As we celebrate Black History Month, we honor the extraordinary deeds Black-owned businesses have contributed to our nation. With innovation and creativity, Black entrepreneurs and business owners have played an important role in community development, job creation, and representation in all sectors of industry. In the latest Census Bureau business data, there were an estimated 140,918 Black- or African-American-owned businesses with 1.3 million employees, $42.2 billion in annual payroll, and $141.1 billion in annual receipts. If Black-owned businesses were a country, their annual contribution alone would make this group the 56th wealthiest nation in the world according to Worldometer.info.
This fiscal achievement, however, stemmed from great economic and employment loss. In 2020, Black-owned businesses were disproportionately affected by the pandemic which contributed to the closing of 41% of Black-owned US businesses in two short months from February to April (Fairlie, 2020). In the present day, Black unemployment rate remains above that for the overall population and has not quite returned to its pre-pandemic level (Faucher, 2023). In spite of these challenges, the pandemic coupled with racially charged violence led to corporation and government financial pledges aimed to support and close the equity gap of Black-owned businesses.
Financially charged, 2022 brought programs focused on building supportive ecosystems for Black-owned US businesses that were critical to black upward mobility. Throughout the business-building process, Black business owners face economic, market, sociocultural, and institutional barriers, which are all linked to racial discrimination in the United States (Baboolall et al, 2023). Programs that build economic opportunity throughout the business life cycle will support the growth and success of Black-owned businesses.
In 2023, Access Plus Capital welcomes a new horizon. We believe the growth of Black-owned businesses is more than just funding. Our investment and grant-funded programs come with the support of preparing your business for funding through education, networking, and business coaching. Closing racial gaps across the economy are not only about righting historical wrongs. It is also about choosing a more dynamic future and realizing the full potential of Black talent, to the benefit of all Americans. When Black businesses succeed. The United States economy succeeds. Happy Black History Month.