President Biden’s Claim of Record Numbers of Black Entrepreneurs Supported by Data

Data Shows Increase in Black Business Ownership Under Biden Administration

In a recent advertisement released during Black History Month, President Joe Biden highlighted the progress made by Black Americans during his tenure. One claim in the ad stood out: “Record numbers of new Black entrepreneurs.” We set out to fact-check this statement and analyze the data to determine if it supports the president’s claim.

Data on Black-Owned Businesses

According to a Brookings Institution analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey, the number of Black-owned businesses with more than one employee has increased every year since 2017. The most significant increase occurred between 2020 and 2021 when the number rose from approximately 140,000 to a little over 161,000. This growth represented the largest percentage increase (14.3%) in any year since 2017.

Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances

The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted every three years, provided additional data on Black business ownership. The 2022 survey found that 11% of Black households held equity in a business, a significant increase from the previous record of 6.6% in 2016.

Black-owned businesses also outpaced businesses owned by other racial and ethnic groups in several categories. According to the Brookings analysis, Black-owned businesses experienced a 7% increase in employees, a 30% increase in revenue, and a 27% increase in payroll in 2021.

Biden Administration Policies

The White House, when contacted for comment, shared independent analyses suggesting that some of Biden’s policies contributed to the increase in Black business ownership. One policy involved changes made to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a pandemic-era initiative that provided loans to businesses to maintain payroll during public health restrictions. An evaluation of the program in August 2020 found that minority-owned businesses faced difficulties in securing loans.

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Under the Biden administration, changes were implemented to address these disparities. The Government Accountability Office noted that lending in traditionally underserved counties became proportional to their representation in the overall small-business community. The Biden administration expanded lender participation in the program, included self-employed individuals, and actively sought out minority businesses for lending.

A study by Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz, found that minority business owners, including Black entrepreneurs, experienced gains in securing PPP loans.

Conclusion:

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve support President Biden’s claim of “record numbers of new Black entrepreneurs.” The number of Black-owned businesses with more than one employee has consistently increased since 2017, with the most significant growth occurring between 2020 and 2021. Independent analyses suggest that some of the Biden administration’s policies, particularly changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, played a role in fostering this increase in Black business ownership. However, despite these gains, Black business ownership still lags behind that of white Americans, and achieving full equity will require sustained efforts.