Economic adviser expects impact of Black-owned businesses to grow in Arizona

Feb 4, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 5:19 am
(AP Photo, File/Angie Wang)...
(AP Photo, File/Angie Wang)
(AP Photo, File/Angie Wang)

PHOENIX – An Arizona economic policy adviser expects black-owned businesses to have bigger impact on the state’s economy in the coming years.

May Mgbolu, assistant director of policy and advocacy with the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, said there are about 1,200 black-owned businesses in Arizona, about 1% of employer firms in the state.

“Arizona’s black-owned businesses employed just over 12,000 workers generating more than a billion dollars in revenue and accounted for about $400 million in payroll in 2017, which is the most recent year available,” Mgbolu told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Last year brought the inaugural State of Black Business Report for Arizona. Nearly 60% of all Black-owned firms are under 6 years old. One of the challenges they face is that only 1% of venture capital goes to African American-led businesses.

African Americans make up 3.9% of all consumer purchasing power in Arizona, a number Mgbolu hopes to see grow considerably in the coming years.

“So many of these Black-owned businesses were created based off of the owner’s savings, without a lot of access to capital,” Mgbolu said.

“It’s important to note that we all play a part in this economy. Going and purchasing something from that small business owned by minorities could be the key to keeping them open.”

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Economic adviser expects impact of Black-owned businesses to grow in Arizona