Data Chart: Power of Black Business in 1944

During World War II, black-owned businesses in the United States faced significant challenges due to racial discrimination and segregation. However, a survey conducted by Joseph Pierce found that from 1941 to 1944, these businesses experienced a remarkable increase of 174%. According to the results, 26% of overall purchases of African Americans were transacted at Black…

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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.


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).

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.



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)


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