President Biden’s Claim of Record Numbers of New Black Entrepreneurs: Fact Check

Data supports President Biden’s assertion of record levels of Black business ownership during his presidency

In a recent advertisement timed for Black History Month, President Joe Biden highlighted the gains made by Black Americans during his tenure. One of the claims made in the ad was that there have been “record numbers of new Black entrepreneurs.” This statement has been fact-checked, and data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board supports the assertion that there has been an increase in Black business ownership under the Biden administration. Independent analyses suggest that certain policies implemented by the administration may have contributed to this growth.

Data Analysis Shows Increase in Black-Owned Businesses

According to an analysis conducted by the Brookings Institution, the number of Black-owned businesses with more than one employee has been increasing every year since 2017. The largest increase occurred between 2020 and 2021, with the number rising from approximately 140,000 to a little over 161,000. This represents a 14.3% increase, the highest percentage increase since 2017. The data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey supports President Biden’s claim of record numbers of new Black entrepreneurs.

Federal Reserve Survey Highlights Growth in Black-Owned Businesses

The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted every three years, provides additional evidence of the growth in Black-owned businesses. The 2022 survey found that 11% of Black households held equity in a business, surpassing the previous record of 6.6% in 2016. Black-owned businesses also experienced faster growth in various categories compared to businesses owned by other racial and ethnic groups. This includes a 7% increase in employees, a 30% increase in revenue, and a 27% increase in payroll in 2021.

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Biden Administration Policies Contributing to Growth

Independent analyses suggest that certain policies implemented by the Biden administration may have played a role in the increase in Black business ownership. One such policy involved changes made to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a pandemic-era initiative aimed at providing financial support to businesses during public health restrictions. An evaluation of the program in August 2020 found that minority-owned businesses faced difficulties in securing loans. The Biden administration made changes to the program, expanding lender participation and seeking out minority businesses for lending, which helped address these disparities.

A study conducted by Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz, in January 2022 found that minority business owners, including Black entrepreneurs, experienced gains in securing PPP loans. These findings suggest that the Biden administration’s efforts to make the program more accessible to minority-owned businesses may have contributed to the growth in Black business ownership.

Conclusion: The data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board support President Biden’s claim of record numbers of new Black entrepreneurs. The increase in Black-owned businesses since 2017, with the largest percentage increase occurring between 2020 and 2021, indicates a positive trend in Black business ownership under the Biden administration. Independent analyses suggest that policies implemented by the administration, such as changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, may have played a role in fostering this growth. However, despite recent gains, Black business ownership still lags behind rates for white Americans, highlighting the need for continued efforts to promote equity and access to resources for aspiring Black entrepreneurs.

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