By David Hendricks
San Antonio Express-News
The U.S. Census Bureau has identified the top five U.S. cities and counties in percentages of Hispanic-owned businesses. No. 1 is El Paso, followed by San Antonio, Houston, Albuquerque, N.M, and Los Angeles, in that order.
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El Paso leads the nation in percentage of businesses owned by Latinos.
The rankings cover cities with populations of more than 500,000 in 2007. The Census Bureau survey counts Hispanic-owned businesses, sales and receipts, number of paid employees and annual payroll and is held every five years.
The number of U.S. Hispanic-owned businesses increased by 43.7 percent to 2.3 million, more than twice the national rate of 18 percent between 2002 and 2007.
In the country tabulation, Bexar County (San Antonio), with a 37.3 percent of its businesses owned by Hispanics, came in at No. 5, behind Hidalgo County, Texas, El Paso County Texas, Miami-Dade, Fla., and Bronx, N.Y.
“Many of the Hispanic business owners here have been gathering skills to play the game of chess in the business world. Fifteen years ago, they were playing checkers,” said Ramiro Cavazos, president and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe the data show a direct connection to the training, advocacy, education and access to contracting,” he said.
Texas, with a 20.7 percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses, ranks third, behind New Mexico and Florida but ahead of California and Arizona.
Businesses owned by people of Mexican origin accounted for 45.8 percent of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States in 2007, the bureau reported.
Cuban-owned businesses were the second largest with 11.1 percent. Puerto-Rican-owned companies accounted for 6.9 percent. Businesses owned by other people of Hispanic origin accounted for 34.5 percent.
Receipts of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States totaled $274.5 billion, a 52.9 percent increase.
The number of Hispanic-owned business with 100 or more employees increased by 26.4 percent to 1,906 in 2007 from 1,508 in 2002.