Companies, big and small are on the list, which ranks America’s 100 largest black-owned industrial/service companies, 60 automobile dealers, as well as the top advertising agencies, banks, asset managers, investment banks and private equity firms.
Black businesses have grown over the years, as evidenced by the list. The first time Black Enterprise compiled its “Top 100” in 1973, the combined sales for the 100 component companies totaled $473 million. The top 100 African American industrial/service companies grossed more than $19.1 billion in 2012 and employed 53,866 people in 2012.
“Our report on the largest African American-owned businesses in the U.S. highlights the achievements of intrepid entrepreneurs at the helms of top-flight organizations, while providing the most significant barometer of the progress of African Americans as business leaders and producers, not just consumers and laborers, in the global economy,” said Black Enterprise Senior VP/Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle in a press statement.
There have been some struggles, however, especially in the automotive industry. According to the list, the 60 largest black-owned auto dealers generated an additional $7.2 billion in revenues and employed 8,415 people in 2012. “However, despite the rebound of the domestic auto industry, the number of black-owned auto dealerships has yet to return to the levels prior to the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, when Black Enterprise ranked the top 100 largest dealerships,” according to a press release.
“The comeback of the American auto industry is a healthy and welcome development for our nation’s economy,” said Black Enterprise Chairman and Publisher Earl Graves Sr. “However, until the way is made clear for more African Americans to own dealerships, at least in proportion to their representation before the recession, the recovery of the auto industry is far from complete.”
Here are some highlights from the list:
Industrial/Service Company of the Year: Hightowers Petroleum, Middletown, OH; CEO, Stephen L. Hightower. Business: Petroleum Products Distribution
Auto Dealer of the Year: March Hodge Automotive Group, Tampa, FL; CEOs, Anthony March, Ernest Hodge. Business: Retail sales for automakers including Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Jaguar, Volvo, Volkswagen, Nissan, Infinity, Land Rover
Financial Services Company of the Year: Vista Equity Partners, San Francisco, CA; CEO, Robert F. Smith. Business: Private Equity (focus on technology)
Advertising Agency of the Year: Walton Isaacson, Los Angeles, CA; CEOs, Aaron Walton/Cory.