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New statistics show effect of enterprises

CANASTOTA, N.Y. ñ New statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Minority Business Development Agency on June 20 showed that American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms generated nearly $27 billion in revenue and employed 191,270 people in 2002.

ìTodayís news from the Census provides us with a snapshot of how American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses are faring, and the news is encouraging,î said Ronald Langston, national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, during a telephone press conference. ìFirms owned by American Indian and Alaska Natives represented almost 1 percent of all U.S. firms, which was close to their 2002 population percentage of 1.4 percent.î

The Survey of Business Owners, formerly known as the Surveys of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, provided the statistics, which describe the composition of U.S. businesses by gender, Hispanic or Latino origin, and race.

The reportís statistics exclude businesses owned by American Indian tribal entities, which are considered to be government-owned entities. An American Indian-owned business is defined as a firm in which American Indians own 51 percent or more of the stock, equity or interest of the business, said Valerie Strang, Census Bureau survey statistician.

As tribally owned businesses were included in the 1997 survey, prior data cannot be compared to the newly released statistics. The 2002 survey results will serve as a benchmark for any future surveys.

For 2002, the Census reported that there were 3,631 American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more. California accounted for 19 percent of total American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, followed by Oklahoma with 8.5 percent and Texas with 8 percent.

Peter Homer, president and CEO of the National Indian Business Association, said he was satisfied with the statistics and credited the success of businesses on the success of gaming within some tribes.

ìGaming has played a big infusion in creating new businesses because tribes are using gaming profits to put Ö their tribal members in businesses that have the capacity to go into business,î Homer said. ìIn that way they feel, that only in that way, a total economic base will be created on those Indian reservations by their own people creating convenience stores and cleaners and Laundromats and those kinds of businesses.î

Homer said the total number of businesses is increasing very slowly on Indian reservations. He said tribes are helping to speed up the process by putting profits that they make in their other businesses, such as gaming, into new business ventures.

ìIt is very important to the increase those tribal reservation businesses because they need the jobs,î he said.

Homer said that many gaming tribes are trying to build sustainable business environments because they feel that gaming is not going to last forever.

ìThere is going to be an infusion or even state governments will get involved in gaming later on, they [the tribes] feel, so theyíre putting a lot of the profits in small manufacturing development on their reservations,î he said.

Strang said the construction industry accounted for the largest number of firms.

ìNearly three in 10 of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms in 2002 operated in construction and other services, such as personal services and repair and maintenance,î she said. ìSpecifically, the number of construction firms was 32,253 and other services, 26,651. The construction and retail trade industries generated the most revenue, over $11 billion, accounting for 41 percent of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned business revenue.î

Homer said the National Indian Business Association wants to work with tribes to continue to increase businesses.

ìWe look at this report and weíve studied it, and over the past four years itís been sort of status quo,î he said. ìWe havenít really jumped out since the last report, so weíre looking at getting the word out to help the businesses through not only providing the training and technical assistance, but also to create software Ö that will be able to help Indian businesses receive contracts and subcontracts.î

For the full report, visit www.census.gov.

CANASTOTA, N.Y. ñ New statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Minority Business Development Agency on June 20 showed that American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms generated nearly $27 billion in revenue and employed 191,270 people in 2002.ìTodayís news from the Census provides us with a snapshot of how American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses are faring, and the news is encouraging,î said Ronald Langston, national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, during a telephone press conference. ìFirms owned by American Indian and Alaska Natives represented almost 1 percent of all U.S. firms, which was close to their 2002 population percentage of 1.4 percent.îThe Survey of Business Owners, formerly known as the Surveys of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, provided the statistics, which describe the composition of U.S. businesses by gender, Hispanic or Latino origin, and race.The reportís statistics exclude businesses owned by American Indian tribal entities, which are considered to be government-owned entities. An American Indian-owned business is defined as a firm in which American Indians own 51 percent or more of the stock, equity or interest of the business, said Valerie Strang, Census Bureau survey statistician.As tribally owned businesses were included in the 1997 survey, prior data cannot be compared to the newly released statistics. The 2002 survey results will serve as a benchmark for any future surveys.For 2002, the Census reported that there were 3,631 American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more. California accounted for 19 percent of total American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, followed by Oklahoma with 8.5 percent and Texas with 8 percent. Peter Homer, president and CEO of the National Indian Business Association, said he was satisfied with the statistics and credited the success of businesses on the success of gaming within some tribes.ìGaming has played a big infusion in creating new businesses because tribes are using gaming profits to put Ö their tribal members in businesses that have the capacity to go into business,î Homer said. ìIn that way they feel, that only in that way, a total economic base will be created on those Indian reservations by their own people creating convenience stores and cleaners and Laundromats and those kinds of businesses.îHomer said the total number of businesses is increasing very slowly on Indian reservations. He said tribes are helping to speed up the process by putting profits that they make in their other businesses, such as gaming, into new business ventures.ìIt is very important to the increase those tribal reservation businesses because they need the jobs,î he said.Homer said that many gaming tribes are trying to build sustainable business environments because they feel that gaming is not going to last forever.ìThere is going to be an infusion or even state governments will get involved in gaming later on, they [the tribes] feel, so theyíre putting a lot of the profits in small manufacturing development on their reservations,î he said.Strang said the construction industry accounted for the largest number of firms. ìNearly three in 10 of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms in 2002 operated in construction and other services, such as personal services and repair and maintenance,î she said. ìSpecifically, the number of construction firms was 32,253 and other services, 26,651. The construction and retail trade industries generated the most revenue, over $11 billion, accounting for 41 percent of all American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned business revenue.îHomer said the National Indian Business Association wants to work with tribes to continue to increase businesses.ìWe look at this report and weíve studied it, and over the past four years itís been sort of status quo,î he said. ìWe havenít really jumped out since the last report, so weíre looking at getting the word out to help the businesses through not only providing the training and technical assistance, but also to create software Ö that will be able to help Indian businesses receive contracts and subcontracts.îFor the full report, visit www.census.gov.