Asian Owned Small Businesses: Industry and Revenue in 2011

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This is Part 1 of a two-part article on Asian-owned small businesses in America. Part 1 examines the industry distribution and annual sales of Asian businesses in 2011. Part 2 will discuss the regional distribution, employment size and years of operation of Asian-owned businesses.

The Gazelle Index was created because little or no current information is available on minority-owned businesses. The latest government survey was conducted in 2007. While that information is based on a census of all small businesses, it is very outdated.

The Gazelle Index is the first ever national quarterly survey of the outlook and hiring plans of minority, women and non-minority small-business owners. The responses of business owners were broken down by blacks, Latinos, women and non-minorities. Future surveys will include Asian Americans.

The survey is based on 631 responses from randomly selected CEOs who operated businesses with 10 to 100 employees. The results have a margin of error of + or -5% for each race and gender group.

Minority business owners comprised 55.6% of respondents, women made up 38.7%; blacks accounted for 33.6% and Latinos made up 19.8%.

This report provides a national profile of Asian owned small businesses with 10 to 100 employees. It is based on a random sample of 277 businesses.

Government Survey of Business Owners

The Census Bureau’s survey of minority-owned businesses indicated that between 1982 — 2007, businesses owned by African Americans increased from 308,260 to 1.9 million or by 523%.  The growth in the number of Asian-owned businesses was slightly greater than was the growth of African American-owned businesses; they increased from 241,806 to 1.6 million, or by 545%.

Latino-owned businesses grew fastest among all minority groups (except for Native Americans) – from 284,011 in 1982 to 2.3 million in 2007, or by 696%. Woman-owned businesses also increased significantly, but lagged behind the increase in minority-owned businesses; they grew from 2.6 million to 7.8 million or by 198%. Minority-owned companies employed 6% of the US workforce in 2007.

Gazelle Index Survey

The Gazelle Index national survey found that minority employees made up a very large percentage of the workforce in minority-owned businesses.  For example, black employees made up two-thirds of the workforce in black-owned businesses.

Minority-owned firms are growing rapidly and are an increasing share of all small businesses (they now account for 21% of the nation’s 27 million small businesses). Given the high rate of unemployment within some minority populations, government policies designed to increase the growth and performance of minority-owned businesses are likely to have significant impact on lowering joblessness.

Industry Distribution

The Gazelle Index created a national random sample of 277 Asian-owned small businesses with employment sizes between 10 to 100 workers. The industry having the highest concentration of Asian businesses was food, entertainment and hospitality services, which consisted of 27.4% of all Asian businesses.

The industry with the second largest concentration was wholesale trades, 13.4%; this was followed respectively by manufacturing, 11.9%; retail trades 8.7%; finance, insurance and real estate, 5.4%; professional and technical services, 5.1%; information services 5.1%; business services, 5.1%.

The smallest industry concentration for Asian firms was construction, which accounted for only 2.2% of all businesses.

Annual Revenue

The average revenue of Asian-owned businesses was $3.6 million in 2011. The industry with the largest annual revenue was retail trades, $11.6 million; followed respectively by wholesale trades, $8.4 million; finance, insurance and real estate, $5.1 million; manufacturing, $4.1 million; information services, $2.7 million. The industry with the lowest annual revenue was food, entertainment and hospitality services, $622,159.

Note: The 17 page report entitled, Economic Outlook for Minorities, Women and Non-minority Businesses in 2012 is currently available. Copies are free of charge. Simply register on this web site to get access to your free copy. A summary of the report is also available. Read More.

Last modified: June 14, 2012

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