Black Owned Businesses

Black owned businesses in the United States increased 34.5% between 2007 and 2012 totaling 2.6 million Black firms. More than 95% of these businesses are mostly sole proprietorship or partnerships which have no paid employees. About 4 in 10 black-owned businesses (1.1 Million) in 2012 operated in the health care, social assistance; and other services such as repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services sectors.

2012 Black Business Count

Administrative Support, waste management, and remediation services made up 11% of Black owned firms totaling 294,977. Professional, scientific, and technical services was the fourth largest industry making up 8% of Black firms.



Employed Payroll 

Of the 2.6 million black-owned businesses in 2012, 109,137 had paid employees, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2007. These businesses employed 975,052 people, an increase of 5.9 percent; their payrolls totaled $27.7 billion, an increase of 15.9 percent (not adjusted for inflation).

CLICK TO ENLARGE2012 Black Business Employer
Receipts from black-owned businesses with employees totaled $103.5 billion, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2007. In 2012, 2.5 million black-owned businesses had no paid employees, an increase of 38.9 percent from 2007. These non-employer businesses’ receipts totaled $46.8 billion, an increase of 21.2 percent.


Receipts generated by all Black-owned businesses during the same time period increased 9.2% to $150.2 billion. The top earning industries in Black owned businesses are in Health care & Social assistance, and the Retail Trade sectors totaling more than $41 billion in receipts.

CLICK TO ENLARGE2012 Black Business Revenue


Black-owned businesses accounted for 34.8 percent of all businesses in the District of Columbia, which led the nation, followed by Mississippi, where 27.7 percent of businesses were black-owned, and Georgia, where 27.6 percent of businesses were black-owned.

Among states, Georgia had the largest total number with 256,848 black-owned businesses and accounted for 9.9 percent of the nation’s black-owned businesses, followed by Florida, with 251,216 black-owned businesses (9.7 percent).

Cities & Counties

Among cities, New York City had the most black-owned businesses, with 250,890 (9.7 percent of all the nation’s black-owned businesses), followed by Atlanta. Among the nation’s 50 most populous cities, black or African American-owned firms as a percentage of all firms was highest in Detroit and Memphis, Tenn., in 2012 (77.0 percent and 56.2 percent, respectively).

Among counties, Cook, Ill. (Chicago), had the most black-owned businesses, with 110,155, accounting for 4.3 percent of all the nation’s black-owned businesses.

SOURCE: US Census 2012 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?