Northern Virginia Minority-Owned Business Working Group Releases Regional Report, More Data Needed in Loudoun County

Loudoun Economic Development was proud to partner with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, and its counterparts in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Alexandria and Arlington to compile a report, released last week, of data and recommendations for best serving the minority-owned business community in the aftermath of COVID-19.

The report was a first of its kind for the region, detailing the representation within the business community, as well as the impact of the health and economic pandemic.

Key findings from the report included the following estimations:

  • Minority populations own 128,000 of Northern Virginia’s 312,000 businesses;
  • This 42% rate of ownership is well above the national average of 29%;
  • Approximately 45% of Northern Virginia’s residents of working age identify as minority, compared to 36% nationally;
  • Between April 2020 and December 2020, Asian business ownership in the U.S. dropped 20%, compared to 5% for White-owned and 3% for Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses;
  • Northern Virginia’s Black-owned businesses with employees tend to employ more workers (15.2) than businesses owned by any other population (9.7 nationally);
  • Northern Virginia’s Hispanic business owners have the lowest average income ($52,000) among different groups, with the lowest rate of home ownership (51%) and lowest average home value ($435,000);
  • Northern Virginia’s nine jurisdictions provided $89.2 million in loans and grants to more than 9,600 local businesses, and between 18% and 51% of those grants went to self-identified minority-owned businesses (among jurisdictions that tracked that data).

“Northern Virginia is home to a uniquely diverse population with many inclusive economic opportunities. While this report confirmed a number of national trends for minority-owned businesses around COVID-19, it also revealed local insights and the need for additional information,” Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “Loudoun County is already taking steps to identify additional sources of funding so that we can best address the needs of our minority-owned businesses. With the commitment of Loudoun’s elected officials and economic resources, we are committed to an equitable recovery for all.”

Data for the report was sourced federally from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Federal Reserve Board; and statewide from the Virginia Employment Commission, Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, and Department of Taxation. Local information was provided by county governments, but only that volunteered by recipients of the grant programs, and not any information that was provided as a result of filing business registration or licenses.

In addition to COVID-19 business grant programs, Loudoun County also provided individual outreach to thousands of companies and sponsored 15 predominantly minority and women business owners to participate in the first, cross-jurisdictional FireUp Business Mentorship and Coaching program this Spring. The cohort, which recently completed its 12-week work session, was coached on different aspects of business improvement, and encouraged to network with other area businesses.

“The strength of our economy is based on the caliber of the people that call this region home,” Rizer added. “We’re proud of the first steps taken toward targeted business support and look forward to better serving the needs of the #LoudounPossible business community.”

To download a free copy of the Supporting Northern Virginia’s Minority-Owned Businesses report, please visit Biz.Loudoun.gov/MinorityOwned.

Image in header features some of the Loudoun business owners who participated in FireUp cohort: Mwita Chacha, Mwendo LLC; Melissa Kang, Konterra LLC; Jatinder Chandok, StrategyUS LLC; Dion Dillard, iConfiguration Consulting LLC; Renee Ventrice, Cork & Keg Tours; and David Le, C3 Cyber Club.

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