University of Alabama studies why some black businesses are failing in the state

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 8:50 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - University of Alabama researchers think they can help Black-owned businesses succeed by understanding the reasons so many of them fail.

They’re looking at the first set of results of an ongoing study into that. This study started in February and will take several years to complete, but one of the people involved said they are already going over information from Black business owners and experts provided.

Dr. Lou Marino with the University of Alabama is heading up this research project at UA. They’re funded by the Alabama Power Foundation to look into what systemic problems are making it harder for black business to succeed in Alabama.

People there wanted to know what specific things it could do to help those business in the future.

“Our research shows that the failure rates of a business over 18 months is 20%. For black owned businesses that’s 80%. Also, about 90% of black businesses in Alabama are non-employer business. If we can make a difference and help those companies survive, help them grow, we can create jobs,” Dr. Marino told WBRC.

The first batch of information from more than 500 responses is being studied now. Details from it should become available in November.

It will take five years to complete the study.

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