How most and least diverse cities in the US affect minority-owned businesses

A study conducted by WalletHub found out that minority-owned businesses thrive in ethnically diverse cities. Population trends predict that by 2044 minority populations will rise to 56 percent so that no single ethnic group will constitute as the majority in the country. This is a relevant and important trend given the current political climate and immigration issues.

Exhibitors at the 2014 First Health and Wellness Fair. minority-owned businesses

Exhibitors at the 2014 SHCCNJ First Health and Wellness Fair

Diversity fosters growth and enriches our environments– from exposure to different cultures and languages to economic benefits for businesses. A study conducted by WalletHub compared 500 U.S. cities across three key metrics, including ethnoracial diversity, linguistic diversity and birthplace diversity.

minority-owned businesses

Jill Gonzalez WalletHub Analyst

The study found that the most culturally diverse city in the US is Jersey City, New Jersey, while Oakland, California has the highest ethnic and racial diversity– four times higher than Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest. Furthermore, Hialeah, Florida has the highest concentration of Latinos and Hispanics at 96.26 percent.

Ethnically diverse cities help diverse businesses thrive. One of the main benefits of living in an ethnically diverse city is innovation. An innovative environment fosters growth and allows for creation of businesses and job opportunities. 

“Diverse cities tend to be economically strong,” said WalletHub Analyst, Jill Gonzalez. “Small businesses can thrive in diverse cities, as these are melting pots of innovative ideas that help these businesses to improve, develop new technologies and hire skilled workers.”

Gonzalez also added that minority-owned businesses can find support at the state and federal level. “Most of the states implement their own programs that promote or help diverse business,” she said. “At the federal level, the Minority Business Development Agency works to create policies and programs that result in the growth of minority-owned businesses by facilitating services that provide access to financing and contracts.”

minority-owned businesses

Mary Kay consultants at the 2017 Latina SmallBiz Expo

The main challenge of living in an ethnically diverse city, according to Gonzalez, is creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive environment. With various different ethnic and racial groups, conflicts may arise and newer groups might feel excluded by the existing local community. Established groups may also feel threatened by the economic and social impact of newer groups. Communities can minimize these challenges by focusing on inclusion, tolerance, and teamwork.

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Overall, “the benefits far outweigh the challenges,” Gonzalez said. Diverse cities are full of potential and opportunities, especially for minority-owned businesses. Innovation and inclusion are the two keys to a successful, diverse environment.