Black Business Owners Focus on Growth

A recent Capital One Business survey finds Black business owners anticipating growth in the coming months

 A June 2021 Capital One Business survey featuring a panel of 150 Black small business owners found that despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black Americans, Black business owners are feeling as confident about the current financial position of their business as non-Black business owners and looking ahead to growth opportunities for their business.

“We’ve seen reports over the last year that Black business owners were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, but surprisingly our survey found that many are feeling optimistic about the next six months for their business,” said Zainep Mahmoud, Head of Acquisition Marketing for Capital One Business. “What’s even more remarkable is that the majority of Black business owners have taken it upon themselves to use their business and platform to impact social issues, and have seen a positive impact on their business as a result.”

While overall business sentiment may shift over the next few months due to the Delta variant’s potential impact, here are four of the survey’s key findings that offer a snapshot of Black business owners’ mindsets this summer:

Increased Sales Expected Despite Challenges

Although many Black small business owners faced an uphill battle during the pandemic, a majority of them (83%) expect their business’s sales to increase within the next six months, and 87 percent have plans to grow their businesses during that same time period.

Hiring is a Priority

As reopening plans across the country fluctuate, 52 percent of Black business owners are planning to hire new employees in the next six months. Employees stand to benefit, too, given that 58 percent of Black business owners plan to increase their employees’ compensation by summer’s end. 

Taking a Stand on Social Issues Generates Positive Impacts 

While calls for support of diverse-owned businesses came from many sectors over the past year, the majority of Black business owners have taken it upon themselves to use their business and platform to impact social issues. Almost two-thirds of Black business owners (61%) have expressed a position on or been vocal about social issues through their business compared with 39 percent of their non-Black counterparts. And for those that have been vocal about social issues, 80 percent report it having a positive impact on their business. 

Technology Enables Success for Many, Some Look for Support

Many business owners accelerated digital adoption to help maintain operations during the pandemic. While a majority of Black business owners find technology is often an enabler to economic success for their business, 36 percent see it as a barrier. In fact, 29 percent of Black business owners report that they lack the confidence or know-how to adopt new technologies and could use external support. 

“The biggest benefit of launching RichWine as an e-commerce business is that we were able to keep our operational expenses very lean and continue to operate as a self-funded business,” said Kristen Gardner Beal, co-founder of RichWine, a Richmond, Virginia-based wine delivery service. “This dramatically reduced the financial burden and alleviated the stress that can come from that in order for us to free up more capacity to focus on understanding our client, our market, sales, growth and outward expansion.”

Fortunately, there are many organizations out there providing resources to equip Black business owners with the technological support they need to stay competitive. 

Capital One Supports Black Business Owners

Capital One is proud to partner with organizations like AEO, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, to offer a variety of online training courses and webinars on these subjects and more. Additionally, we provide targeted support to underserved small businesses through nonprofit partners such as the Opportunity Finance Network.

Additionally, Capital One launched the Capital One Impact Initiative, a multi-year, $200 million commitment to create growth in underserved communities and includes support for small businesses through grants awarded to Black and Hispanic/Latinx partners and suppliers across our businesses. It also expanded mentoring, training and advisory programs designed to help Black and Hispanic/Latinx businesses and nonprofits succeed in communities across the country including Dallas, New Orleans, and Richmond.

All small business owners can access content related to managing cash flow, sales and tax-related issues through Capital One’s Learn & Grow and Business Hub pages. We’re also proud to offer free resources like Capital One Spring, which provides small business owners with discounts and deals on supplies and expenses essential to operations.     


About the Survey


The Capital One Business Survey was conducted by Morning Consult among U.S. small business owners. Small businesses are defined as those with total annual revenues less than $20 million. The survey collected insights from 1,150 business owners, including 150 Black business owners. The survey was conducted from an online panel from June 1 – June 6, 2021. The margin of error for business owners is +/-3% and +/-8% for Black business owners.

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