Black History Month legacy and community.
Small Business Data

Black History Month survey: Legacy and community prevail against social and economic inequalities

In honor of Black History Month, Intuit QuickBooks commissioned a survey of 1,000 Black business owners to highlight their small business struggles and successes. Survey results emphasize persisting economic and social inequalities. Despite facing these challenges, Black business owners remain optimistic about their future, future generations, and the potential for successful Black businesses to strengthen Black communities. Key findings include:

  • 79% of Black business owners have experienced racism from a customer.
  • 82% of Black business owners say they behave differently in customer and vendor interactions to avoid negative racial stereotypes.
  • 57% of Black respondents indicate that they were denied a bank loan at least once when they started their businesses—compared to 37% of non-Black business owners.
  • On average, it cost Black respondents approximately $21,000 to start their businesses—compared to $16,000 for their non-Black peers. 
  • 85% of Black respondents were able to pay themselves in 2022. 
  • 75% of Black business owners agree that successful Black businesses are critical for a thriving Black community. 
  • 55% of Black business owners agree that more mentorship from other Black business owners and easier access to financing are the resources needed the most for successful Black businesses. 

Check out this video for the inspiration behind the survey and

some highlights!

In addition to the pressures of running a business, Black business owners must navigate racism and biases that threaten their success. 

Dealing with racism

More than three in four Black business owners (79%) say they have experienced racism from a customerwith 48% saying they’ve experienced racism in customer interactions at least once in the past year.

Higher expectations for Black-owned businesses  

Biased perceptions can affect how consumers evaluate the performance and quality of Black-run enterprises. A majority of Black business owners (86%) say Black businesses are judged more critically than non-Black businesses.

Advertising as “Black-owned” and non-Black customers

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the COVID-19 pandemic, a wave of awareness called attention to the reality of Black individuals across Americaincluding Black business owners. The push to identify and support Black businesses outside of Black communities advanced, but more than two in five (46%) Black business owners who advertise their businesses as “Black-owned” think it is a deterrent to non-Black customers.

Fighting against stereotypes

Inequities in how Black businesses are judged create an added pressure for Black business owners. Almost all survey respondents (94%) report that they are motivated to succeed by a desire to disprove racial stereotypes. 

The impact of stereotypes on behavior in business interactions

Black business owners feel the impact of racial disparities in everyday business dealings. More than eight in ten (82%) Black business owners say they behave differently in customer and vendor interactions to avoid negative racial stereotypeswith only 6% reporting they are unaffected.

Read more in the next section, Financial disparities.

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