Metro Atlanta is No. 1 in minority-run firms

Metro Atlanta is attracting the most minority-run firms on a per capita basis, according to a survey of 52 metro areas released late Wednesday by Forbes magazine.

“The ‘capital of black America’ has become a buzzing hive of Hispanic and Asian immigrants and entrepreneurs,” Forbes writes.

Baltimore, Nashville, Houston and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale round out the top five spots. The next five are the metro areas of Oklahoma City, Riverside-San Bernadino, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Phoenix.

Forbes looked at metro areas with populations of more than 1 million. It said metro Atlanta was No. 2 in self-employed minorities and No. 2 as an entrepreneurial region. Combined with a growing population, increasing household incomes and affordable housing, Atlanta took first place, Forbes said.

Metro Atlanta’s foreign-born population nearly doubled — to 710,000 — between 2000 and 2008, Forbes said.

The magazine added, however, that “business leaders fear strict anti-immigration laws may choke off future growth.”

In February, the U.S. Census Bureau released figures that showed black-owned businesses in metro Atlanta grew 99 percent between 2002 and 2007.

Forbes gave a “booby prize” to Milwaukee, which came in last. “The former beer-brewing capital ranks in the bottom eight — or worse — in self-employment among all three major minority groups,” Forbes said.

Go to the Forbes website for the complete list and story. The magazine also profiles Rene Diaz, owner of Diaz Foods, a $200 million food-distribution business here.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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58 comments Add your comment


March 23rd, 2011
6:48 pm

Everyone, Everyone, raise your hand if you are surprised!!! We are in the blackest city in America, what do you expect? And why does this matter? How about a list of white run firms? Oh yea, that would be racist right?

Destin Dawg

March 23rd, 2011
6:53 pm

Business is bad in Atlanta ?????????? high unemployment… low home prices.. Atlanta is the Detroit of the South… Unions… Crime.. bad schools ?????


March 23rd, 2011
6:57 pm

Zip it Daniel. 99% of everything else is white run. We are sorry that their is an article talking about the 1% you don’t own.


March 23rd, 2011
6:58 pm

Zip it Daniel. 99% of everything else is white run. We are sorry that there is an article talking about the 1% you don’t own.


March 23rd, 2011
7:13 pm

Very true Destin Dawg. Before Atlanta became a black city, it was one of the best. Now, they have ruined Buckhead, added a ton of crime, etc. They can’t run the schools or police. The list goes on and on. That kind of leadership just does not work.

WC Falcon

March 23rd, 2011
7:30 pm

Destin Dawg and Daniel would be considered rednecks in most situations, but not today. Today, we identify these two as racist or maybe even ignorant citizens. The article is not about who has ruined or what can’t be run right. It is about the growth of business by minority groups in Metro Atlanta. Where are your minds? What type of failure are you guys dealing with? One thing for sure. This will never be the United States of America as long as we have people like you two trying to set a difference by contentious comments. What kind of money do you two chumps have? Are maybe that’s it. You have no money, creativity, no brains, and you are sinners because of your envy.


March 23rd, 2011
8:28 pm

I agree totally with you WC Falcon. They are ignorant individuals I would not even entertain their comments. Keep them in prayer, for they do not know any better.

Furious Styles

March 23rd, 2011
8:34 pm

@Daniel…%#$ are you talking about? The bars and clubs are long gone down in Atlanta. Real Estate 101 says if you want to live in a quite area, do your research and make sure you buy in a quiet area. However, some of “you” had the audacity to buy a plush condos above and across the street from clubs and bars only to complain. That’s how “you” are, arrogant and brash..Whatever….

You continue vote down 1% and 2% tax increases to allow for the hiring of more police manpower and complain about crime. Whatever.

You run the clubs and bars out of the city, so you can create a “Rodeo Drive” like Shopping District only everything sits empty because the housing real estate bubble. The construction killed fott traffic to the area. Nobody wanted to park blocks away from shops and restaurant. ESPN Zone had to close once foot traffic died.

