Black-owned businesses had the greatest increase among minority-owned businesses between 2002 and 2007, according to new Census figures. During this time, this sector grew to 1.9 million businesses, a 61% increases from previous years. Black businesses also generated $135.6 billion in gross receipts, a 53% increase from 2002. Overall, businesses owned by minorities grew at 46% to 5.8 million, twice the national average. Those owned by women also had a 20% increase. In 2007, minority-owned businesses employed approximately 5.9 million people, up from 4.6 million in 2002. Though these figures show positive growth, The U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) director David A. Hinson says there is still a significant gap between minority and non-minority-owned businesses. For example, average gross receipts for minority-owned businesses were $179, 000 in 2007 whereas the average for non-minority-owned firms is $490,000. “We must continue to close this gap,” said Hinson. “We must aggressively grow minority-owned firms and assist them in contributing to President Obama’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years.”