Omaha – A new report released today by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) shows that while the number of Latino-owned businesses in Nebraska are growing, they are also the least likely to survive or expand.
According to the report, which utilizes data from the public use microdata sample compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007, while the 3,063 Latino-owned businesses make up just 1.9 percent of businesses in Nebraska, those same businesses have come to represent the largest share of minority-owned firms in the state at 53 percent, which is nearly double the number that existed a decade prior in 1997.
Despite these numbers, additional Census data shows that Latino establishments had one of the lowest probabilities of survival and expansion. Just 63 percent of Latino-owned businesses in operation in 2002 were still operational by 2006 and only 23 percent expanded. Comparatively, the survival rate for all Nebraska businesses during this timeframe was a full 10 percentage points higher at 73. And, the expansion rate for all Nebraska businesses was five points higher at 28 percent.
Of the total 3,063 Latino-owned businesses, the largest increases over the last five years have come from the healthcare and social assistance industry, accounting for 68 percent of the total growth in all Latino-owned firms. The next highest businesses category was administrative support and waste management services at 23 percent and then construction services at 16 percent.
Although few in number, these expansions also helped bolster Nebraska’s overall job numbers during the 2002-2006 timeframe. Approximately 10 employees were hired per expansion, which is higher than the state average of 6 employees. Additionally, these same establishments held on to the new positions with 95 percent of all jobs created by Latino-owned businesses between 2002 and 2006 being retained.
“This is the first time that the U.S. Census Bureau has released the Survey of Business Owners microdata that could help deepen our understanding of the conditions behind the growth of Latino businesses in Nebraska” said Lissette Aliaga Linares, OLLAS research associate and author of the report. “It is an important pre-recession snapshot to follow-up on issues that we are currently observing in the Latino business community and that many of our community partners are working hard to address.”
Other key statistics in the study show that a majority of the businesses surveyed were likely to be self-run start-ups founded between 2000 and 2007 and were more likely to feature non-standard work arrangements such as leased personnel, contractors or day laborers.
Latino-owned businesses were also shown to be primarily run by young men but split evenly between U.S.-born and foreign-born owners.
Across all of Nebraska’s 93 counties, just 10 are home to the majority of Latino-owned businesses with 829 businesses located in Douglas County, 235 being located in Sarpy County and 208 located in Hall County, which includes Grand Island. These same counties also saw the highest numbers of growth of Latino population since 2000.
The report also suggests some policy implications based on OLLAS’ findings, including:
- Further studies on the lack of expansion within Latino businesses
- Addressing the low rates of financial support sought by Latina business owners
- A re-examination of policies that can support more traditional work arrangements within Latino-owned businesses
- More training for first-time business owners in the Latino community
- A targeted effort to promote the neighborhood areas where Latino-owned businesses are expanding
The OLLAS report is currently posted online and available for public viewing at http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/businessreport2014.php.
For questions, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 402.554.2129.
The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies of the Great Plains (OLLAS—pronounced "oy-yas") at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) was established in 2003 with the support of UNO faculty, staff and students as well as the metropolitan community. OLLAS has helped fill a void in the Nebraska and Great Plains region's infrastructure dedicated to the productive incorporation of the new and growing Latino population into the political, economic and social life of the region. The office is dedicated to developing our institutional capacities and academic initiatives aimed at improving our understanding of Latino/Latin American issues and populations within and across borders. http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/
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