A census report says the number of minority-owned businesses increased by more than 45 percent between 2002 and 2007, with a total of 5.8 million.
That rate is more than twice the national average of all U.S. businesses, according to a statement from the census bureau, which increased by 18 percent to 27.1 million.
Black-owned businesses increased by 60.5 percent alone, while Hispanic-owned businesses increased by 43.6 percent. Receipts of minority-owned businesses rose 55.6 percent to $1 trillion between 2002 and 2007.
Women-owned businesses increased by 20 percent, up from 1.3 million to 7.8 million.
But while the statistics may be welcome news, they do not reflect the impact of the recession.
An L.A. Times article earlier this month noted that small businesses, usually the first to resume rehiring in an economic slump, have been sluggish to recover.
“Small businesses are not hiring, and until then, we will not have a strong, sufficient recovery,” Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., a member of the House Committee on Small Business, told the newspaper. “I think this is why the economic recovery is moving very slowly.”
Some experts told the Washington Post that small businesses have been devastated in the past three years and their numbers are diminished, though the exact figures are not yet available from the census.
Still, Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, found the growth encouraging.
The Post noted when the organization started in the 1990s, 300,000 black firms were doing $30 billion in business a year. The latest figures show 1.9 million firms with $137 billion in sales.
“The growth is phenomenal,” he said.