TABLE 9–1 Percentage of Minority Self-Employment in Various Industries, by Industry Group, 1960 and 1980

Industry

1960

1980

Percent Change

Construction

16.7

16.5

–1.2

Manufacturing

4.1

6.0

46.3

Transportation, communication, and utilities

3.9

6.0

53.8

Wholesale

1.7

3.6

111.8

Retail

25.4

25.4

0.0

Finance, insurance, and real estate

1.4

4.0

185.7

Business services

2.4

6.6

175.0

Repair services

5.2

6.9

32.7

Personal services

28.9

14.7

–49.1

Other services

10.3

10.3

0.0

Total

100.0

100.0

 

SOURCE: Bates (1987). Reprinted by permission.

out as the new generation of Black business owners emerged—younger, better educated, and with more managerial and supervisory experience. And these new owners relied, to a great extent, on public-sector markets. For the first time, a significant number of Black businesses emerged in large-scale, public-works construction contracting and subcontracting, architectural and engineering services, management and consulting services, data processing, computer sales and services, public relations, and other industries closely tied to public-sector procurement opportunities. These opportunities, in turn, expanded the diversification, revenue sources, and employment capacity of Black-owned businesses.

By the 1980s, obtaining public-sector contracting and procurement was a fundamental business strategy for a significant portion of successful minority business owners, because public-sector affirmative-action programs afforded minority entrepreneurs substantial growth and revenue opportunities. In 1987, Black-owned firms with revenues of $1,000,000 or more earned 12.8 percent of their gross revenue from the public sector, while nonminority male-owned businesses of a similar size earned only 6.1 percent of their revenue from such sources (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1991:204); for firms with revenues between $500,000 and $999,999, percentages of revenue from the public sector were 9.3 percent for Black-owned and 5 percent for nonminority male-owned businesses.

In 1995, I mailed a survey to 1,412 businesses owned by ethnic minorities and White women located in the Atlanta metropolitan area to



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