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Minority-owned firms are powering business growth in the US

Omar Martinez, left, with his father, Jose Guadalupe pose in 2013 at their family-owned Miravalle Foods spices and herbs business in El Monte, California.
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
The not-so-secret ingredient.
By Melvin Backman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Non-white businesses are turning into a major growth engine for the US.

Minority-owned firms in the US outgrew their white peers by leaps and bounds between 2007 and 2012, according to the Minority Business Development Agency’s review of preliminary results from the Survey of Business Owners.

It’s still a very long way from any sort of parity, the Commerce Department agency found. The vast majority of businesses were still white-owned in 2012. And those firms made more money and employed more people than all other racial and ethnic groups combined.

Minority-owned businesses tend to be much smaller as they grow in number. As the MBDA points out:

Minority-owned firms’ receipts averaged $196,000 in 2012, compared to $650,000 in nonminority-owned firms. The 8.0 million MBEs represented 29 percent of all U.S. businesses in 2012, up from 21 percent in 2007, but still low relative to the size of the growing minority population in the United States.

The growth of minority-owned businesses still faces many obstacles. Black families, for example, invest their money more conservatively, preferring steadier assets than owning a business. In addition, black businesses tend to have a harder time getting startup money (paywall).

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