Published June 14, 2012
Immigrants own almost one of every five small businesses in the U.S., according to a new study.
Immigrants own 900,000 small businesses in the U.S., or 18% of the 4.9 million businesses with fewer than 100 people working for them, according to a report released Thursday by the Fiscal Policy Institute. The study, “Immigrant Small Business Owners: A Significant and Growing Part of the Economy,” found that the percentage of immigrant-owned small businesses is higher than the immigrant share of the population (13%) and the labor force (16%).
What’s more, these immigrant-owned businesses generated $776 billion in receipts in 2007.
The report drew its data from the Survey of Business Owners, which looked at businesses with between one and 99 employees, as well as the American Community Survey, which looked at those who own an incorporated business and whose main job is running that businesses.
The types of small businesses owned by immigrants are restaurants, physician’s offices, real estate firms, grocery stores and truck transportation services, the report found. Immigrants also make up the biggest share of small business owners in the leisure and hospitality industry, at 28%, broken down to 43% of hotel and motel owners and 37% of restaurant owners.
Between 1990 and 2010, small business owners grew by 1.8 million to 4.9 million, and immigrants made up 30% of that growth, according to the study. This accounts for 539,000 more immigrant-owned small businesses in 2010 than there were in 1990.
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