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WASHINGTON – Women and minority groups are becoming business owners much faster than the national average, according to the U. S. Census Bureau. From a just-released report, Preliminary Estimates of Business Ownership by Gender, Hispanic or Latino Origin, and Race: 2002 Survey of Business Owners, the number of all U.S. businesses increased by 10% between 1997 and 2002 to 23 million. There were 1.2 million African-American-owned businesses in 2002, up 45% from 1997. Their receipts were $92.7 billion, up 30% from 1997. For the same period, there were 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses, up 31% from 1997 with receipts totaling $226.5 billion, a 22% increase from 1997. Native Hawaiian- and other Pacific islander-owned businesses grew 67% between 1997 and 2002 while women-owned business grew 20%. There were 206,125 American Indian- and Alaska native-owned businesses in 2002, with receipts of $26.4 billion. In the 2002 survey, businesses were asked to report ownership by an American Indian tribal entity. These businesses are considered to be government-owned entities and are therefore excluded from the estimates of American Indian- and Alaska native-owned businesses. This distinction was not made in the 1997 survey, so prior data are not directly comparable. The full report can be found at http://www.census. gov/csd/sbo/.

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