An increase in Black-owned businesses in any local area will result in a decrease of crime, according to Karen Parker, professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.
Parker is also the author of the 2013 study, The African American Entrepreneur – Crime Drop Relationship: Growing African American Business Ownership and Declining Youth Violence, and she says that when we address unemployment, poverty and joblessness in urban areas, we are also addressing the crime rate.
Is she right?
It seems so because according to the finding in her study, since 2001, Black-owned businesses have increased by 60 percent (from 1.1 million businesses to 1.9 million), and the crime rate in those areas that have high volumes of Black businesses has decreased by 29 percent. Why?
Researchers point to three primary reasons for the cause-and-affect discovery.
- Black-owned business owners serve mentors and positive role models for black youth in particular
- Black-owned businesses raise morale throughout their communities
- Black-owned businesses create more local jobs and economic opportunities for African Americans that reverse poverty
Influence is more than economic
Like other business owners, black business owners are very much involved in their communities through business and social organizations, churches and schools. They support the black community by hiring black employees, bringing jobs and infusing more money into their communities.
But it is more than that! Black-owned businesses are a powerful influence to youth and others. They demonstrate that, if they can do it in spite of huge obstacles, others can do it, too. They bring not only economic advantages, but hope.