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SMALL BUSINESS | HEARD ON THE BEAT: Small Business

Study Sketches Portrait of Minority-Owned Businesses

May 12, 1999|MARLA DICKERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

America's black business owners are more likely to own a franchise or a home-based business than other entrepreneurs. Asian-owned firms employ more workers than other minority businesses. Nearly half of the nation's Latino business owners were born outside the U.S.

These are just some of the findings of the new "Minorities in Business" study put out by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. The study estimates that in 1997 there were 3.25 million minority-owned businesses in the United States, a 168% increase from 1987. Those firms generated $495 billion in revenue and employed nearly 4 million workers.

Culled from a variety of sources including the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and government and private surveys, the report sketches an interesting portrait of America's minority-owned firms and provides a contrast between African American, Asian and Latino business owners.

For example, Latinos are the dominant minority in terms of the number of enterprises, accounting for 1.4 million, or 43%, of all minority firms in 1997. Their numbers grew faster than those of any other minority group over the last 10 years, boosted by heavy immigration.

Asian businesses represented just one-third of minority-owned firms, yet they accounted for a majority of the revenue and nearly half the jobs. African Americans were more likely to start businesses out of their homes and plug away at their enterprises part time or as a second job.

To download a copy of the report, go to the Office of Advocacy's Web site at http://www.sba.gov/ADVO.

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