10% of the adult population and are therefore underrepresented in the U.S. in terms of business ownership especially when it comes to earnings.   

Overview of Black Owned Business

Facebook Dearth of Black Business

Black Owned Businesses with Employees by industry

Employed Payroll 

Of the 1.9 million black-owned businesses in 2007, 106,824 had paid employees, an increase of 13.0 percent from 2002. These businesses employed 921,032 people, an increase of 22.2 percent; their payrolls totaled $23.9 billion, an increase of 36.3 percent.

Receipts from black-owned employer businesses totaled $98.9 billion, an increase of 50.2 percent from 2002. In 2007, 1.8 million black-owned businesses had no paid employees, an increase of 64.5 percent from 2002. These non-employer businesses’ receipts totaled $38.6 billion, an increase of 69.0 percent.


Receipts generated by Black-owned businesses during the same time period increased 55.1% to $137.5 billion. The number of black-owned businesses with receipts of $1 million or more increased by 35.4 percent to 14,507 between 2002 and 2007. The top earning industries in Black owned businesses are in Information, Transportation & Warehousing, and the Wholesale Trade sectors totaling more than $50 billion in receipts.

Black Owned Businesses Earnings by industry


Black-owned businesses accounted for 28.2 percent of businesses in the District of Columbia, which led the nation, followed by Georgia, where 20.4 percent of businesses were black-owned, and Maryland, where 19.3 percent of businesses were black-owned.

Among states, New York State had the largest total number with 204,032 black-owned businesses and accounted for 10.6 percent of the nation’s black-owned businesses, followed by Georgia, with 183,874 black-owned businesses (9.6 percent) and Florida, with 181,437 (9.4 percent). “


Among counties, Cook, Ill. (Chicago), had the most black-owned businesses, with 83,733, accounting for 4.4 percent of all the nation’s black-owned businesses. Los Angeles followed with 59,680 (3.1 percent) and Kings, N.Y. (Brooklyn), with 52,705 businesses (2.7 percent).


Among cities, New York City had the most black-owned businesses, with 154,929 (8.1 percent of all the nation’s black-owned businesses), followed by Chicago, with 58,631 (3.1 percent), Houston, with 33,062 (1.7 percent) and Detroit, with 32,490 (1.7 percent).

SOURCE: US Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO)


Although African Americans have an unemployment rate almost double that of the overall population, the Black workforce is just as diverse.


Unemployment lowers, but what does that mean for the Black Community?

Black Owned Businesses

In 2007 nearly 4 in 10 black-owned businesses operated in the health care and social assistance; and...