According to data from the United States Census Bureau, Atlanta Georgia has the highest income inequality among large US cities. The city’s entrenched racial disparities have been attributed to driving much of Atlanta’s income and wealth inequality. The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) was formed to address the gap in wealth experienced by Black residents compared to their white neighbors.  Community Science provided the data and other insights into Black wealth development particularly as it applies to Black businesses in Atlanta to help AWBI formulate and improve its organizational strategy for the coming years. The effects of the pandemic on black-owned businesses, compared to their counterparts owned by persons of other racial identities were also examined. Barriers to accessing capital and technical support were found to be the main contributors to poor rates of business growth and survival. Local business owners were engaged to inform all phases of our research and reporting. Our study enhanced the 2017 Prosperity Now report “Advancing Collective Prosperity through Enterprise in Atlanta” (Rice, Dergny & Sims, 2017). We conducted a survey of 238 businesses as well as provided an analysis of all available administrative data. We conducted six focus groups with Black business owners of all sizes to provide a more in-depth descriptive study of key issues and questions that had been identified through the Prosperity Now enhanced report and survey. Finally, the final report synthesized the findings from the various data collection activities. The report also included recommendations for further monitoring and evaluating AWBI’s work as well as strategic actions that can be taken to support the growth of Black-owned businesses to close the racial wealth gap in their work or city.


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