African American owned businesses cover a broad range of industries. According to the 2007 Economic Census Report, the industrial range of African American owned businesses is increasing, as well as the actual number of African American owned businesses.
Also, according to the 2007 Economic Census Report, African American owned businesses accounted for 1.9 million non-farm U.S. businesses, an increase of 60.5 percent from 2002, and 7.1 percent of all non-farm businesses in the United States.
The industrial range of African American owned businesses covers many sectors of the economy. Some of the biggest areas of ownership are in health care, repair and maintenance, and retail trade.
The health care and social assistance industry comprises 37.6 percent of African American owned businesses. This category is grouped together because often a business in this field overlaps and offers both services. This type of business employs professional, certified people who provide these services to people in a variety of industries and locations. For example, within this industrial range on the health care side are doctor’s offices, nursing home facilities, and in-home health care providers. Within the health care industry, there is a wide range of services, as well. This includes doctors, other health practitioners, and the administrative staff supporting the company.
Similarly, the social assistance field encompasses a wide industrial range of the types of services offered. There are individual and family services such as probation offices and adoption services, child care centers and nursery schools, vocational rehabilitation, and community services helping with housing and food.
Though these two industries may seem very different on the surface, many businesses, including many African American owned businesses, within the health care and social assistance fields offer both types of services, relegating them to the same category.
The second largest category of African American owned businesses, according to the 2007 Economic Census Report, is repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry service. On the surface, this may sound like simple customer service, but the industrial range within this category is huge. It includes funeral homes and funeral services, beauty shops and barber shops, appliance repair, pet care, dry cleaners, household care and services and furniture repair, to name a few.
Retail trade is another considerable sector of African American owned businesses. Retail trade is, quite simply, the industry where items are sold for retail either in a store or through other means such as infomercials and online shops. This category does not include distribution or trade, the final step in the process or retail sales. It does include any after-sales services such as repair or maintenance of products.
The industrial range of African American owned businesses is consistently growing. African American business continues to grow as an important and increasing sector of the overall economy in America. African American entrepreneurs are crucial in helping to drive the American economy, in all sectors. After all, business ownership is part of the American dream.