3/23 – AJC – Metro Atlanta is No. 1 in minority-run firms

Metro Atlanta is No. 1 in minority-run firms | The Biz Beat.


Metro Atlanta is attracting the most minority-run firms on a per capita basis, according to a survey of 52 metro areas released late Wednesday by Forbes magazine.

“The ‘capital of black America’ has become a buzzing hive of Hispanic and Asian immigrants and entrepreneurs,” Forbes writes.

Baltimore, Nashville, Houston and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale round out the top five spots. The next five are the metro areas of Oklahoma City, Riverside-San Bernadino, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Phoenix.

Forbes looked at metro areas with populations of more than 1 million. It said metro Atlanta was No. 2 in self-employed minorities and No. 2 as an entrepreneurial region. Combined with a growing population, increasing household incomes and affordable housing, Atlanta took first place, Forbes said.

Metro Atlanta’s foreign-born population nearly doubled — to 710,000 — between 2000 and 2008, Forbes said.

The magazine added, however, that “business leaders fear strict anti-immigration laws may choke off future growth.”

In February, the U.S. Census Bureau released figures that showed black-owned businesses in metro Atlanta grew 99 percent between 2002 and 2007.

Forbes gave a “booby prize” to Milwaukee, which came in last. “The former beer-brewing capital ranks in the bottom eight — or worse — in self-employment among all three major minority groups,” Forbes said.

Go to the Forbes website for the complete list and story. The magazine also profiles Rene Diaz, owner of Diaz Foods, a $200 million food-distribution business here.

– Henry Unger, The Biz Beat


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