This is Good News

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Apr 18, 2006 10:39 AM

The implications of this are worth pondering:

Black Americans are becoming entrepreneurs at a rapidly increasing rate and Pittsburgh is following the trend, a new report issued by the Census Bureau suggests.

The report, "Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Firms: 2002," says that between 1997 and 2002, the number of black-owned businesses in the United States rose 45 percent to 1.2 million, while the combined revenue increased 25 percent to $88.8 billion.

"It's encouraging to see not just the number but the sales and receipts of black-owned businesses are growing at such a robust rate, confirming that these firms are among the fastest growing segments of our economy," said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon.

I wonder how many of those small businesses file as individuals instead of corporations. Many small businesses that file taxes as individuals benefited from the Bush tax cuts, but don't fit the picture the Left likes to paint of the evil "top 1 percent."

This seems to be some of the "official" evidence this uncharacteristically optimistic NTY article ($) was missing, back in 2003:

THERE is little official evidence to go by, but the anecdotes are pouring in: across the country, more young black professionals are stepping off the corporate ladder to become entrepreneurs. Joining a big company used to be perceived as the surest route to material success by many black professionals, but lately, owning a business has become as attractive, or more so...

One factor supporting that change is increasing education. Starting a business is ''just a natural extension of the career trajectory from getting a degree -- a law degree, an M.B.A., whatever,'' said Timothy Bates, a professor of urban and labor studies and economics at Wayne State University in Detroit, who has studied black entrepreneurship for more than three decades.

Education has also improved access to capital, long an obstacle for black entrepreneurs. Traditionally, they obtained financing from family, friends and local banks on the strength of their reputations, said Steven S. Rogers, a professor of entrepreneurship at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. But not anymore.

''What we're starting to see are more and more African-American entrepreneurs who have M.B.A.'s,'' Professor Rogers said. ''Now, you're seeing a new generation of African-American entrepreneurs who are looking to access capital from all the available resources.''

Interesting, particularly when coupled with the news that the Bush-Cheney ticket doubled its black support between 2000 and 2004, and the fact that young blacks are increasingly less tied to the Democratic Party. Of course, the Republican Party has to, you know, take advantage of these kinds of shifts.