Local News

Black-Owned Businesses Contribute About $44 Billion to N.C. Economy

Posted November 13, 2007

— African-Americans contribute about $44 billion to North Carolina's economy.

A study, "The Economic Impact of the African-American Population on the State of North Carolina," by University of North Carolina researchers showed the number of black-owned businesses in the state grew by more than 30 percent over the last 10 years.

Black-owned businesses are a staple on Durham's Parrish Street. Across the state, they account for more than 85,000 jobs.

“It says to our children, we can and we should own businesses to serve our community and the community in general,” Nana Nantambu said.

Nantambu decided to buy her coffee at Durham's Blue Coffee cafe when she found out it was owned by an African-American woman.

“So, it was wow! I'd love to give my money here,” Nantambu said.

Gwen Matthews opened the cafe two years ago. It has become one of downtown Durham's hot-spots.

“I feel that with the amount of money we spend in the economy that we should also give back to ourselves,” Matthews said.

For Matthews, that meant becoming one of the more than 53,000 African-American business owners in the state.

Researchers believe to expand that success, business owners must think globally. For now, Matthews is growing her business by giving to the local community. She also believes if other African-Americans see her success with Blue Coffee, they might be inspired to open their own business.

The study, released Tuesday, pointed out that in order to increase the number of black-owned business, the state would be well served to spend more money on education. Most of the low-performing schools in N.C. have a majority of African-American students.

4 Comments

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  • BUCKEYEnNC Nov 14, 12:19 p.m.

    This is a good example of what hard work can do! I think that it is important for people to support each other. There is nothing wrong with African Americans supporting African American owned businesses. It's no different that preferring to shop at your local store over a national chain. It keeps money in the community!

    More often than not, we are reading about a black man killing another black man.

    It's nice to see a positive story! African Americans participating in the free spirit of enterprise. That's awesome!!!

  • Pilot Nov 14, 7:50 a.m.

    ahh, so the end game solution is to throw more money at education.

    I was under the impression that money spent on education does not equate to better results on the education output end.

    In any case, in Wake County the, average dollars spent per student has gone way up in the last 15 years and the average achievement has gone DOWN. (including graduation rates, test scores (the ones that compare us against the rest of the country, not against how NC did last year while in 45th place in the nation) and EOGs. BOE spin, not withstanding!

  • dlb800 Nov 14, 7:45 a.m.

    My only issue is that people are separating blacks from whites.
    It should be "business owners", not "black business owners", or
    "white business owners". Oh well.

  • Tax Man Nov 13, 8:24 p.m.

    I work with Black owned businesses - glad to see them thriving - it shows that people can be successful if they want to. It also sets a very good example for the young African Americans so they can see there is more to life than gangs and sports. More Black businesses need to be started and grown in our fine state. Congratulations to those who are successful thus far!