U.S. Department of Commerce

Newsroom

Skip top of page navigation

2002 American Indian- and Alaska Native-Owned Firms News Conference

June 20, 2006
Remarks of Valerie Strang
Project Manager, 2002 Survey of Business Owners

Good morning.

Today, we release new statistics from the Census Bureau’s 2002 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) on American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses. These data, combined with our recent releases on women-owned, Hispanic-owned, Black-owned, and Asian-owned businesses, and the upcoming release on Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses on June 28, illustrate the growing diversity of our Nation’s economy.

This fall, we will release the gender estimates for each minority group in the Company Summary report and, in two separate reports, the first information in more than a decade on the characteristics of businesses and business owners. Information will be provided on home-based, family-owned, and franchised businesses as well as information about the age, hours worked, educational attainment, and veteran status of business owners.

Before I jump right into the highlights for the American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, there are six things that you need to know about the 2002 Survey of Business Owners.

  • First, we changed the name from the Surveys of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (SMOBE/SWOBE) to the Survey of Business Owners (SBO).
  • Second, the data in this report were collected as part of the 2002 Economic Census from a large sample of all individual proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations with receipts of $1,000 or more.
  • Third, the 2002 SBO uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) rather than the old, antiquated Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC) used in prior surveys. The 2002 reports show data on 19 NAICS sectors compared to only 8 under the old SIC system.
  • Fourth, the 2002 SBO uses the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards for reporting race and Hispanic or Latino origin. These standards allowed respondents the option of selecting one or more racial designations. Since the 2002 SBO permitted business owners to identify themselves as belonging to more than one race, an individual business could be tabulated in more than one racial group. Because of multiple-race reporting, we will not be issuing a 2002 report showing total minority ownership.
  • Fifth, the 2002 SBO marks the first time that detailed information on the characteristics of both the businesses and the business owners was collected from all 2.5 million sampled businesses. For calendar year 1992, we collected more limited characteristics information in a separate survey but from a much smaller sample of only 125,000 businesses.
  • And sixth, in an effort to produce more timely information from the 2002 SBO, we issued an Advance Report on Characteristics of Employer Business Owners in February 2005, followed by the Preliminary Estimates of Business Ownership by Gender, Hispanic orLatino Origin, and Race in July 2005.

Now let’s talk about why we are really here today – the release of the new statistics on American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses.

ALL AMERICAN INDIAN- AND ALASKA NATIVE-OWNED FIRMS (FIRMS WITH AND WITHOUT PAID EMPLOYEES)

The 2002 Survey of Business Owners defines American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses as firms in which American Indians and Alaska Natives own 51 percent or more of the stock, equity, or interest of the business. Firms that reported ownership by an American Indian tribal entity are considered to be government-owned entities, and are therefore excluded from the estimates of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms. Since this distinction was not made in the 1997 survey, direct data comparisons cannot be made between the 2002 SBO and its previous survey.

In 2002, there were nearly 201,400 American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms operating in the U.S., employing about 191,300 people and generating $26.9 billion in revenues. American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms accounted for 0.9 percent of the nation’s 23 million nonfarm businesses, almost 0.2 percent of all employees, and more than 0.1 percent of the $22.6 trillion in receipts for all U.S. firms.

FIRMS WITH PAID EMPLOYEES

Twelve percent (24,500) of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms operated as employer businesses in 2002 and generated receipts of nearly $22.0 billion.

The revenues for the employer firms accounted for 81.8 percent of the total receipts for all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms.

The average receipts for these employer firms were $897,489.

These 24,500 firms employed more than 191,300 workers. Firms with 100 or more workers numbered 178 with revenues of more than $5.3 billion. The majority of these businesses were operating in administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (53 firms); health care and social assistance (27 firms); and manufacturing (25 firms).

There were 23 firms that employed 500 or more workers in 2002, and generated more than $2.4 billion in business revenues.

FIRMS WITH NO PAID EMPLOYEES

Eighty-eight percent (176,889) of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses in 2002 operated without paid employees and took in receipts of $4.9 billion. Average receipts of these businesses were $27,623 per firm.

KIND OF BUSINESS

Nearly 3-in-10 of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms in 2002 operated in construction (32,253), and other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance (26,651).

The construction and retail trade industries generated the most revenue—over $11.0 billion, accounting for 41 percent of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned business revenue.

The industries accounting for the largest share of receipts for employer firms included construction ($4.9 billion); retail trade ($4.4 billion); manufacturing ($3.0 billion); and wholesale trade ($2.0 billion).

The industries accounting for the largest share of the revenue for non-employer firms included construction ($1.2 billion); retail trade ($585.2 million); professional, scientific, and technical services ($520.7 million); other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance ($488.2 million); and transportation and warehousing ($441.1 million).

Looking at the geographic characteristics of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms …

STATES

Five states, California, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, and Florida, accounted for 45.9 percent or 92,507 American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms in 2002. These same five states accounted for 40.5 percent or $10.9 billion of all the business revenues.

*States With the Largest Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native- (AIAN) Owned Firms Compared to All Firms: 2002

State AIAN-owned firms
(number)
Percent of total AIAN-owned firms All firms
(number)
AIAN as a percent of all firms AIAN-owned
firms' receipts
(million dollars)
Percent of total AIAN-owned firms receipts All firms' receipts
(million dollars)
AIAN as a percent of all firms' receipts
U.S. total 201,387 (X) 22,974,685 0.9 26,873 (X) 22,627,167 0.1
California 38,125 18.9 2,908,761 1.3 3,876 14.4 2,796,609 0.1
Oklahoma 17,097 8.5 291,611 5.9 2,518 9.4 197,347 1.3
Texas 16,204 8.0 1,734,517 0.9 3,138 11.7 1,812,465 0.2
New York 11,158 5.5 1,707,172 0.7 710 2.6 1,737,979 0.0
Florida 9,923 4.9 1,539,208 0.6 641 2.4 1,075,806 0.1

* Excludes tribal-owned entities

COUNTIES

Los Angeles County, Calif., had the highest number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms (13,061) in 2002.

PLACES

New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; and Gallup, NM had the highest number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms in 2002. Together they accounted for 7.7 percent or 15,543 of the total number of firms and $609 million dollars or 2.3 percent of all the business revenue.

*Cities With the Largest Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-Owned Firms Compared to American Indian- and Alaska Native-Owned Firms in the State: 2002

City AIAN-owned firms State AIAN-owned firms Percent city to stat
Firms
(number)
Receipts
(million dollars)
Firms
(number)
Receipts
(million dollars)
Firms Receipts
New York 7,134 274 N.Y. 11,158 710 64 39
Los Angeles 5,767 284 Calif. 38,125 3,876 15 7
Gallup 2,642 51 N.M. 6,826 455 39 11

* Excludes tribal-owned entities

RECEIPTS SIZE OF FIRM

There were over 3,631 firms with receipts of $1 million or more in 2002, of which 3,534 were employer businesses. The construction industry accounted for 1,042 of these large receipts size firms in 2002.

These large receipts size firms generated revenues of $17.2 billion, of which $17.1 billion was accounted for by employer businesses. These firms made up only 1.8 percent of the total number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms but nearly 64.2 percent of the total revenue. The industries accounting for the largest share of this revenue were construction ($4.0 billion); retail trade ($3.8 billion); manufacturing ($2.8 billion); and wholesale trade ($1.9 billion).

That concludes my remarks. Thank you.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: June 14, 2013