The COVID-19 pandemic shined light on a lot of things. It showed us how essential our healthcare workers are, the importance of taking care of ourselves and the ones around us, and it showed us that small businesses rely heavily on our support. These are the places we get our morning coffee from, our handmade blankets from, and the businesses that have been handed down through generations. 

When thinking of small businesses, we have to also consider the portion that are minority-owned. They are facing both struggles throughout the pandemic as well as day-to-day societal issues. From the many instances of social injustice in 2020 to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID variants impacts, these factors have shown us that it’s critical to support these businesses now more than ever. 

A recent study released by Edwards Kirby, a law firm based in North Carolina, is bringing attention to the amount of BIPOC-owned small businesses in each state across the country. By using Small Business Administration small business profiles, they were able to determine how many small businesses were in each state and then how many of those were BIPOC-owned.

Initially when looking at the map, you can see that the states with the most BIPOC-owned small businesses mainly line the southern border of the U.S. This is thought provoking as the southern states have typically seen a great deal of racial tension throughout history. 

It’s also no surprise that Hawaii leads the country in the percentage of BIPOC-owned small businesses in the state, as 91% of their population identifies themselves as people of color. Texas follows, having a total number of 1.1 million BIPOC-owned small businesses. California, New Mexico and D.C. round out the top 5 states. 

The states with the least BIPOC-owned small businesses included Maine, with 2.9% of their small businesses being minority-owned, followed by Vermont (3.0%), North Dakota (4.3%), New Hampshire (4.5%) and Montana (4.5%). Regionally, these states fall among the northern border of the U.S. 

You can view the full study here.