Prior to the Great Recession of 2007-2009, minority business ownership grew at more than twice the national average rate for all small businesses in the U.S. However, the affects of the Great Recession have hit minority businesses the hardest. So it begs the question, why does this matter and what can be done to mitigate the economic and financial damage caused by the recession?
Before we can begin to answer the questions posed by this dilemma, some hard facts need to be shared: Regionally, most Asian-owned firms were located in the West U.S.(46.6%) and the North-east U.S.(29.9%). For African American-owned firms, most are located in South U.S. (59.1%) and the Midwest U.S.(17.6%). Latino-owned firms are located mostly in the South (47.3%) and the West (38.7%). In addition, most white, female-owned firms are located in the South (37.3%) and in the West (23.7%).
These numbers alone point to the reason that it matters. These three large and under served demographic groups have the majority of their businesses in the South. In terms of economic disparity, Black and Latino unemployment rates continually and consistently run higher than the national average (13.2% for blacks; 9.0% for Latinos with the national average at 7.5%). With these high levels of unemployment, healthy Black- and Latino-owned businesses are one of the keys to the economic, and, in some cases, the social revival and well being of both communities. The Georgia SBDC is uniquely positioned to and is in the forefront in providing assistance to the minority business community in Georgia. This is a role that must be continued with a renewed sense of urgency with both energy and commitment. Since 1982, the Georgia SBDC has had a dedicated Office of Minority Business Development. OMBD, as it is commonly known, has supported and continues to support.
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