Report Shows Economic Impact of Immigrant Small Businesses

June 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm

The Fiscal Policy Institute, a non-partisan and non-profit research organization based in New York, released a report today looking at the role that immigrant small businesses and immigrant small business owners play in the U.S. economy. The report examined data for businesses with fewer than 100 employees and where half or more of the business owners are foreign-born.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Immigrant small businesses employ 4.7 million, 14 percent of all people employed  by small businesses in the U.S.
  • Immigrant small businesses generated $776 billion in receipts in 2007.
  • There were 900,000 immigrant small business owners as of 2010, 18 percent of all small business owners.
  • The number of small business owners grew by 1.8 million between 1990 and 2000, with immigrants accounting for 30 percent of overall small business growth.  

The growth in immigrant small businesses is aligned with the increasing share of immigrants within the labor force. In addition, the immigrant share of small business owners tends to be higher than the foreign-born share of the population,  both at the state and national levels. California, New York, and New Jersey are the top three states for the highest in foreign-born share of business owners.  North Carolina is in the middle of the pack, with over 13,000 foreign born business owners, or 8.6 percent of all small business owners.

In addition to highlighting the overall importance of small businesses in the nation’s economy, this report will hopefully expand the dialogue on small businesses to incorporate the growing importance foreign-born entrepreneurs. In a climate of increasing negativity toward immigrants, it is necessary to recognize and support the contributions that these businesses make in our communities.


Entry filed under: Economic Development, Small Business. Tags: , .

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