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Aflac x Black-owned businesses: how we can support your growth

Throughout the United States, Black-owned businesses have been growing in size and scope for years—especially among Black women. As of 2019, businesses owned by Black women represented 42% of net new women-owned businesses—three times their 14% share of the population—starting an average of 763 new businesses per day.1

Yet as much success as Black businesses have had, they still have ample room to grow. And benefits are a proven way to help businesses do so.

Black businesses are rebounding … and growing

While the pandemic took a major toll on entrepreneurship throughout the country, the toll among Black-owned businesses has been especially significant. In 2019, Black women-owned businesses alone numbered nearly 2.7 million.1 Yet by January 2021, 41% of all Black-owned businesses were closed during stay-at-home orders (compared with just 17% of white-owned businesses).2 And in the time since, Black businesses have remained the most likely to close down by a large margin.3

Despite these closures, the United States remains home to more than 2 million Black-owned businesses today. And while they collectively employ about 920,000 people,4 only 124,551 of the businesses actually serve as employers,5 with the rest of the 2 million being solo operations. But these numbers are bound to increase. A notable 55% of Black entrepreneurs want to grow their businesses as opposed to sustaining them, selling them or opening new locations. In fact, 46% plan to hire new staff.6

This is where benefits come in.

Employee benefits can help attain and retain employees

A company’s benefits options are heavily weighed by prospective and current employees alike. Benefits are so important that 61% of employees rank health benefits as one of their top three factors when looking for a new job, and 57% of employees report being somewhat likely to accept slightly lower compensation for a more robust benefits package. For employees looking to leave their current companies, 35% say improving their benefits package is the one of the most important things their employer could do to keep them in their jobs (second only to increasing their pay).7

Further, offering supplemental benefits, such as Aflac insurance policies, can help elevate a business’s status in the eyes of current and prospective employees—paving the way for Black-owned businesses to continue to grow.

Employers offer supplemental insurance to satisfy employee need, interest or demand. And it does just that. An overwhelming 70% of employees enrolled in supplemental insurance are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits packages, a difference of 28 percentage points from those who aren’t offered the plans. Additionally, 93% of employees enrolled in supplemental insurance report that these policies help protect their financial security.7

And just like other employee benefits, supplemental insurance helps employers keep and attract key talent. More specifically, while 19% say they’re unsure, 60% of employers say supplemental insurance helps them retain employees. And 50% of employers say supplemental insurance helps them recruit employees.7

This boost in recruitment and employee retention can’t be overstated. While talent can help you do a job and do it well, top talent can propel you to the point where you’re hiring for a number of other jobs, helping your small business grow faster and stand out more than you ever thought possible.

The varying costs of employee benefits

Of course, while the research heavily supports the business case for offering a range of benefits, deciding whether to offer them—and which ones to offer—often comes down to one factor: cost. That’s especially true for employee health benefits.

Among small businesses with three to 49 employees, 65% report never having offered employee health benefits. And of these employers, 65% cite cost as the primary factor.7 The average total cost for insurance benefits—including health, life and disability insurance—comes to $2.73 an hour, or $5,698 annually per employee. This is a substantial cost that not all businesses can afford.

But just because you can’t offer your employees everything doesn’t mean you can’t offer them anything. Aflac’s supplemental insurance policies can help cover dental, vision, critical illness and more, and they can be offered to employees at no direct cost to the employer. Additionally, perks such as the hybrid work flexibility that 48% of employees (and 59% of people of color) express a strong preference for9 can serve employees’ needs without a big price tag for employers.

When it comes to employee benefits, there’s no requirement on how much you have to spend. But offering what you can afford to offer can go a long way toward attracting top talent and keeping them happy. And if you can do that, your business is bound to elevate.

Want to take your small business to the next level? Contact your Aflac benefits advisor or visit Aflac.com/business.