Frequently Asked Questions

What was the motivation behind the Black Business Census?

As residents of Fredericksburg, Virginia, we wanted to know how black businesses were economically represented in the community. Although the Annual Business Survey (ABS) is reported to conduct annual surveys, the most recent data was last collected in 2018 for the 2017 reporting year. It is important to note that the survey is mandatory and reports 100% completion rates of business owners who receive the survey (US Census, 2019). The number of businesses surveyed in Spotsylvania County, Stafford County and

Fredericksburg City totaled 35,462 with only 77 businesses identifying as Black or African American. Therefore, only accounting for $96,456 compared to the $11,860,924 grossed in the above noted region.

The complete ABS table, covering the United States, for 2018 can be found at surveys/abs/data/tables.All.html

Is this survey mandatory?

No, this is an opt-in survey. The VA Black Business Directory (VABBD) is a nonprofit organization. The information provided will be used to provide statistical data. Per the online privacy and protection notice, your data will not be publicly released in a way that can identify your business, organization or institution.

Am I required to be listed in the VA Black Business Directory for my survey to count?

No. Our goal is to ensure that every black-owned business in Virginia is accounted for so that we may provide statistical data to government program officials, business entrepreneurs and anticipated users of the Black Business Census statistics. Like the Annual Business Survey (ABS, 2019) conducted by the U.S. Census, our goal is to provide data to the following entities:

  • The Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency to assess business assistance needs and allocate available program resources.
  • Local government commissions on small and disadvantaged businesses to establish and evaluate contract procurement practices.
  • State and local government agencies as a framework for planning, directing and assessing programs that promote the activities of disadvantaged groups.
  • The National Women's Business Council to assess the state of women's business ownership for policymakers, researchers, and the public at large.
  • Consultants and researchers to analyze long-term economic and demographic shifts, and differences in ownership and performance among geographic areas.
  • Members of local government to inform their decisions on policies intended to influence investment opportunities.

How do I know my survey was received?

At the end of your survey, you will be asked for an email address. A copy of your survey answers will be sent to the email address provided.

Does the survey ask about additional race and ethnicities?

Yes. Similar to the ABS, The Black Business Census used ethnicity and race categories consistent with those mandated by the Office of Management and Budget. Please note, this is not to be a survey meant to exclude business owners of other racial or ethnic backgrounds, but rather to obtain statistical information for the businesses that identify as black-owned.

Is an Employer Identification Number (EIN) required to complete this survey?

No. Your Federal Tax Identification number, nor Social Security number are required to conduct this survey. Although there are benefits to getting an EIN, some businesses owners are not required to have one.


United States Census Bureau. (2019). Annual Business Survey: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from

Will this affect a company adversely with the IRS?

No. These numbers are not reported to the IRS. However the gross revenue being reported should match the number of your previous year tax return.

How will reporting income help the community?

How will this information be validated?

Who will be sent this information and how will it be used?

When is the deadline to submit this information?

How many businesses are participating?

What is the benefit to a business for providing this information?

Questions email

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Suite 200

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

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