So now, you’ve got no Rodeo Drive shopping district, no clubs, no bars and nothing to do. Now there goes repeat revenue from beer licenses, liquor license, beer sales and liquor sales and you’ve got a city with no money. Whatever..

Keep complaining, the state under you and above you continue to crush you as they understand that the only color that matters is green.

John Smith

March 23rd, 2011
8:42 pm

There are so many haters on here. You had your time. Can we have ours. After all we built the south anyway. Did you think you was going to keep it after we built it. No even. Think again. But for the mature people. Im soo glad that we have that status; as its beautiful to see us flourish after all the things we’ve been through in the past. Its good to drive in a neighborhood full of big beautiful homes and cars because of hard from the city of ATL.


March 23rd, 2011
10:20 pm

So the AJC writes an article about minority businesses. And people still find the time to find something wrong…

Lamar Jackson

March 24th, 2011
3:54 am

Articles like this are the “nail in the coffin” for ATL. The reality is the recession is deeping in ATL and our schools are in ruin and loosing credibility. All you have to do is see the stats on who is unemployed, loosing their homes, etc and realize the “minorities” are the ones in deep trouble, not truely part of rebuilding our economy. Our people’s green comes in the form of plastic and and all thats fake.

So yes, lets enjoy this 15 minutes of fame brother and sisters. Reality sets in when the accolades die down, and trust me it will.

Tru Atlantian

March 24th, 2011
6:27 am

Congrads for the Home Town being voted #1 for Miniority Owned ( black business ) I just hate that with all the smash and grabs me being from Atlanta ..Zone 3 I know how it is but with the new chief of police id love Atlanta going back to the Atlanta I remember going up as a child now even Buckhead looks weird , oh lets not talk about down town , nor the club scene what ever happened to the OLD ATLANTA before all these out of towners moved in calling it BLACK HOLLYWOOD…get the F outta here and thats just how I see it !!!

John Black

March 24th, 2011
6:47 am

It’s BearClaw’s Fault!

Henry Unger

March 24th, 2011
6:48 am

Can we please stick to the issue of minority-run businesses? Thank you.


March 24th, 2011
6:53 am

Daniel and others should note that the stats are for METRO Atlanta, not the City of Atlanta. So the comment that “Atlanta” is the blackest city in America is way off base. Metro Atlanta is more than 10 times the size of Atlanta and has a population that is proportionately far less black.

And the City of Atlanta is getting less black. Its population is now only about 53% black.


March 24th, 2011
6:57 am

If people like Daniel would read the article correctly maybe they would not be so upset. First of all, the article stated “minorities” not “blacks alone” (asians, hispanics, blacks and others (not whites) were running their own businesses and to be honest, what does it matter as long as the job is getting done, who is running it. It is a different world out here today, just be happy (or sad for Daniel’s matter) that we are a part of it.


March 24th, 2011
7:06 am

The Number One minority business in Alanta is “CRIME”.


March 24th, 2011
7:09 am

I looked at the Forbes article. The writer confuses Atlanta and Metro Atlanta.

“In Atlanta, where half the residents are African American, a host of Hispanic and Asian entrepreneurs have set up shop over the last decade. Atlanta now boasts the second-highest percentage of self-employed minorities among the top 52 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 1 million.”

The first sentence seems to refer to the central city. This municipality is about half black. And it is interesting that the writer stresses that this Atlanta is half black, and then tells us that the entrepreneurs are Hispanic and Asian.

The second sentence refers to the larger metropolitan area. But the metro area is only about 32% black.


March 24th, 2011
7:42 am

Daniel, if you had half a brain you would realize that the south is feverishly distancing itself from the dark stigma of Jim Crow’s reign. Sadly, there are pockets of ignorance and resistance evidenced by your comment.


