Cities with strong diversity supplier policies, which allow easy access to business-to-business and government contracts, far and away create the best environments for Black-owned businesses to start and grow. That was the major finding in a first-of-its-kind report released recently by the National Urban League Policy Institute, the research arm of the National Urban League.

The State of Urban Business 2011: Metro Areas that Lead the Way,  crunched everything from census data to the findings of the independent Kauffman research firm to determine what conditions were best for creating a vibrant minority business environment. This analysis laid out which metropolitan areas were doing it right, and—based on the actual performance of companies in these areas—what could be used as a blueprint for other cities.

Applying the findings from this report, EBONY and the National Urban League have teamed up to delve deeper into what makes particular cities good for Black businesses. Although government programs are king, strong Black loyalty and a private sector commitment to fairness are the intangibles that separate the top cities from the rest.  

To read more, pick up the March issue of EBONY on stands now!