Article via Indian Country Today Media Network

Despite the lengthy recession, the number of American Indian-owned businesses increased by 15 percent in the years between 2007 and 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The number of Indian-owned businesses increased from 236,691 in 2007 to 272,919 in 2012, according to the Bureau, which does a nationwide business census every five years. Sales also increased at Native firms, by $4.5 billion, from $34.5 billion to $39 billion, or an average of $142,900 per firm.

As in the 2007 and previous business censuses, the profile of the typical Indian-owned firm slants heavily to being a single proprietor or a small business. Just under 10 percent of those 272,919 Native firms, 26,179, had employees in 2012.

The Census Bureau does not begin to release data from its surveys for several years after the business census, and then it does so in several releases over a series of months. The latest data release for the 2012 business census was on Dec. 15, 2015.
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