March 24th, 2011
7:43 am

Please, let’s help these small businesses grow so that they can hire more people. Isn’t that what we should be discussing?

native atlantan

March 24th, 2011
8:00 am

It’s very hard for me not to speak my mind on here, and most would not like my comments. Atlanta has gone to hell, and the makeup of the population has everything to do with that. For some unknown reason, too many blacks think the answer to being “dissed” by someone is to go out and kill them. Hispanics think that all they have to do is keep populating the country, having babies, and they will get their entitled slice of the pie. “African” Americans will soon not be the #1 minority in this country.
I better stop, or this will get out of hand.


March 24th, 2011
8:22 am

Seems to be one of the only people with some intellect here are Mr. Henry and GB.

@GB ~ I was wondering the same thing and found it a little confusing. I am curious as to what the minority percentage breakdown is of those who own small businesses. It does seem as though the writer in the article meant the Metro Atlanta area, but I don’t want to assume. There are not many Hispanics and Asians inside the Atlanta city limits.

And as I would love to stick to the topic here….but for all of you “complaining” about the black folks in Atlanta, did you even READ the piece?? This article shows that majority of the minorities in the Atlanta area are opening businesses, not committing crimes. How is THAT a bad thing?!?!


March 24th, 2011
8:27 am

More crimes for everyone! LMAO!

Are You Serious

March 24th, 2011
8:33 am

Wow I can’t believe that people won’t dispute facts /or support them but they rendor their opinions and stereo types . What is a diss ? Who does that ? Maybe the person with the knowledge of what and when a diss occurs . I can proudly say I have never killed anyone for a diss. Diss wow that term was used 20 years ago when I was in high school and no one ever got killed over it. I am just thankful that facts are what are important to me . The fact that if a person from every nationality was cut at the same time they would all bleed red blood. The fact that people of all nationalities have been found guilty of rape, murder , robbery. The fact that all nationalities can own businesses , attend college , have families, and work jobs. I celebrate the fact that ajc ran an article giving facts and not opinion. If your not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem.

Wow! Man

March 24th, 2011
8:36 am

First of all, it’s always a bad thing when African-Americans do anything, positive or negative right?!?! It seems like Atlanta is only #1 due to “a growing population, increasing household incomes and affordable housing”. That should be considered a positive given the other cities that rounds out the top 5. However, as with any surveys or polls, there are outliers that are not considered.

SN: I didn’t know Ben Carter was black

Dirty Bird

March 24th, 2011
8:38 am

The Detroit of the South? Unions are not a factor in Atlanta and the economy of this city is diversified. Unlike Detroit, Atlanta has been growing. That statement makes no sense.

Mr. Gump

March 24th, 2011
8:46 am

Ha! It is widely known by people who have common sense that these minority businesses are largely white. This is due to the fact that the business name is now if the wife’s name. When a business is setup through a female, it is considered minority owned.

The report should have been a bit more transparent showing the breakdown percentage of women overall/black women/white women/african-american to avoicd all the strife that has consumed this board.

USMC dawg

March 24th, 2011
8:49 am

Affirmative Action makes success MUCH easier for those who receive the RACIAL quotas.

However, I love to see a thriving BLACK business because it sets a great example that you do not need government handouts to make it.


March 24th, 2011
9:00 am

Daniel… I hope you and the rest of the Tea Party people never take back Georgia.

Are You Serious

March 24th, 2011
9:06 am

Affirmative Action where in the sam butterfinger heck does that exsist? These people with this insight have priceless info…. You need to sell that knowledge .. because if handouts are being given out for people to start there own businesses just about everyone would have one …. Working on a job everyday sets an example that you don’t need government hand outs also…. I wonder how many people sent their stimulous checks back when those government hand outs went out.

get real

March 24th, 2011
9:17 am

“In February, the U.S. Census Bureau released figures that showed black-owned businesses in metro Atlanta grew 99 percent between 2002 and 2007″

2002 – 2007 was before the economy crashed, which I might add that metro ATL has been hurt worse that many areas of the country. Many of the business that we are applauding are probably gone. Many people used their homes as ATM’s to finance their businesses.

