Miami has room for improvement when it comes to Black owned businesses

The number one and number two cities for Black-owned businesses across the United States are Atlanta, followed by Washington DC. 

So where is Miami on LendingTree’s survey of the percentage of Black-owned businesses? The Magic City came in at 14, not a bad number, but there is room for improvement. 

“The numbers are okay but obviously still lots of room to grow, even ranking 14th,” said LendingTree’s chief analyst Matt Schultz. 

“Number fourteen across the United States is a pretty good number, it is a solid number,” said Jessica Garret Modkins. 

Modkins is the president and founder of Hip Rock Star Advertising, one of more than seven thousand Black-owned businesses in the Greater Miami area.

“We have a media division, which is a film production company. We have an advertising, marketing, (and) communications firm,” she said, adding her agency is “the gateway to the black community.” 

The Hip Rock Star Advertising website lists a number of well-known national brands. 

In the state, Orlando ranked 12 in the nation in LendingTree’s survey of the percentage of Black-owned businesses, and Jacksonville ranked 15th. 

Those numbers are well known to local Black business owners who recently gathered for a Black business promotion event staged by Miami-Dade County.

“You realize one thing in Miami-Dade County, Black business is one of the economic engines that drive Miami-Dade County,” said William “Bill” Diggs, the Executive Director of Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust. 

So how does the Black business sector build bigger numbers in the county? 

The Black business operators are well versed in the issues Black families and owners face. 

“Black applicants who apply for credit are about twice as likely to be denied credit or be approved for less credit,” said Schultz. 

That’s a reality in today’s business world but there are workarounds, according to Modkins who said she did a lot of research and found there are lending agencies that are more than willing to lend to Black businesses. 

Her question going forward was “Who are the agencies, the lending institutions that are out there who are trying to do business with Black-owned businesses?” 

In Miami, Black owners have a major resource in the South Florida Black Chamber of Commerce which some lending agencies have sought out to guide them to local Black-owned businesses. It seems to work. 

“I can’t tell you how many times we have been contacted, just out of a referral, from being a member of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. That’s how it works,” said Modkins. 

“The more that organizations like the Black Chamber of Commerce can do, the better, because the need is certainly there,” said Schultz.




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