Resources for Black-Owned Business Success

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If small business owners are the economic engine of the U.S., minority business owners are increasingly providing the power.

The number of black-owned businesses rose a noteworthy 60.5% to 1.9 million from 2002 to 2007, more than triple the 18% rate for businesses established nationally, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners. During the most recent period for which there is Census data, black-owned businesses generated $137.5 billion in receipts, up 55.1% (the government defines black-owned businesses as firms in which blacks or African-American's own 51% or more of the equity, interest or stock of the business.)

Where are these businesses?

New York, Georgia and Florida are the states with the largest concentration of black-owned businesses, while New York City, Chicago, Houston and Detroit were the four cities with the largest concentration of the nation's black-owned businesses, the Census says.

However, of the 1.9 million black-owned businesses, little more than 100,000 had paid employees. (And that was a 13% increase from 2002 figures). Just 14,000 of those businesses had receipts of $1 million or more.

With the largest concentration of black-owned businesses in New York, Chicago, Houston and Detroit, inner-city and underserved communities with large minority populations are likely among the customer demographic. With only 14,000 of these businesses grossing $1 million or more, it's fair to assume that the recent economic recession pushed these numbers down, possibly to dismal levels, for many business owners.

But help is out there, you just need to know where to look.

A growing list of organizations, agencies and online resources are dedicated to providing black and minority business owners with more resources to be successfully self-employed.

A good place to start is any local chapter of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, affiliate chapters of the National Urban League, or social media groups.

It doesn't take more than a simple Google search to turn a minority-business owner's attention to a site like Black Business Women Online, an online and social media organization dedicated to African-American women business owners. Even a search on LinkedIn ( LNKD) yielded many business-networking groups specifically for minority owners.

Here are a few examples of organizations that offer support for various aspects of business ownership, from securing loans to building a franchise and winning government contracts:

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