June 23, 2021

Minority business report cover pageSupporting Northern Virginia’s minority-owned businesses

The Northern Virginia Minority-Owned Businesses Working Group – formed by members of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington Economic Development, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Loudoun Virginia Economic Development, Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, and Prince William County Department of Economic Development – presents a collaborative report on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority business owners in the region.

Northern Virginia is home to 128,000 minority-owned businesses, representing the community’s diverse fabric and entrepreneurship. "Supporting Northern Virginia’s minority-owned businesses" highlights these establishments and observes how they were impacted by the pandemic. The findings reveal the greater extent to which minority-owned businesses suffered. Minority-owned businesses’ size, access to capital, and concentration in certain industries have placed them at increased risk during the past year.

In response to these results, the group makes recommendations to aid minority-owned businesses through recovery from the challenges of the pandemic. However, they also promote steady support in the future for minority business owners beyond the pandemic and in preparation for another potential economic downturn. To do so, the report discusses the need for regular data collection, attention to small minority-owned businesses with risk factors, access to capital for minority business owners, and other solutions.

The report recognizes the vulnerabilities that minority business owners face and poses considerations to address them. 

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission has published an online dashboard with the data included in the report that will be updated on a quarterly basis.