According to the Brookings Institute, Black businesses create an average of 13 jobs per firm, compared to 30 for all companies. In its 2022 report, the institute stated that If the average number of employees per Black business reached parity, it would create approximately 18,791 new jobs. In Memphis, Brookings estimated there are 1,123 Black businesses, accounting for 7% of employer businesses in the city. They surmised that if Black businesses were fully represented based on the Black population in the city (48.5%), there would be 15,011 more Black businesses in Memphis. 

One of the common issues that Black businesses face is a lack of help in the community in growing, expanding and seeding their businesses. The Black Business Association (BBA) of Memphis is attempting to rectify that situation with the launch of its ReStart Initiative. 

The Memphis BBA is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 and was formed to assist Black businessmen and women in achieving success through education, business growth, and public support. The BBA’s ReStart Initiative supports those goals by attempting to improve Black businesses in the community, giving them the direction they need to succeed. 

Through ReStart, the BBA’s overall mission is to build and increase wealth in the Memphis Black community and fight for economic opportunities for MWBEs and all of Memphis. Among the benefits of the ReStart Initiative is providing what they refer to as “Succession Solutions,” which teaches business owners about planning and obtaining established businesses rather than relying solely on start-ups. The goal is also to promote wealth distribution in the Memphis black community. 

ReStart’s Talent Connection is designed to help match Black business owners with qualified employees to create a more diverse workplace. 

You can learn more about the BBA and its ReStart Initiative here.


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