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The Black Business Census (BBC) was developed to provide information on the economic power of black-owned businesses using real-time data collection.  The information gathered includes economic and demographic characteristics of business owners, pulse questions that examine what business owners need to successfully grow in

their industry, and any barriers (financial, systemic, etc.) that may have impacted their sustainability during COVID-19.


The BBC was birthed due to the inadequate representation of black-owned businesses in the Annual Business Survey (ABS) conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation for 2019 for Stafford County, Spostylvania County and Fredericksburg City. 

In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau discontinued the use of a five-year Survey of Business Owners (SBO). Subsequently, the U.S. Census Bureau, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), implemented the Annual Business Survey (ABS) which provides annual data on select economic and demographic characteristics of employer businesses. Specifically, the survey gathers data relative to annual payroll, sales profit, gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status (AEA, 2018). The ABS is conducted through the scientific selection using The Employer Identification Number (EIN), which as per the U.S. Census, is “less costly than attempting to contact every business in the country” (US Census, 2019).


  1. To assess the needs of black-owned business owners and determine what resources the government can provide in an effort to aide in the economic growth of black businesses.

  2. Develop programs that create access to capital and traditional financing options that can help black-owned businesses achieve economic equality in comparison to other business owners.

  3. Assess what financial barriers hinder black business owners from growing, and the resources business owners are lacking that preclude their ability to scale and become discoverable.

  4. Inform political leaders of the needs of black-owned businesses  in an effort to influence investments, training and educational opportunities and grant funding.


The VA Black Business Directory (VABBD) is not attempting to recreate a process, but rather to streamline the process

to offer an opportunity for ALL Black-owned businesses to be counted in Virginia. Part of our mission is to bridge the

gap in wealth by providing educational opportunities and promoting community collaboration. The results of this

survey will provide information as to the needs of black business owners, therefore, creating a platform to discuss how the community and our local government can collaborate to develop economic solutions for an under-served and under-represented community of business owners.  

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