Sure they give a few examples, but only of the high success stories.

“The magazine added, however, that “business leaders fear strict anti-immigration laws may choke off future growth.”

This is an empty threat. We don’t need any more poor, tired and hungry folks entering this country, we already have enough of that. Growth will happen when American citizens are put back to work, not by sneaking more people through the back door.


March 24th, 2011
9:21 am

There’s a really great minority run sports news website called you should check it out!

You Are An Idiot if You Think Only One Race is Responsible for Crime in Atlanta or anywhere Else

March 24th, 2011
9:59 am

WARNING: If you are a racist idiot, please proceed to meet your idol Satan. Crime like anything else in America and/or the world has no particlular race,creed, color or National Origin. People are people & they not only come in all colors, sizes & shapes, but they come in all mentalities with all type of peronalities good, bad, kind, evil and ugly. IDIOTS!!

Mr. Gump

March 24th, 2011
10:03 am

@You are an idiot….Agreed!

@Native Atlantan

March 24th, 2011
10:04 am



March 24th, 2011
10:09 am


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I appreciate the fact you checked back in on your article (which is a great article and i enjoyed reading by the way) and at least attempted to keep the comments steered in the right direction. You have no idea how much this means to me. Much appreciated


March 24th, 2011
10:21 am

Wow, as a white man I’m embarrassed at all of the ignorant people on here making dumb comments. Please keep them to yourself; you are making us look bad. Moving on, I think this is great and something that we should ALL be proud of.


March 24th, 2011
10:22 am

When I saw the title of this article on the AJC homepage, I knew before I clicked on the article that AJC was going to make this a blog dicussion so all of the racist can make their hateful comments. It seems that AJC always open any dicussion dealing with race to the bloggers so that we can continue to divide our city with the back and forth racist comments. I think the AJC should be put on notice and we should contact them to express our concerns. This is a pattern with the AJC. It is awful when we take something positive and turn it into something negative. I hope that eventually we all can work together to promote a positive dicussion for readers so we can work together to solve major issues.


March 24th, 2011
10:27 am

LOL….it seems a “good ole boy” way of things is coming to an end. For some reason that has people very upset. Seeing any successful minority (unless theyre scoring a TD for univ of GA) is disturbing and brings out the venom….We can all get rich people, but only if we stop HATING on others who are successful before we get there.

Black, White, Asian, Hispanic….we all share the same goals and are all capable of success and bulls%4t. Congrats to the minority business owners and the city of Atlanta for providing an environment to promote their success.

This is great news, I feel inspired! Toast to you today!!!!!


March 24th, 2011
10:43 am

Dannnnggg! Wheewwwwwww! This blog wore me out! I’m flabergasted, speechless, ummm WTF! If Atlanta is that bad why do you choose to live here? Really? If you are that upset and disgusted…MOVE!


March 24th, 2011
10:46 am

Just FYI: No city is ever going to be perfect! Doesn’t matter if it’s ALL white, black, asian, hispanic, purple, or green. There will be something that the city doesn’t have, need or want. You just got to make the best out of what you got for the moment. The one thing I LOVE about being an American…CHOICES!


March 24th, 2011
11:04 am

Why does every conversation have to somehow turn into a white/ black, black/ white, mexican issue (I say mexican rather than latino b/c most of you writing think all atinos are Mexican!). This is a promising article. Please note that minority business includes everyone that is not a white American male! Therefore the stereotyping name calling etc that come up should not even be an issue. This is a positive thing! It says that people in the area are prospering. Prosperity financially leads to more money in taxes for the area. More money allows for better schools, roads, police, etc. Try and focus on the good.
Additionally for those of you who are stereotyping. I must say that although blacks and latinos have been incarcerated and charged criminally at an unequal rate to that of white and asian people some of that may be attributed to the drug laws that have historically laid much heavier sentences to drugs that were prominent in non-white areas… a trend that is decreasing with todays meth laws, additionally profiling, and a survey of people (jurors) showed that there is a belief that when white and asian kids do wrong they are more likely to have subsided to peer pressure vs others are inherently bad.
Those beliefs lead to a much higher conviction and incarceration rate. Feel free to research anything I have said!


