ATLANTA - As National Black Business Month comes to a close, FOX 5 is taking a look at the state of Black-owned businesses in the metro Atlanta area.
Atlanta has one of the highest amounts of black owned businesses in the United States. Still, even here there’s a disparity between the percentage of Black owned businesses and the percentage in the overall population.
Bafana Moyo owns The Grounds Guys of Stone Mountain. They do landscape and fertilization work.
Moyo became a business owner in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, when his 10-year government contracting job ground to a halt.
"So I looked for something that could be sustainable and maybe have just a constant stream of revenue. And I remember my grandfather, who was a lawn maintenance technician, and he cut grass, and he would take me out on Saturdays and I would cut grass with him," Moyo said.
Three years later, he says business is good and new opportunities to service commercial properties keep cropping up.
According to the Pew Research Center, Georgia has one of the highest percentages of Black-owned businesses in the country, second only to Washington D.C. and Maryland.
And according to the Brookings Institute, metro Atlanta has the third-highest number of Black-owned businesses out of all the metro areas in the country.
"I think that Atlanta provides a really good environment to cultivate black owned businesses," Moyo said.
But even in Atlanta, the percentage of Black-owned businesses doesn’t even come close to matching the percentage of the Black population.
According to the Brookings Institute, Black people make up about 36.3% of the population in the Atlanta Metro, while only 7% of businesses in the metro are Black-owned.
Moyo says that disparity shows there is still a lot of work to do.
"There is an opportunity to build on those because helping minority businesses is helping all businesses," he said.
He hopes by sharing his story of black entrepreneurship he can inspire young black men and women to start their own businesses.
"If we can encourage business ownership, we can really spark an energy in young African Americans that will help them to grow themselves, but also grow the community," Moyo said.
If you're looking for resources, here are some that were designed to help Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta.