Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Black-Owned Firms See Strong Performance

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Black-Owned Firms See Strong Performance

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Big black-owned U.S. businesses outperformed many companies last year, helped by an auto dealer rebound and successes ranging from an Ohio food distributor to a Los Angeles hip-hop clothier, Black Enterprise reports.

The monthly magazine also attributes the growth to the tough-survivor abilities developed by many of these businesses, which historically have faced much rougher operating conditions than their mainstream competitors.

"Black business in America has definitely come out ahead this year, even with the cycle of cutbacks, layoffs, downsizing and bankruptcies that has impacted the business community in general," said publisher Earl G. Graves.

Although executives at these companies were reluctant to predict how they'd fare this year, the magazine said: "the nation's largest black-owned businesses have weathered the worst the economy had to throw at them."

The magazine, which has been compiling data on black-owned companies for 21 years, reported its 1992 rankings of the biggest businesses on Wednesday. The rankings are in the June issue, on newsstands May 20.

Black Enterprise said revenues at the 100 biggest industrial and service businesses in its tally rose 13.9 percent last year. By contrast, revenues for the Fortune 500 industrial and service companies last year rose 4.4 percent.

"As has been the pattern throughout these troubled times, African-American-owned businesses proved themselves better able to hold up under a lagging economy than many of industry's giants, some of which stumbled, while others fell," the magazine said.

While mainstream titans like International Business Machines Corp. and Sears, Roebuck Co. began shedding tens of thousands of jobs to cut costs and shrink back to profitability, Black Enterprise said layoffs by black-owned businesses were relatively mild.

The magazine calculated a 2.8 percent workforce reduction among the 100 biggest industrial and service companies on its list. Employment among the 100 biggest black-owned auto dealerships, ranked as a separate category, rose by 3.6 percent, the first increase in four years.

Black Enterprise said the results partly reflect a rebound at the Big Three automakers, which grabbed an increasing share of the U. …

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