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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Number of Asian-run businesses in U.S. soars

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES The number of Asian-owned businesses grew at more than twice the national rate for U.S. companies between 1997 and 2002, according to a Census Bureau report released yesterday.

The 2002 survey of business owners found that 1.1 million companies were Asian-owned, a 24 percent increase from 1997. The number of U.S. businesses overall grew by 10 percent during the same period, to nearly 23 million.

Asian-owned businesses accounted for more than $326 billion in revenue in 2002, an 8 percent increase from 1997, the survey found.

Los Angeles County had the highest percentage of Asian-owned businesses, while Queens County, N.Y., ranked second. Orange County, Calif., and the City and County of Honolulu were third and fourth on the list.

New York City had more than twice as many Asian-owned businesses as any other city, with 112,853. It was followed by Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, San Jose and Houston.

"The robust revenues of Asian-owned firms and the growth in the number of businesses provide yet another indicator that minority entrepreneurs are at the forefront as engines for growth in our economy," Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said in a statement.

Nearly three in 10 Asian-owned businesses had paid employees other than the owner. Among all businesses, about a quarter had paid employees.

The survey defined Asian-owned businesses as those in which Asians owned 51 percent equity.

The report doesn't classify public companies, with publicly traded stock, because they can be owned by many stockholders of unknown races and ethnicities.