Where Do Minority-Owned Businesses Flourish in the U.S.?

People of color already own a majority of local businesses in seven U.S. metro areas.

National Journal
Stephanie Czekalinski Peter Bell
June 5, 2014, 11:52 a.m.

As the rap­idly chan­ging demo­graph­ics of the U.S. shape the fu­ture eco­nom­ic land­scape, poli­cy­makers have been oc­cu­pied with find­ing ways to en­cour­age and sup­port more minor­ity busi­ness own­er­ship. As part of that work, they might want to take a look at areas in which people of col­or already own a ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses.

A Na­tion­al Journ­al ana­lys­is of census fig­ures shows that in 2007 (the latest year for which data are avail­able), minor­it­ies owned a ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses in sev­en metro areas across the coun­try. The bor­der metro area of Laredo, Texas, had the largest share of busi­nesses owned by minor­it­ies: al­most three-quar­ters of all firms were minor­ity-owned. Laredo was fol­lowed by Mc­Al­len, Texas (72 per­cent); Hon­olulu, (66 per­cent); El Paso and Browns­ville, Texas (65 per­cent);  El Centro, Cal­if. (60 per­cent); and Miami-Fort Laud­er­dale, (53 per­cent). Of the top 20 metro areas with the largest share of minor­ity-owned firms, 14 were in Texas or Cali­for­nia.

Large cit­ies on the coasts and in the South dom­in­ated the list of met­ro­pol­it­an areas with the largest num­ber of firms owned by minor­it­ies. New York topped the list with 649,000 minor­ity-owned firms. Los Angeles with more than 570,000 and Miami with al­most 430,000 busi­nesses owned by minor­it­ies roun­ded out the top three. Two Mid­west­ern cit­ies, Chica­go and De­troit, also make the top 20 with more than 211,000 and 73,500 minor­ity-owned busi­nesses, re­spect­ively.

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