Ann and Raul Beltran of Gilbert are typical of the growing number of successful minority small-business owners in the Valley.
“We worked very hard and took advantage of all the workshops and classes offered by the various communities as well as the benefits minority-owned companies are given by the county, state and some cities in the Valley,” said Ann Beltran. She referred to a flexible pricing “cushion” offered by some East Valley communities to give extra help to minority-owned companies whose bids are slightly higher than nonminority-owned businesses.
Minority-owned companies whose bids are as much as 5 percent higher than a nonminority firm may be given more flexibility when communities decide which company to grant a contract to and, may win the deal despite their higher bid.
The Beltrans were among several minority business owners honored during a third annual report compiled by Salt River Project and the Hispanic Research Center of Arizona State University. The study, called the 2007 SRP Arizona Business Study Focus on Minority-Owned Business, was conducted between March 29 and May 8 and involved 1,440 interviews, mostly with minority business owners. It was released Tuesday at a gathering of minority-owned business owners at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.
“This report is the longest and largest ongoing study of minority-owned businesses in the nation,” said Loui Olivas, assistant vice president of academic affairs and associate professor at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
Richard Silverman, SRP general manager, said between 1997 and 2002 the percentage of minority-owned businesses in the U.S. tripled and the number of women-owned minority businesses had grown twice as fast. The study is available at www.srpnet.com/study.
• The median age of the owner of a minority-owned startup businesses is 49.
• Hispanic women account for nearly 40 percent of the businesses owned by minority women in Arizona and the Valley.
• Median household income of the minority business owner is more than $70,000.
• The typical minority-owned business is a sole proprietorship with annual revenue of $201,000. It has four employees and has been in existence about nine years.