The Q-626 Report: A Study Analyzing the Diversity of the 626 Largest Businesses, and the 105 Largest Minority-Owned Businesses, in Queens

By Baynes, Leonard M. | St. John's Law Review, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

The Q-626 Report: A Study Analyzing the Diversity of the 626 Largest Businesses, and the 105 Largest Minority-Owned Businesses, in Queens


Baynes, Leonard M., St. John's Law Review


THE RONALD H. BROWN CENTER FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

"Queens is the most diverse county in America, with some of the most extraordinary, energetic, entrepreneurial people you will find anywhere in the world."1

I. INTRODUCTION

On a national level, between 1997 and 2002, members of racial minority groups have started businesses at higher rates than Whites.2 During this period, the number of businesses owned by African Americans, Latinos/as, and Asians grew by 33%-three times the rate of growth of businesses owned by other segments of the population.3 The growth rate between 1997 and 2002 was 45% for African American-owned firms,4 31% for Latino/a-owned businesses,5 and 24% for Asian American-owned businesses.6 Many of the new businesses, however, do not have employees7 and earn revenues below the national average.8

The Q-626 Report is designed to investigate and analyze the diversity of the 626 largest businesses and the 105 largest minority-owned businesses operating in Queens, New York. Over the past two decades, the borough of Queens has undergone major demographic changes, resulting in a plummeting percentage of White residents and large increases in the number of Asian American and Latino/a residents. Thus, Queens has been at the forefront of the nation's demographic changes and may serve as a useful model for successfully integrating racial diversity into the business community.

Some have pointed to Queens's diversity of businesses to help explain how it weathered the recent economic slow down better than the rest of the nation..9 From 2000 to 2002, wages in Queens and other outer New York City boroughs increased by 6.1% while falling in Manhattan by 7.1%.10 Queens lost 20% of the jobs created in the 1990s as compared to Manhattan's more-than 50% loss.11 Some policy-makers believe that small businesses, comprising about two-thirds of all businesses in Queens, are a vital part of the borough's economic strength.12 In fact, analysts believe that Queens may have been better positioned to weather the post-September 11 recession because of its large number of small businesses.

The Q-626 Report is significant because it is the first report on the diversity of the largest businesses and largest minority-owned businesses operating in Queens. At the same time, this paper is limited because it analyzes these businesses based purely on data sources, without more empirical and investigative research. This study is designed as an important first step in analyzing racial diversity of the business community in the most diverse county in the country. It finds that in terms of size, there are two business communities in Queens. The first includes a small number of medium to large businesses with annual revenues exceeding $100 million per year. The second includes the vast majority of businesses, which are small to medium in size, with annual revenues of less than $100 million per year. In addition, this Report reveals the under-representation of African American and Latino/a-owned businesses among the largest businesses operating in Queens.

This Report is divided into several parts. Part II examines the racial and ethnic diversity of Queens's residents and their corresponding income, educational, and employment statistics. Part III provides an overview of businesses in Queens. Part IV analyzes the racial and ethnic diversity of the 626 largest businesses and 105 largest minority-owned businesses in Queens. Part V evaluates the implications of this diversity on a variety of market segments in Queens, such as retail, real estate, air travel, manufacturing, construction, automobile-related businesses, the high-tech industry, health-related businesses, the food and beverage industry, and financial endeavors. Part VI discusses the methodology used to determine the rank order of the largest businesses operating in Queens. Parts VII and VIII will conclude and recommend further areas of study, specifically the underutilization of African American and Latino/a-owned businesses among the largest businesses in Queens. …

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