Most Supportive States for Black-Owned Businesses

Amanda Postma
by Amanda Postma
Study - 2 months ago

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With African Americans occupying 13% of the U.S. population, it’s shocking that only 7% of the country’s businesses are black-owned. Recent events have led to a nationwide push to support black-owned businesses so we wanted to find out what states support a thriving environment for black-owned businesses.

The Most Supportive States for Black-Owned Businesses

  1. Maryland
  2. Georgia
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Virginia
  6. Texas
  7. New Jersey
  8. Massachusetts
  9. North Carolina
  10. Florida

This list is comprised of the most supportive states for black-owned businesses. If you don’t see your state on the list above keep reading to find our complete list of the states ranked by their supportiveness.

How We Determined The Most Supportive States For Black Businesses

We looked at four factors to determine the best states for black business owners:

  • Number of black-owned businesses per capita
  • The amount of people employed by black-owned businesses
  • Percent of black residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • The percent of black workers who work in management and business

The first factor we examined was the number of black-owned businesses per capita, using data from the Census’ Annual Business Survey. What better way to determine which states have the right environment and support for black businesses to flourish than the number of black businesses currently in operation?

After that, we pulled in the number of workers employed by black businesses to gauge the size
and the success of those businesses.

However, businesses don’t grow in a vacuum. We then looked at the percent of black residents with a bachelors’ degree or higher from the ACS. College is great to get the knowledge you need for your business to succeed and meet people who can help you along the way.

Finally, using the trusty ACS data, we examined the percent of black workers who work in management and business. A strong business community of color provides valuable experience and mentorship.

Due to too small of a sample size in the Small Business Survey, Wyoming, Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine were excluded from our rankings.

1. Maryland

maryland class=

Education: 33.4%
Black-Owned Businesses: 6,570
Number of Employees: 64,023

Maryland tops the charts when it comes to being the best state for black-owned businesses. The state supports a whopping 6,570 established black-owned businesses, of which employ 64,023 workers.

2. Georgia

georgia class=

Education: 27.9%
Black-Owned Businesses: 8,929
Number of Employees: 83,781

Georgia is a land of opportunity for black business owners as it supports 8,929 black-owned businesses. The state comes in second in the country with the 83,781 workers those businesses employ.

3. New York

new york class=

Education: 27.0%
Black-Owned Businesses: 11,395
Number of Employees: 72,486

With 11,395 black-owned businesses, New York ranks at No. 5 in the country with that statistic alone. Now add in the fact that those businesses employ 72,486 workers bumps up that ranking to No. 3 in the U.S.

4. California

california class=

Education: 28.5%
Black-Owned Businesses: 10,287
Number of Employees: 81,530

Topping the list at No. 4, California supports 10,287 black-owned businesses. With the exception of Maryland, the state has the highest percentage of black managers with 36% than any other state in the country. Additionally, California has one of the highest numbers of employees at black-owned businesses with an astonishing 81,530.

4. Virginia

virginia class=

Education: 26.5%
Black-Owned Businesses: 5,294
Number of Employees: 59,175

Virginia ties California for fourth place on the list of best states for black-owned businesses. The state alone is home to 5,294 black-owned businesses that employ 59,175 workers.

6. Texas

texas class=

Education: 27.0%
Black-Owned Businesses: 9,728
Number of Employees: 124,735

Texas is the 6th most supportive state for black-owned businesses. Texas black-owned businesses employ an impressive 124,735 workers– that’s more than any other state. Everything is bigger in Texas, including black-owned businesses.

7. New Jersey

new jersey class=

Education: 28.2%
Black-Owned Businesses: 4,028
Number of Employees: 30,043

With 4,028 black-owned businesses, New Jersey is the seventh most supportive state on the list. It’s also one of the states with the highest percentage of black residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher with 28.2%.

8. Massachusetts

massachusetts class=

Education: 30.0%
Black-Owned Businesses: 1,893
Number of Employees: 26,509

Black business owners may turn to Massachusetts when it comes to picking a location for their business, and we wouldn’t be surprised. The state has 1,893 black-owned businesses that employ 26,509 workers. The best part about Massachusetts is that 30% of its black residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

9. North Carolina

north carolina class=

Education: 25.5%
Black-Owned Businesses: 5,845
Number of Employees: 57,335

One of the sweet Carolinas pops up on the list of best states for black businesses at No. 9. North Carolina isn’t only the home of arguably the best college basketball rivalry in the country, but is also home to 5,845 black-owned businesses. That number alone ranks North Carolina the seventh most supportive in the country.

10. Florida

florida class=

Education: 23.1%
Black-Owned Businesses: 11,932
Number of Employees: 72,280

Florida is more than just sunshine for black-owned businesses. The state is home to 11,932 black-owned businesses, which puts it at No. 10 on our list. Florida is within the top five states of supporting black businesses with a high number of employees. The sunshine state’s black businesses employ 72,280 workers.

Summary of the Most Supportive States for Black Businesses

Although Maryland comes in first on our list of supportive states, it’s not the only one. Black business owners will find support in any one of the top 10 states we have listed above. While black-owned businesses have a tough enough time trying to succeed in the U.S., our list will hopefully make it easier for black business owners to find a good location.

Rank State Education Percent Black-Owned Businesses Number Of Employees
1 Maryland 33 6,570 64,023
2 Georgia 27 8,929 83,781
3 New York 27 11,395 72,486
4 California 28 10,287 81,530
4 Virginia 26 5,294 59,175
6 Texas 27 9,728 124,735
7 New Jersey 28 4,028 30,043
8 Massachusetts 30 1,893 26,509
9 North Carolina 25 5,845 57,335
10 Florida 23 11,932 72,280
10 Delaware 26 517 4,371
12 Illinois 24 4,258 48,642
13 Missouri 20 8,185 32,737
14 Colorado 31 1,198 8,005
15 Pennsylvania 21 3,316 36,814
16 Arizona 25 1,195 11,958
17 Alaska 34 156 1,615
17 Washington 25 1,487 11,846
19 Hawaii 40 116 1,269
19 Tennessee 22 2,203 25,042
21 Louisiana 18 2,637 35,874
22 Michigan 20 2,884 58,580
22 New Mexico 24 221 2,137
24 Minnesota 22 1,057 23,041
25 Alabama 20 1,808 16,180
27 Ohio 18 3,068 43,186
25 Oregon 25 588 4,070
28 Mississippi 20 1,569 17,365
30 Montana 58 19 94
29 Oklahoma 21 817 7,508
31 Indiana 20 1,361 23,067
32 South Carolina 17 2,351 22,103
33 Rhode Island 19 287 2,579
34 Nebraska 21 247 2,060
35 West Virginia 21 160 1,866
36 Kansas 20 445 8,768
37 Arkansas 17 700 5,029
37 Nevada 16 768 12,002
39 Wisconsin 16 1,044 15,329
40 Kentucky 18 751 9,272
40 Utah 20 226 1,491
42 New Hampshire 18 86 1,363
43 Idaho 6 77 403
44 Iowa 18 196 1,447
45 North Dakota 14 97 317
46 South Dakota 6 33 166
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