March 24th, 2011
12:28 pm

FYI: From a national persepctive, The minority businesses that have benefitted the most from affirmative action are owned by white women.


March 24th, 2011
1:05 pm

“business leaders fear strict anti-immigration laws may choke off future growth.”

Folks, herein lies part of our immigration problem. “Business leaders” have their own agenda.

It just shows that hard work pays off in the ATL. Congratulations to all that have made the change.

Some of you misunderstood Destin Dawg’s contribution. He’s a good guy.

get real

March 24th, 2011
1:36 pm

You have to look at our examples of “successful” minorities to see where all this piss and vinegar comes from. Look at the city of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson, this is the corruption of our city’s politics. We have Michael Vick, our sports hero and the former AD at UGA, both are shining examples of shame in black athletics. Finally, the RHOA that shows what successful black business woman in ATL are all apparently about – ALL broke with foreclosed homes pretending to be something they are not.

It not about racism, it’s about how we worship these black icons that we let represent ATL. If white people dare talk negatively about the above examples, they are haters and racists. We keep pretending that we are successful when we are not, and they KNOW we are NOT!

Let’s not forget our clergy in all this. The Bishop Eddie Long represents US too!


March 24th, 2011
3:30 pm

@get real: it’s a whacked-out world, isn’t it, seeing the kind of people are idolized nowadays?

On topic, minority, schminority…if someone can make a business grow in today’s dysfunctional, over-taxed, over-regulated climate, I salute you, regardless of your race, color, creed or national origin!


March 25th, 2011
8:42 am

You Are An Idiot if You Think Only One Race is Responsible for Crime in Atlanta or anywhere Else

This poster must have his head in the sand. His implication that criminals are not more likely to be black than white is absurd. Not every black is a criminal. Not every white is law abiding. No one claims that. Yes, crime comes in all colors, but the numbers are there for anyone to see. Would this poster feel safer in Alpharetta or Bankhead?

native atlantan

March 25th, 2011
4:23 pm

Why is it when the news is covering crimes like murder and robberies that the overwhelming number of perps are either blacks or hispanics? Probably because the population of Atlanta has become so high with blacks and hispanics. Take for example how the black widow ms. Jackson forced the change of the airport name, because “my husband maynard always hoped for the name change”. Maybe the white folks do need to move away? Oh maybe thats what Forsyth County is all about.

John Doe

March 26th, 2011
6:01 pm

I don’t get the need for these types of stories honestly, all it does is drive anger between the races. I think the article was referring to the entire Metro area, and as many said already, Metro Atlanta (which truly is the heartbeat for the city, as everyone drives to work in the city during the day and goes home to suburbia after work) is majority white.

People flocked to the suburbs to escape crime and poor schools, thus “white flight”. Interestingly, the trend has largely reversed recently, especially in the city limits of Atlanta and whites have started moving back in while blacks try suburbia life.

No one race can “claim” Atlanta despite the image it gets as a black mecca, as it’s a slim black majority intown anyways. Comparing Atlanta to Detroit it stupid. The city of Detroit is overwhelmingly black majority, and it’s economy is not diversified as others said (hopefully one day it will rebuild again). Can’t we all get along?

Todd - Dacula

March 26th, 2011
7:04 pm

Daniel, Yes Atlanta was a white city… Every city was a white city because of racism, slavery, you name it. Don’t be so proud of that. Back when Atlanta was a ‘white’ city, the police were beating Blacks for no apparent reason, other being black; the Klan had an influence and politicians made decision without considering all citizens; well they still do that :)

Everyone should be so pround of ‘White’ Atlanta.