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Black-owned businesses in Valdosta are underrepresented; here's how to help

Despite black Georgians having a spending power of $118 billion, black business owners see only about 2% of Georgia's business revenue.
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 19, 2024
  • Minority-owned businesses in Georgia receive only about 12 percent of the state's business revenue, with black-owned businesses accounting for just two percent.
  • Black-owned businesses face significant challenges in obtaining funding, receiving only one percent of loans within their first year of operations compared to seven percent for non-minority businesses.
  • Watch the video to hear from Valdosta's black-owned businesses about how the community can help.


Minority-owned businesses in Georgia get only about 12% of business revenue in the state.

For black-owned businesses, that number is at 2%

"Some of the challenges I run into is... lack of funds."

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporting in Valdosta, and I'm speaking with some of our local black-owned businesses about why they need your support.

"I just like being here in Valdosta."

This is Lucilla Griffin. She's a lifelong neighbor of Valdosta, having her own cleaning business since 2001.

Despite the challenges, she tells me owning her own business has given her the life she's always wanted.

"My grandson got something going on at school. I can, you know, see him do what I need to do for him. Whatever its flexibility and financial stability. I love it."

Lucilla is one of 5.1% of black private business owners in the state.

Despite Valdosta's own population being 54% black, our black business population has similar numbers.

One of the reasons for that is what Lucilla and And South Georgia Black Chamber operations VP Marion Ramsey says is...

Black-owned businesses tend to only get approved for 1% of loans within the first year of operations, compared to 7% of non-minority businesses.

That's why the our region's South Georgia Black Chamber is focused on trying to get financial help for those who qualify.

Lucilla tells me the best way to make do without that capital? Support of her fellow Valdostans.

"You see somebody that's doing a good job and doing what they supposed to be doing, then you need to support them. That's the way I feel about it."

Despite black Georgians buying power making up $118 billion of our state's spending power, their business owners still only see about 2% of the state's business revenue. I'm Malia Thomas, in Valdosta, repeating for ABC27.