Black Americans are becoming entrepreneurs at a rapidly increasing rate and Pittsburgh is following the trend, a new report issued by the Census Bureau suggests. The report, ‘Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Firms: 2002,’ says that between 1997 and 2002, the number of black-owned businesses in the United States rose 45 percent to 1.2 million, while the combined revenue increased 25 percent to $88.8 billion. ‘It’s encouraging to see not just the number but the sales and receipts of black-owned businesses are growing at such a robust rate, confirming that these firms are among the fastest growing segments of our economy,’ said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. Slated for release today, the report also shows a significant if not quite as dramatic increase in local black business ownership. It found 4,363 black-owned firms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area as of 2002, up 38.8 percent from 3,142 in 1997. Revenue figures for the metro area, which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, were not available. Doris Carson Williams, president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, found the Census Bureau figures encouraging but not surprising. As blacks join the […]

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