Latino Businesses in Nebraska
by Lissette Aliaga Linares, Ph.D.
2. From 2002 to 2007, most of the Latino firm growth can be attributed to the proliferation of firms in the health care and social assistance industries (e.g., child care, elder care services and similar businesses). Administrative support, waste management and remediation services (e.g., cleaning, recycling and like businesses) as well as the construction industries also contributed significantly to the growth in Latino firms. Nonetheless, the growth in sales, employment and payroll was due to the expansion of Latino firms in the manufacturing, wholesale trade and construction industries. Retail trade was the only industry with losses in number of firms, sales, employment and payroll.
3. From 1997 to 2007, the proportion of Latino-owned employer firms, that is, those businesses with paid employees, decreased. This may suggest that more of the businesses opening in recent years have been less likely to hire employees.
4. Sixty-three percent of Latino establishments in operation in 2002 had survived up to 2006. In Nebraska, these survival rates for Latino establishments were lower than survival rates for any other minority-owned establishment. Also, in the period under study, Latino establishments were less likely to expand compared to other minority-owned businesses. Nevertheless, the few Latino-owned establishments that expanded in Nebraska created enough jobs to significantly counteract job losses due to closings. Consequentially, Latino firms retained 95% of their initial employees, a higher rate than national estimates for all establishments and the estimates of neighboring states for Latino establishments.
5. The statistical profile of Latino businesses in 2007 shows important differences between immigrant-owned and non-immigrant-owned businesses as well as between female-owned and male-owned Latino businesses.
6. Latino business owners are more likely to be male (58%) and relatively young (60% are between the ages of 25 and 54). They are almost equally likely to be immigrants or U.S. born. Almost half have either completed or have less than a high school education. Thirty-four percent of Latino owners studied beyond high school, a smaller share than non-Hispanic whites, black and Asian owners.
7. Most of Latino business owners have founded their own businesses yet have never been self-employed before. They are also more likely than business owners of other ethnicities to provide direct services to customers in their own businesses. Almost half of Latino business owners depend on their business as a primary source of income and spend longer hours working in their business than non-Hispanic white and black business owners.
8. There is some evidence that Latino businesses are becoming, or already are, spatially concentrated in cities such as Omaha and Grand Island, suggesting that ethnic enclaves3 may be present or forming in those cities.