by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia
Forbes Magazine named Baltimore the second best American city for minority entrepreneurs last week. Atlanta was named first, and Washington, DC came in at eighth according to the magazine’s rankings. The article ranked 52 American cities.
“I am glad to see that Baltimore is touted as a success story because a lot of work has gone into it. I think one of the key reasons Baltimore is ranked high is because since the Kurt Schmoke administration, there has been a heavy push and emphasis on small minority owned business,” Joseph Haskins, CEO and President of the Harbor Bank in Baltimore said.
Haskins, a small and minority business owner himself, said that the Harbor Bank was formed as a minority institute with the focus on bringing access to support existing small and minority owned business, and to act as a catalyst for those businesses that are just beginning.
“That push to expand programs that promote and develop small and minority owned businesses has continued through the years. We believe it is vital to the economy – it is actually proven that more jobs are created by smaller business than larger business. Baltimore has a diverse population – Italian, Asian, Hispanic, African American – and it gives us an opportunity to create an avenue of success for many,” he said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Maryland second in the nation of States with the largest percentage of black-owned businesses, with the District of Columbia ranking first. The U.S. Census also reported earlier this year that Maryland’s Hispanic or Latino population jumped 106.5 percent to 8.2 percent in the last decade, and the State’s black population grew 15.1 percent to 29.4 percent.
According to Forbes, the rankings were based on calculations that included, “52 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), including a core city and its suburbs, with 1 million-plus populations. For each ethnicity (African Americans, Asians and Hispanics), we measured housing affordability (median value divided by household income), population growth (2000–09), income growth (1999–2009) and entrepreneurship (per capita self-employment). Each ethnicity received a rank, with entrepreneurship weighted one-half and the other half split evenly among the other variables. Those scores were then averaged to calculate overall city rankings.”