WASHINGTON—Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) praised the passage of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill for 2008, with full funding provided for the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and Self Employed Persons. The survey provides data on businesses owned by veterans, minorities and women. However, in July, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would eliminate this survey by cutting Census funding by $10 million dollars.

“This survey offers the only comprehensive, regularly collected information about our country’s businesses and provides the foundation for good policy decisions affecting America’s 27 million small business owners,” said Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “Small businesses drive our economy forward; but without accurate data, Washington risks leaving behind our veteran, minority and women entrepreneurs who represent the largest sectors of growth in our economy.”

The Survey of Business Owners is part of the Economic Census, which is conducted every five years. The survey describes the characteristics of U.S. businesses by ownership category, geographic area, industry sector, and by size of firm (employment and receipts). Other survey data identify family- and home-based businesses, types of customers and workers, sources and purposes of financing, and owner's age, education level, veteran status, and primary function(s) in the business.