For aspiring entrepreneurs who want to know where their business will most likely thrive, it looks like the south is where it’s at. NerdWallet analyzed 111 metro areas in the United States with populations over 100,000. The report revealed the top 10 cities based off of metrics like median income for the black population and percentage of black-owned businesses with paid employees, and the most robust cities for black entrepreneurship were all located in the southern region of the country. See if your city made the cut for black business owners.
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1. Columbus, Georgia, metro area
Columbus is on the border of Georgia and Alabama. It is a hub for the aerospace industry, automotive manufacturing, defense, technology and tourism. The city’s Uptown district is also a popular location for locally owned restaurants, boutiques and salons. Over a third of businesses in Columbus are black-owned, including the historic Sconiers Funeral Home and Citizens Trust Bank. The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce offers resources for new business owners.
2. Montgomery, Alabama, metro area
The black population I Montgomery is the fastest-growing compared to any other of the top 10 cities, and nearly a third of businesses there are owned by black entrepreneurs. At the time of the report, Montgomery city was organizing its first Black Chamber of Commerce. Resources for small businesses to take advantage of can be accessed at the Alabama State Black Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Advisory Task Force.
3. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia, metro area
Georgia has the nation’s third-largest black consumer market, worth over $73 billion, and the state’s capital has a fairly affordable cost of living and “a strong business environment.” The Atlanta Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly events and mentoring programs to help local businesses, and Atlanta’s Minority Business Development Agency provides resources. Some of the city’s noted black businesses are B&S Electric Supply Co. and Engineering Design Technologies.
4. Memphis, Tennessee, metro area
Memphis has a significant percentage of black-owned businesses and an affordable cost of living, as well as a rich culture. Along with music, film and TV, Memphis thrives in bioscience, green industry and manufacturing. The Black Business Association of Memphis lends one-on-one counseling, training sessions and networking events, and the Greater Memphis Chamber has a Small Business Council that provides similar resources for entrepreneurs.
5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia, metro area
A few bonuses of the nation’s capital are a growing technology industry, a population that values education and a quality mix of public and private sectors. Presidnt Obama is one of many famous customers to stop by Ben’s Chili Bowl, has a long and successful run in the the capital since 1958. Entrepreneurs who want to launch their business will find resources at the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce and BizLaunch, an Arlington Economic Development entrepreneurship program.
See the other cities here in the original report.
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