A recently completed study shows Tri-State Black-owned businesses have an economic impact of more than $1.4 billion annually.
The analysis by the UC Economics Center was commissioned by the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC). It's thought to be the first study of its kind in the nation.
AACC President and CEO Eric Kearney says the findings are cause for celebration.
"This impressive analysis from the UC Economics Center shows a robust number of growing enterprises, jobs created, and communities positively impacted by our Black businesses," says Kearney.
"It shows the importance of Black businesses in the Greater Cincinnati region; that our businesses are really contributing to the quality of life and the economy, so that's good news. It also says to me that we have some work to do to move that number up."
Black-owned businesses were asked to send their business name and address to the Economics Center in order to be included. The center used that information to compile data and arrive at the economic impact figure.
The $1.4 billion figure includes employing 8,680 people with $540 million in earnings across the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Black-owned businesses also account for about $6.2 million in sales tax to Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky with an additional $1.2 million to Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Warren counties in Ohio.
"The results speak to the importance of Black businesses, now and moving forward, on Cincinnati's regional economy," says Christopher Nicak, UC Economics Center co-director of research.
More granularly, the study finds Black-owned businesses directly generate $755.2 million and another $690 in indirect economic output.
AACC Board Chair Jason Dunn says the findings should be used to drive change.
"We have the data, now let's take out the emotion and determine how we address the disparities that prevent this number from being larger," he says, adding, "Our focus (going forward) is towards the next generation of entrepreneurs and building on this foundation to ensure our region is competitive."
To that end, the AACC is creating a state-of-the-art co-working space on the second floor of its Walnut Hills offices.