The State of Black Businesses

Categories // LA Focus, On the Money Tuesday, 08 August 2017

The State of Black Businesses

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, Black-owned businesses have increased rapidly as compared to the national firms. Black-owned firms increased by 60.5 percent (or 1.9 million) from 2002-2007, whereas U.S. firms only grew by 18 percent.


The 2014 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs statistics revealed that approximately 949,318 minority-owned businesses had employees, comprising 17.5 percent of all employer firms. Among minority-owned employer firms, 12.9 percent had been in business for less than two years, while only 1.4 percent had been in business for 16 or more years.

 “As African Americans we have prevailed through some of the most difficult times throughout American history,” said Earl “Skip” Cooper II President and CEO of the Black Business Association. “While there is no question that our country is very much divided today, it is time for accountability to one another, and for maximizing our resources to create better opportunities to sustain ourselves for future generations.”

Concerned about the about the state of the black business market, Cooper believes we need to educate the millennial generation and young entrepreneurs with the mindset of “creating our own economic opportunities,” by leveraging the groundwork established by Dr. King, President Barak Obama and other ancestors.    

“It’s hard work and commitment, and not entitlement, which can empower our community,” he added “Failure to do so has dramatically impacted the ability to generate long-term economic empowerment and job creation for the urban communities and its citizens.”

Based on the figures, nearly 40 percent of Black-owned businesses operate in health care and social assistance, repair, maintenance, personal services and laundry services. The retail trade, health care and social assistance sectors accounted for 27.4 percent of Black-owned business revenue.

“This latest wave of entrepreneurship in the Black community has roots in our community due to our desire to have an increased role in determining our economic future.” said Brian Spencer, owner of Urban Essentials Beauty Supply and Salon in Inglewood.

According to Spencer, entrepreneurship is a never-ending pivot to meet the needs of consumers while keeping abreast with the latest trend in consumer needs.

Listed below are the top 10 Black-owned businesses by revenue based on a ranking of the Black Enterprise Magazine. Excellent models for those aspiring for financial freedom and economic independence With revenues exceeding $6 billion, the number one black-owned corporation in the nation is World Wide Technology Inc., a Maryland Heights technology product and consulting services firm headed by David L. Steward with approximately 3,000 employees.

Second is ACT-1 Group Inc.  This is a global firm that assists other business in managing and controlling their workforce employment and needs. The company was founded by North Carolina native, Janice Bryant Howroyd and operates in 19 different countries. 

Bridgewater Interiors LLC, a tier-one supplier of motor-vehicle parts and accessories might exist in a tough industry but with accumulated revenue of $1.5. Billion, their popularity for high quality work proves CEO Ronald E. Hall Sr. is doing something right.

Fourth on the list is Modular Assembly Innovations LLC, owned by Billy Vickers in Dublin, Ohio and is a reputable firm the automotive parts arena.  MAI LLC has an employee base of about 250 and is worth at least $1.2 billion.  

Ranked number five is fast food franchise Manna Inc. Stationed in Louisville the company is owned and operated by Ulyesses Bridgeman Jr. The establishment is the second largest Wendy’s franchise owner in the United States with revenues of $630 million and 14,000 employees.   

Known for their perpetual success in the food industry, The Anderson- Dubose Company is ranked number six.  Based in Lordstown Ohio while supplying McDonald’s and Chipotle restaurants with paper supplies. CEO Warren E. Anderson has team of 400 people and generates at least $545 million in revenue.

Global Automotive Alliance, LLC is ranked number seven. Located in Detroit, this is an automotive part supplier founded in 1999 as a partnership of companies with automobile manufactures.  William F. Pickard is the founder and the company has a staff of 1400 and revenue of $ 520 million.

Number eight is Thompson Hospitality is a food services provider in Reston, VA. Under the leadership of CEO Warren Thompson, the company started in 1992 with 31 restaurants and has since employed 4000 people employees with revenue of $485 million.

With a market capitalization of  $90 million, Radio One, Inc. is a publicly traded company that is listed on the NASDAQ exchange while majority of the company’s voting stock is held by African Americans, Michigan based company is known for its strong presence in radio broadcasting. Alfred Liggins III and his team of 1,000 people holds revenues of $450 million.

Coming in at ten is SET Enterprises, Inc. provides metal processing services from Warren Michigan where CEO Sid E. Taylor and 400 employees generate and maintain revenue of $400 million.

The U.S. Census' Survey of Business Owners, which provides detailed information every five years for Black-owned businesses, including the number of firms, gross sales and receipts, employee and annual payroll information—only considers firms whose owners control 51 percent or more of the equity.


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