ANALYSIS URGES EFFORT TO GROW MINORITY BUSINESSES TO SCALE
October 31, 2008
Economy League Report Identifies Speed Bumps on Road to Expansion
October 31, 2008 (Philadelphia) – Minority businesses are forming at a faster rate than overall businesses but are not as big or as profitable as their white counterparts, and the lack of scalable and viable minority owned businesses reduces Greater Philadelphia’s competitiveness, according to a report released today by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.
Building on research and interviews with regional business owners and procurement administrators, Everyone’s Business: Building Minority Businesses to Scale for Our Region’s Future defines the obstacles to reaching that next level and suggests public and private sector support strategy.
Although the challenge cannot be overcome overnight and will require a long-term investment, the benefits of a flourishing minority-owned business community will help the region’s future by: Increasing employment in minority communities, Enhancing our region’s economy and growing the tax base, and Reducing demand on social services and creating social stability.
In Greater Philadelphia, minorities generate significant entrepreneurial activity. According to research released by The Enterprise Center, nearly 12 percent of the region’s minority population is directly involved in entrepreneurial activity, as compared to 8 percent of the non-minority population. After developing from seedling to mature operation, minority-owned businesses face unique obstacles to growth some generated, in part, by the very policies and programs that help them as startups.
That more than 40 years of national, state, and local policies and programs have succeeded in aiding minority business endeavors is good news. But it’s not a signal that we can take the issue off the regional to-do list. To make Greater Philadelphia a world-class region, it needs all sectors performing to their potential. And to optimize minority business performance, we need to identify and understand the challenges and opportunities of bringing them to the next level of size, profitability, and influence.
“With a focused effort, we can help clear the way for them and others like them to grow their businesses into large enterprises – a win-win proposition that could make a tremendous difference in individual lives and buttress our regional economy,” said Steve Wray, Economy League Executive Director.
About the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to research and analysis of the region’s resources and challenges with the goal of promoting sound public policy and increasing the region’s prosperity. ELGP is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Economy League, Inc., with offices in Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, and Pittsburgh.