Black Owned Businesses

In 2002, there were 16,750 black-owned businesses in Missouri, accounting for 3.8 percent of all firms statewide. (There were a total of 439,487 Show-Me State businesses in 2002.) The percentage of Missouri's population that was black was 11.2 percent in 2000. Between 1997 and 2002, there was a 22 percent increase in black-owned firms and a 6.6 percent increase in gross sales by those firms.



Within Missouri, the largest concentration of black-owned firms are in St. Louis County (34.9 percent), Jackson County (25.5 percent) and St. Louis City (21.4 percent). Smaller concentrations occur in St. Charles County (3.3 percent), Clay County (1.6 percent) and Platte County (1.3 percent).


In general, most of the black-owned businesses in the state are located in metropolitan areas. This finding is consistent with 2000 Census numbers on the black population in Missouri. The counties with the largest numbers of blacks in 2000 were St. Louis County (192,348) and St. Louis City (177,627), followed by Jackson (150,202), Boone (11,351), Cole (6,844), St. Charles (6,674), Pemiscot (5,468), Greene (4,956), Pulaski (4,928) and Clay counties (4,524).


St. Louis City has 685 fewer business than Jackson County, but generates more than $42 million more in gross sales. This indicates that the city's fewer firms have a larger economic impact than Jackson County’s in sales and receipts.




Black-owned businesses are strongly concentrated in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan statistical areas. There are almost twice as many in the greater St. Louis than the Kansas City area.


Most black-owned businesses in Missouri are concentrated in two main industry groups – health care and social assistance (22.6 percent) and other services/not public administration (17.9 percent). Other significant sectors include retail trade (9.5 percent), a
dministrative and support and waste management and remediation services (8.6 percent), and professional, scientific, and technical services (8.2 percent). In terms of total sales and receipts, the largest grossing industries are health care and social assistance, construction, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. This indicates that although there are fewer black-owned construction than retail trade firms, such firms have a larger impact on Missouri's economy in terms of sales and receipts.

Report by Neal Fandek, maps by Melissa Lanclos, MERIC.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Survey of Business Owners

Posted June 2006

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