Number of Black-Owned Businesses Increased by 61%

Economic parity remains elusive, but future is bright

Frank Kendrick, co-founder of NuJak Cos., is one of Florida's many black business owners.

The number of black-owned businesses increased by almost 61% between 2002 and 2007, according to a report released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

The “2007 Economic Census Survey of Business Owners” found that as of 2007, 1.9 million black businesses accounted for 7.1% of the nation’s businesses, 0.8% of total employees and about 0.5% of total receipts. A summary of the findings for black businesses can be found here.

“It is encouraging that the minority business community is growing and making progress relative to all U.S. firms, but economic parity remains elusive,” said MBDA’s National Director David A. Hinson. “While the number of minority-owned businesses continues to grow, they are still smaller in size and scale compared to non-minority-owned firms.”

He attributes the disparity in large part to inadequate access to capital.

Moving forward, Hinson added, MBDA will increase its focus on helping minority firms gain access to capital, contracts and new markets. He urged these businesses to take advantage of global opportunities to export their products and services and to grow their businesses in nontraditional ways, such as mergers, joint ventures and strategic partnerships. In addition, the agency will have a specific focus on getting minority firms involved in high growth industries, such as renewable energy and healthcare technology.

Overall, the number of minority-owned businesses increased by 46% to 5.8 million between 2002 and 2007, more than twice the national rate of all U.S. businesses, according to the Census Bureau.

Of the nation’s black-owned businesses, there were 106,779 employer firms, which employed 920,198 people with a total payroll of $23.9 billion and $98.9 billion in receipts. These statistics represent an increase of 22%, 36.2%, and 50%, respectively, from 2002.

Nonemployer firms, in which the entrepreneur is the only paid employee, numbered 1.8 million. They generated $38.6 billion in receipts, which was an increase of 69.0% from 2002. In addition, they accounted for 94.4% of the total number of black firms.

Total receipts of black-owned businesses totaled $137.4 billion, up 55% from 2002, compared with receipts of all U.S. businesses rising by 34% to $30.2 trillion.

The greatest number of black businesses (37.6%) operated in the healthcare and social assistance industries and in the repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services. Retail trade and healthcare and social assistance accounted for 27.5% of revenues earned by black-owned businesses. Gross receipts averaged $21,270

“The future is bright,” Hinson said. “MBDA is committed to making sure the growth and competitiveness of minority owned businesses continues, that we move toward economic parity and that the efforts of growing the minority business community become a national priority.”

The survey, which also examined other minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses, is conducted every five years and is used by federal agencies such as the Small Business Administration, the Department of Commerce, and state and local economic development organizations to track trends and develop strategies to help these businesses grow.

Top five states with the most black-owned firms:
New York: 204,093
Georgia: 183,876
Florida: 181,469
Texas: 154,255
California: 137,875

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