Latest GMI Poll Reveals African-American Business Owners are in Short Supply

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African-American Culture Study

The latest GMI Poll, powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), asked African-Americans to rank the economic strength of their community. The answer was nearly unanimous: 97% of respondents said there aren't enough African-American owned establishments to address all their shopping needs. More than two-thirds said there are very few or no African-American owned establishments close to where they live.

GMI interviewed a representative sample of 1,285 African-Americans in December 2007. The interviews were conducted online using GMI's panel and data collection software.

"The vast majority of African-Americans say they would like to shop and spend within their community, but they don't have the opportunity," says Lawrence Martin Johnson Pratt, host of the Technocolorradioshow, a technology information radio show for African-Americans in New York (90.3FM WHCR). "With the exception of black barbershops/hair salons, a smattering of black bookstores, and a few restaurants, the marketplace is devoid of African-American owned establishments. This data reinforces what most African-Americans have already suspected, that there is an enormous opportunity for black businesses. The demand is there, we just need entrepreneurs to help with the supply."

Survey data shows that money flowing into the African-American community is quite low. After paying for housing, 70% of African-American respondents spend less than 20% of their income at African-American owned establishments. Half spend less than 10% of their income at African-American owned shops.

Even though most African-American respondents admit they shop where it is convenient, 72% indicated they would still like to shop at African-American owned establishments. We asked respondents if they could get all their shopping done at African-American businesses:

  •     3% said there are enough African-American owned establishments close by to finish all their shopping.
  •     11% said there are a lot of African-American owned shops, but not enough to finish all their shopping.
  •     19% said there are some African-American owned shops.
  •     48% said there are very few African-American owned shops.
  •     19% said there are no establishments owned by African-Americans close to them.

The data on the economic strength of the African-American community was part of The African-American Culture Study, which examined the following additional topics:

  •     The items most important to African-American social status
  •     Interracial relationships
  •     African-American reading habits and opinions on the publishing industry
  •     Condoleezza Rice and her perceived role in the African-American community

Full results for the African-American Culture Study can be found on

In December 2007, the African-American Culture Study polled 1,285 African-Americans from GMI's proprietary panel. Interviews were conducted online using GMI's data collection platform. The representative sample of African-Americans from whom GMI collected these data was based on the 2003 and 2004 census data detailing the demographic breakdown of the African-American population across the U.S. The census data was then used to create quota cells in age, gender and region. The final data was weighted to equalize the female to male ratio, since more females completed the survey than males in a ratio of 3-2. For further information about the African-American Culture Study methodology, please contact GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) at

About GMI
GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) is a leading provider of integrated solutions for global market intelligence for market research firms and Global 2,000 companies. Solutions include market research software, desktop analysis tools, 24x7x365 service bureau, and one of the world's largest, highly profiled, double opted-in managed panels, providing reach to millions of consumers in more than 200 countries and territories. Founded in 1999 with world headquarters in Seattle, Wash., GMI has operations on five continents. In 2007, the company ranked #229 in Inc. Magazine's Inc. 500 and #7 in Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 for Washington State. For more information, please visit us online at or email us at info(AT)


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Jensen Gadley
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