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Immigrant Energy Fuels Many Twin Cities Businesses

 There are many reasons why people come to America. Some are refugees; others come to be reunited with family members and qualify for green card or citizenship through family immigration.

As important as those forms are, a major driver of immigration is work. Many immigrants work for businesses that hire them. Other immigrants create their own businesses.

National figures indicate that there are about 900,000 immigrant small-business owners. This accounts for 18 percent of the total number of small-business owners.

In the Twin Cities, the percentage of small businesses owners who are immigrants is not quite that high, but is still impressive. According to a recent study by a New York-based research group, about 11 percent of small-business owners in the Twin Cities are immigrants.

The study was done by the Fiscal Policy Group’s Immigration Research Initiative.

“Immigrants are somewhat more likely than U.S.-born people to be business owners,” noted David Dyssegaard Kallick, the lead author of the study, “but they are not super-entrepreneurs.”

In other words, though every immigrant isn’t a budding business owner, immigrants as a whole contribute more than their fair share to that group.

The study also contained other interesting findings. For example, immigrant women are more likely to be business owners than women who were born in the U.S. are.

In the Minneapolis – St. Paul area, the evidence of immigrant energy is obvious in locations like Lake Street and University Avenue. Indeed, the emergence of immigrant business culture now extends to many other places. These include Central Avenue in northeast Minneapolis, the West Side of St. Paul, and Payne Avenue on St. Paul’s east side.

Source: “Immigrants chasing their business dreams ,” Star Trib, Allie Shah, 6-13-12

 

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