1992 Survey of Business Owners Press Releases
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**REVISED** EMBARGOED UNTIL: DEC. 12, 1995 (TUESDAY)
Public Information Office CB95-219
BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS FIRMS UP 46 PERCENT OVER FIVE YEARS,
CENSUS BUREAU SURVEY SHOWS
EMBARGOED UNTIL: DEC. 12, 1995 (TUESDAY) - The number of
African American-owned businesses in the United States increased
46 percent from 424,165 to 620,912 between 1987 and 1992,
according to a new Commerce Department's Census Bureau report
entitled "1992 Black-Owned Businesses" (MB92-1), that will be
published later this year. Receipts for these firms increased by
63 percent during the five-year span, from $19.8 billion to
$32.2 billion. The report does not include C corporations.
(A C corporation is any incorporated business other than a
subchapter S corporation.)
The District of Columbia had the largest percentage of
African American-owned firms, followed by Maryland and
Two-thirds of African American businesses operated as a
service or retail trade business in 1992.
Receipts per firm averaged $52,000 for African
American-owned firms, compared with $193,000 for all U.S. firms.
Fifty-six percent of African American firms had receipts under
$10,000; little more than 3,000 firms had sales of $1 million or
The survey also shows that the 10 percent of African
American-owned firms which had paid employees, accounted for
70 percent of the gross receipts of African American firms. Of
these firms, 342 had 100 or more employees and accounted for
$6 billion in receipts.
Approximately 94 percent of African American firms were sole
proprietorships in 1992. Partnerships and subchapter S
corporations comprised 2 and 4 percent respectively. (A sole
proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned by an
individual; a partnership is an unincorporated business owned by
two or more persons; a subchapter S corporation is an
incorporated business with 35 or fewer stockholders.)
The total number of all the nation's firms increased
26 percent from 13.7 million in 1987 to 17.3 million in 1992.
Receipts for these same businesses grew 67 percent, from
$2 trillion to $3 trillion.
The report contains information on the number of firms,
receipts, number of paid employees, and annual payroll. These
data are presented by geographic area (the nation, states, and
selected metropolitan areas, counties, and cities), industry,
size of firm, and legal form of organization with comparative
1992 data for all U.S. firms.
The data in this report were collected as part of the
1992 Economic Census from a large sample of all non-farm
businesses filing tax forms as sole proprietorships,
partnerships, or subchapter S corporations (corporations other
than subchapter S were excluded), and with receipts of $500 or
more in 1992.
The information was collected from a sample survey, and is
therefore subject to sampling variability as well as reporting
and coverage errors. Comparisons to 1987 should be done with
extreme caution because changes in tax laws cause inconsistencies
between the 1987 and 1992 data. Changes in survey methodology
may also contribute to the differences.
Editor's note: media representatives may obtain reproduced
excerpts from the forthcoming "1992 Black-Owned Businesses"
(MB92-1), from the Census Bureau's Public Information Office on
301-457-3030; fax: 301-457-3670; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-media requests should go to the bureau's minority- and
women-owned business information staff on 301-763-5726. A notice
will be issued when printed copies of the report are available.