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Christopher Scoville
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DURHAM, N.C. – It’s not all bad news for minority-owned businesses that endured the economic downturn and recession, which peaked during 2008, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. A 2012 national survey of small business owners indicates positive growth for minority firms since 2007. Analysis by The Institute shows that African American-owned firms expanded their employee numbers at a higher rate than that of white employer firms; with white firms adding employees at a rate of 1.7 percent and black firms adding employees by 9 percent over the same period from 2007 to 2012.

Andrea Harris, the Institute’s Policy Center director said, “The numbers confirm that minority businesses across the state largely weathered the fallout of the 2008 recession, and our experience at the Institute confirms this trend. We cannot discount or undervalue the contributions of minority business enterprises based on this data.”

A 2011 study by the Kauffman Foundation on entrepreneurial activity tells a similar story. Minority entrepreneurs (including African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos) accounted for 24 percent of all new entrepreneurs in 1996, but their share had risen to 40 percent by 2010. Timothy Bates, professor emeritus of economics at Wayne State University—and special consultant to The Institute—said, “This information bodes well for minority businesses and the potential for building wealth in diverse communities. The U.S. Census data underscores the significant contribution of minority businesses to the national economy and highlights their positive impact toward job creation.” The census statistics represent a national survey; however, data for individual states will be available in December 2015 at

The Institute is a nonprofit management consulting firm focused on business diversity, providing customized one-on-one assistance, training and business solutions to create globally competitive companies. For more than 30 years, the Institute has been the voice and advocate for economic development within the minority business community across the state of North Carolina. For more information, visit