Atlanta tied for fifth among U.S. metro areas as a best place for black-owned companies to do business, according to a new report from the National Urban League Policy Institute, the research arm of the National Urban League.
Atlanta, which was tied with Charlotte, ranked behind the Washington, D.C., Los Angeles metro areas, which were one and two in the report, and the Chicago and Detroit metro areas, which tied for third.
St. Louis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Cleveland, New York and Philadelphia followed.
The report said 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 to grow.”
National Urban League President Marc H. Morial said, “Businesses owned by minorities have grown faster than white-owned businesses since 2007. One major factor in that growth has been the success of minority business set-aside programs. It’s been one of the few job-creation bright spots during this difficult recession and jobless recovery.”
“The greatest weakness in African-American entrepreneurship is not in starting businesses, but rather in growing these businesses enough to create sustained and significant revenue,” Valerie Rawlston Wilson, the National Urban League’s vice president of research, said. “Inability to obtain credit remains more of an obstacle for African American business owners than for any other group.”
The report presented several recommendations for growing and strengthening black-owned businesses, from increasing the funding available for small business loans and raising the set-aside cap for government small business contracts to establishing robust procurement goals at all levels of government and encouraging support for private sector supplier diversity programs.