Minority-Owned Firms Increasing Rapidly, Per Census Results

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The U.S. Department of Commerce released the final results of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which found that business ownership in the country is mirroring its increasingly diverse population.  Minority-owned firms in the U.S. rose from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8.0 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people. While the number of minority-owned businesses increased by 2.2 million, the number of non-minority- owned businesses declined by 1.1 million over the same period.

"The Commerce Department is committed to supporting all of America's businesses, and ensuring that small and minority-owned firms in particular have the tools they need to thrive," said National Director for Minority Business Alejandra Y. Castillo. "The Department's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has been a proud and steadfast partner to our nation's 8 million minority-owned businesses, to better equip these firms to create jobs and increase revenues.

From 2007 to 2012, the percentage of minority-owned firms increased from 22 percent to 29 percent of the total number of U.S. firms. Hispanic-owned firms increased by 46.3 percent, while black owned businesses were not far behind growing by 36.8 percent over the same period. California was home to the most minority-owned firms, while Georgia led with the most black owned businesses.

"This new Census Bureau data underscores the rapid growth in minority-owned firms. Nonetheless, considerable disparities remain between their revenue and nonminority companies in our economy," said Director Castillo. "MBDA is committed to eliminating disparities in access to capital and contracts so that minority businesses may fully participate in the economy. Next year, MBDA will invest nearly $13.4 million in grants to continue to support the growth and expansion of Minority Business Enterprises (MBE)s."

Other notable highlights over the period 2007 to 2012 include:

  •  California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia remain the states with the highest numbers of minority-owned businesses
  •  California led all states with 1.6 million minority-owned firms
  • Los Angeles County led the nation in the number of hispanic-owned firms, while also ranking second in the number of black-owned firms
  • Black owned businesses in New York led the nation among metro areas, accounting for approximately 250,890 firms, while New York City led the way with the most hispanic-owned firms with 199,085
  • California led all states in the number of women-owned firms with 1.3 million


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