Feb 18, 2024 - News

The state of Denver's Black-owned businesses

Illustration of a Black woman's hands holding the city of Denver.

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Denver's Black-owned businesses are growing — from decades-old family-run restaurants to trendy teahouses, bakeries and breweries.

Yes, but: The estimated 1,052 in the metro account for just 1.5% of all businesses in the area, a Brookings Institute study shows.

  • If those companies were on par with the metro's Black population, that figure would rise to 7.1%, or 4,205 more businesses.

Zoom in: That's where Denver Black Pages' "Little Black Book" comes in.

  • Founder Carla Ladd created a resource to empower her community and boost exposure by creating a go-to directory.
  • The 2024 directory was released Friday and has grown to well over 500 businesses, Ladd tells us.

Of note: Some of this year's additions she's most excited about include Mississippi Boy Catfish & Ribs, IDEA Stages and Beyond Elegance Events.

The big picture: Black-owned businesses in Denver and across the country are still working to rebound after the pandemic, during which they were hit disproportionately harder than their white counterparts.

The latest: Two local restaurants — Da Sauce in Denver and Pho King Wing in Colorado Springs — were named among Yelp's Top 25 "hot and new" Black-owned restaurants in 2024.

Go deeper: How to support Denver's African American-owned businesses

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