Louisiana & Gulf Coast States named top regions for Black-owned businesses in 2023
As Winter comes to an end, many Northerners are planning their Spring trips to warmer regions such as the mid-Atlantic or Gulf Coast. For aspiring Black entrepreneurs, these regions offer more than just warm weather. According to MerchantMaverick.com's annual ranking of "The Top States for Black-Owned Businesses in 2023" report, these two regions provide a great business climate for business owners.
MerchantMaverick.com, the business product comparison site for business owners, found some interesting regional differences, specifically in areas that correspond with the warm Atlantic current. The mid-Atlantic states, including Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, ranked at 1, 4, and 9 respectively on the state list, offering a nurturing environment for Black-owned businesses.
Similarly, the Gulf Coast states also provided a welcoming business climate for Black entrepreneurs, with Louisiana, Texas, and Florida all making the top ten at #6, #8, and #10 respectively. Alabama and Mississippi also demonstrated a generally positive environment for Black-owned businesses, ranking at #10 and #12 on last year's list.
However, it's important to note that Black entrepreneurs still face real difficulties, including a 45% decline in venture capital funding, compared to the overall decline of 36%.
The report also highlighted key findings, such as the mid-Atlantic remaining a popular region for Black entrepreneurs due to a proportionally large Black population, which tends to reduce barriers to the success of a new business. Meanwhile, Gulf Coast states such as Louisiana and Florida climbed significantly in the rankings, rising 14 and 16 spots respectively, raising the profile of the region for Black-owned businesses. The report also showed that northern states continue to underperform in terms of providing a supportive environment for Black-owned businesses. Ohio was the highest-ranked state, coming in at number 12, while New York, which has the highest number of Black-owned businesses, barely avoided the bottom half of the list at number 23.
While many of the trends in the report may be attributed to hidden factors, Gulf states like Florida and Texas, both of which saw a big jump in population, performed very well, demonstrating the potential for Black-owned businesses to thrive in these regions.