Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DC is the #2 metro area for Black-owned businesses

But the percentage is still way below the area’s total Black population, per a new LendingTree report.

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(Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels)

The DC metro area is a top spot for Black-owned businesses — #2, to be specific.

LendingTree, the online lending marketplace, recently dropped a report that found that the DC metro area ranked second on the list of places with the highest rate of Black-owned businesses. Overall, about 7.7% of businesses in the region have Black owners, which shakes out to be 8,649 out of 111,872 total businesses.

To create the rankings, LendingTree analyzed data from 50 metro areas from the 2020 US Census Annual Business Survey. With those numbers, LendingTree determined the number of Black-owned businesses in the area compared to the total amount of businesses. Ownership was considered anyone with a stake larger than 50% in a company’s stock of equity.

The overall Virginia-DC-Baltimore corridor came out on top, as well, with Richmond coming in at #3 with 6.7% and Baltimore at #8 with 5.4%. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, had the lowest percentage in the US at just 1% of Black-owned businesses.

See the report

Zooming out, however, the picture is a little more gloomy. DC falls 3.5 percentage points behind the number one spot, Fayetteville, North Carolina. And while the 7.7% number is high compared to other areas, it’s way below the area’s total Black population, which is 25%. (Worth noting, this number is based on the overall metro area. DC’s percentage is actually 46%, according to the US Census.) Reasons why may include a lack of access to capital and connections — though slow progress is happening.

LendingTree found a few other trends in its report, too:

  • Black-owned businesses are most likely to be in health and transportation, making up about 36% of Black-owned businesses compared to approximately 14.7% of all businesses nationally.
  • Black women founders are also on the rise, with 35.4% of Black-owned businesses owned by women. This is also higher than the national average of 20.9% owned by women.

The report also comes at an interesting time for founders in the US. Despite that whole pandemic thing, new business and entrepreneurship is on the rise: Nationally, 2010 to 2019 was one of the country’s least entrepreneurial periods in history, yet the US saw nearly 5.4 million new biz applications in 2021 — the most on record. DC’s microbusinesses, the smaller siblings of startups, are also killing it as of late. So there’s definitely room for growth and, hopefully, some extra capital going forward.

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