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Immigrant Entrepreneurs Boost Economies

Immigrant entrepreneurs play a key role in the economic viability of Main Street businesses, according to a recent study from America.

The report, by Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and the Fiscal Policy Institute, revealed that immigrants make up 28% of Main Street business, such as grocery stores, restaurants and clothing stores. This percentage is much higher than their share of the labour force or overall business ownership, which stands at 16% and 18% respectively.

The report highlights that these Main Street businesses provide the shops and services that are the backbone of neighbourhoods. They play a critical role in creating attractive places to live and work, often making otherwise declining local areas more vibrant and economically viable.

“This report confirms and quantifies what we see in our daily lives: that immigrants are crucial to the economic vitality and success of cities around the country,” explained AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal. “More importantly, it shines a spotlight on cross-sector initiatives being implemented to remove barriers to immigrant entrepreneurship, which is a driver of economic growth at the local and national level.”

“These are types of businesses that don’t often get a lot of attention from economic development officials and don’t have huge profits. But they play a big role in neighbourhood revitalisation, and they can be an important economic step up for entrepreneurs,” added report author David Dyssegaard Kallick.

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