Amid growing demands for racial equality in the U.S., many Black adults have voiced their support for Black businesses, with about six-in-ten expressing that supporting Black businesses is one of the most effective strategies for advancing racial equality in the country. This support comes at a time when the census data shows a growth in the number of Black-owned businesses in the U.S., with an estimated 161,031 in operation in 2022, up from 140,918 in 2020, indicating steady growth in the Black business sector. However, the data also reflects the disproportionate representation of business owners, with Black business owners accounting for only 2.4% of all employer-firm owners, despite making up about 12.4% of the U.S. population.
Despite the challenges, Black-owned businesses have made significant contributions to the U.S. economy, employing 1.4 million people and driving $183.3 billion in annual receipts, according to the Census Bureau’s 2022 Annual Business Survey. While a majority of these businesses have smaller payrolls, some firms generate billion-dollar revenues each year and employ thousands of workers, with World Wide Technology emerging as the largest Black-owned business in the U.S., boasting an impressive $17 billion in annual revenue and employing 10,000 people. However, the underrepresentation of Black businesses has serious implications for employment opportunities and community development, negatively impacting Black communities and furthering racial inequality in the country. These findings highlight the urgent need for more support and investment in Black-owned businesses to promote economic growth and reduce racial disparities.