Thursday, August 23, 2018

Number of New Black Businesses "Jumps" by 400%

recent survey found that African American businesses are increasing at the fastest pace ever. Survey results suggest the 400% rise occurred from 2017 to 2018.
Conducted by Guidant Financial and LendingClub, survey data was collected via email sent to "more than 2,600 business owners and entrepreneurs. It found that 45% of all small business in the country were owned by minority ethnic groups in 2018." Earlier (2015) survey results put this number at 15%.
Charts below show some of the survey data:
Survey sponsors noted that "the highest volume of African American entrepreneurs lives in Texas, followed by Georgia, California, Florida, and North Carolina." (During our discussion at the Denton Black Chamber of Commerce Dinner in March, 2014, we noted the elevated profile of Texas with respect to African American businesses: https://youtu.be/E_AgImRM_Wk. Also see: https://youtu.be/fSGje7OaLpk )
While we are encouraged by these initial survey results, we urge caution. These numbers are too divergent from past survey results to be immediately creditable. We are conducting a survey of African American businesses for the Houston Black Chamber of Commerce that will give us additional insight into the Guidant/LendingClub survey results. We note that Guidant and LendingClub are not African American-owned companies, and thus may have incorrectly structured the survey or interpreted the data. For example, we know that much of this "growth" should be seen as replacing African American businesses closed during the Great Recession.
We expect some will use these initial survey results as an excuse to support the current administration. It is unlikely that these survey results are entirely accurate. Nor can the administration can claim full and complete credit for these numbers if they are. Others will seek to dampen efforts to improve the business climate for Black businesses, always challenging. Finally, some will claim this survey shows that racism no longer is a factor in modern business life. We disagree.