This article was originally published on BLAC® Finance.

It’s a number that is growing and proud, but there’s still a lot of room to grow. But the fact that 7.4% of businesses in Atlanta are now Black-owned has placed the city at the top of the list nationally. 

According to a new report from Lending Tree,  Atlanta’s percentage of Black-owned businesses is the highest among 50 U.S. Metros.  And while the 7.4% rate does not seem like an ominous one – it’s more than three times the national average of 2.4%, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution study of the U.S. Census Annual Business Survey. That survey lists 8,663 as the total of Black-owned businesses in the Atlanta metro, specifically those with a payroll in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metro areas in 2020.

But analyzing the City of Atlanta alone, that rate reaches double digits, with around 20% of the city’s businesses being Black-owned, according to the Invest Atlanta economic development authority.  But in a city that’s 44% Black, there is still obviously a need to grow that business representation. 

The Census’ Annual Business Survey estimates there were 140,918 Black-owned businesses in the U.S. in 2020, with $141 billion in revenue led by 1.3 million employees.

In the city’s health care and social assistance industry, the AJR listed 2,111 Black-owned businesses with other common sectors, including:

Professional, scientific and technical services: 1,471 businesses
Transportation and warehousing: 765 businesses
Accommodation and food services: 636 business
Retail trade: 472 businesses

The AJR also highlighted Calendly, the meeting scheduling software, as raising the most money for a Black-owned business at $350 million in investments, driving the company’s valuation to $3 billion. According to a report from McKinsey, fewer than 2% of the 400 U.S. unicorn startups were Black-founded, making Calendly a rare and impressive unicorn startup. Of the six unicorns headquartered in Atlanta, Calendly is the only one with a Black founder.  

Shout out to AJR author Mirtha Donastorg for compiling many of these impressive numbers. 

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