black-owned-businesses-in-charlotte-make-up-only-5.3%-of-total-businesses,-new-report-finds

Black-Owned Businesses In Charlotte Make Up Only 5.3% Of Total Businesses, New Report Finds

Of the 52,435 businesses located in metro Charlotte, only 5.3% are Black-owned, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census data by Lending Tree.

When measured alongside the nation’s 50th biggest metros, Charlotte ranked 10th in its percentage of Black-owned businesses, the analysis found, using 2021 census data, the most recent data available.

Metro Atlanta, for the second straight year, led the nation with 8.8% of its businesses being Black-owned. (The nation’s average was a scant 2.7%.)

Noteworthy: Southern metros were heavily represented in the rankings, occupying 19 of the top 20 spots.

Despite the low rate of Black ownership, the overall percentage of Black-owned businesses increased in 2021, even as the nation’s percentage of Black residents decreased slightly.

Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at Charlotte-based LendingTree, said economic pressures brought on by the pandemic may have pushed more Black Americans to start their own businesses.

“Given the fact the Black community was hit particularly hard, both physically and financially, by the pandemic, there’s no question many of these businesses were started out of necessity,” Schulz said in the report.

The LendingTree analysis noted that nearly 3 in 10 Black-owned businesses (28%) were in the health care and social assistance industry. Another 13.9% were in professional, scientific and technical services.

As for the gender divide, the gap was narrowest among Black women, who led 39.1% of all Black-owned businesses in the United States in 2021. (The national average for all women, regardless of race, was 21.6%.)

The report noted that “limited resources and discrimination in financial services” continue to present hurdles for Black business owners.

“It’s clear,” Schulz said, “that the road to starting a small business can be bumpy for many Black Americans.”

Read the LendingTree report.

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Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer. More by Glenn H. Burkins

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