THE EDITOR’S VIEW: The Mecca, Still #WhyWeLoveAtlanta

By Katrice L. Mines, Senior Editor

If you’re a black entrepreneur, Atlanta is arguably the place to be.

It’s not a secret and that’s not to say that African Americans in business don’t find success in other places. The synergy that is so unique to Atlanta … the energy that gave it the title of the Mecca, however, is undeniable. There are currently 2.6 million businesses owned and operated by African Americans, according to the U.S. Census’s most recent survey of business owners; and black-owned businesses create 1 million jobs, which is enough to employ 4 percent of the working-age population. Meanwhile, here in Georgia, 27.6 percent of businesses are black-owned. Minority-owned businesses accounted for $1.1 trillion in receipts in 2014, a mere fraction of overall employer spend but no small piece of change.

Atlanta, home to the Atlanta University Center which produces more black post graduates than any college system besides Howard University and one of the nation’s largest minority-owned real estate development and construction services firms, H.J. Russell Company, is the third in terms of cities with the most black-owned firms. “In a given month [in 2016,] according to BlackTech Week, “430 adults out of every 100,000 inhabitants in Atlanta became entrepreneurs.” It’s why we love this city, and it’s likely why many of you not only love it, as well, but have also set up shop here. And so our annual Why We Love Atlanta issue is fittingly dedicated to the entrepreneurs who keep this city evolving and growing. We’ve pulled together everything you need to know to get the most out of doing business here.

Because, gridlocked traffic aside, we wouldn’t trade it.

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