Washington Tops List as Best City for Black-Owned Businesses

Washington Tops List as Best City for Black-Owned Businesses

A report from the National Urban League names Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago as some of the top cities for where Black-owned businesses are most likely to thrive.

Published November 10, 2011

If you’re looking to start a business, a new report from the National Urban League could help you decide if your town is the best place to set up shop.


In The State of Urban Business 2011: U.S. Cities that Lead the Way, the Washington, D.C metro area was identified as the top place where Black-owned businesses have had the most success. Los Angeles metro areas came in second, Chicago and Detroit tied for third, Atlanta and Charlotte tied for fourth, and St. Louis came in fifth in the nation, respectively.


“We found that cities with strong diversity-supplier policies and which allow easy access to business-to-business and government contracts were the best environments for black-owned businesses,” researchers wrote in the report released Wednesday.


Researchers also said that including increasing the funding available for small business loans, raising the set-aside cap for government small business contracts, establishing robust procurement goals at all levels of government and encouraging support for private sector supplier diversity programs would help spur Black-owned entrepreneurship and ease Black unemployment, which currently stands at 15.1 percent.


The report revealed that the greatest weakness in African-American entrepreneurship lies in growing businesses enough to create sustained and significant revenue.  Financing is also an issue, according to Valerie Rawlston Wilson, National Urban League Vice President of Research and one of the report’s authors.


“Inability to obtain credit remains more of an obstacle for African-American business owners than for any other group,” Wilson wrote.

Written by Britt Middleton


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