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UW-Milwaukee - Center for Economic Development

Policy Research Report Abstract

Minority Business Ownership in Metropolitan Milwaukee in the 1990s: Some Statistical Indicators and Comparisons to the Nation's Largest Metropolitan Areas

Executive Summary

After years of bleak news on minority economic development in Milwaukee, the latest data on minority business ownership in the region offer some grounds for optimism. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census' Survey of Minority-Owned Businesses, Milwaukee ranked 13th among the nation's largest 50 metropolitan areas in the growth in the number of Black-owned businesses between 1992 and 1997. More spectacularly, during the same period Milwaukee ranked 1st among the nation's largest metropolitan areas in the growth of payroll and employment at Hispanic-owned businesses.

Nevertheless, despite these gains, Milwaukee continues to lag behind most metropolitan areas on major indicators of minority business ownership. When we control for differences in the racial composition of metropolitan areas, in 1997 Milwaukee ranked 48th among the 50 largest metropolitan areas in Black-owned firms per 1,000 Black population) and 49th among the 50 in Hispanic-owned firms per 1,000 Hispanic populations. This is only a modest improvement from 1992, when Milwaukee ranked last in both categories. Clearly, in nurturing minority business development, Milwaukee has a long way to go simply to reach the "middle of the pack" among major metropolitan areas in the United States.

Black-owned Business in Milwaukee at a glance
(Milwaukee's rank among the 50 largest metropolitan areas)

Growth in number of Black-owned firms, 1992-1997 13
Growth in Employment in Black-owned firms, 1992-1997 13
Growth in Sales & Receipts of Black-owned firms, 1992-1997     45
Black-owned firms per 1,000 Black Population, 1992 50
Growth in Annual Payroll of Black-owned firms, 1992-1997 25
Black-owned firms per 1,000 Black Population, 1997

48
Hispanic-owned Business in Milwaukee at a glance
(Milwaukee's rank among the 50 largest metropolitan areas)

Growth in number of Hispanic-owned firms, 1992-1997 28
Growth in Employment in Hispanic-owned firms, 1992-1997   1
Growth in Sales & Receipts of Hispanic-owned firms, 1992-1997   11
Hispanic-owned firms per 1,000 Hispanic Population, 1992 50
Growth in Annual Payroll of Hispanic-owned firms, 1992-1997   1
Hispanic-owned firms per 1,000 Hispanic Population, 1997 49

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