New Study “Reinforces MECEP Findings on the Growing Beneficial Influence of Immigrant-owned Businesses on Our Economy”

Fiscal Policy Institute report echoes recent MECEP research on the Asian and Latino business community in Maine
Augusta, Maine (Thursday, June 14, 2012) The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today joined its national partner the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) to release a new report which documents the large and growing role that immigrant business owners have played in the U.S. economy over the past 20 years. “Immigrant Small Business Owners: A Significant and Growing Part of the Economy” finds that nationwide, 18% of all small businesses are immigrant-owned and accounted for 30% of all small business growth. These immigrant-owned businesses employed 4.7 million people and generated $776 billion in receipts in 2007.  

“Immigrants are playing a particularly important role in the kinds of businesses that bring people into downtown areas and help enliven neighborhoods,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of FPI’s Immigration Research Initiative and author of the report. “I don’t think immigrants are ‘super-entrepreneurs,’ but I do see that immigrants are playing an important and growing role across the American landscape. And it’s not just traditional immigrant gateways, it’s all around the country.”
“The FPI report reinforces MECEP findings on the growing beneficial influence of immigrant-owned businesses on our economy,” said MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin. “Our research found that in 2007, Maine’s 1,043 Asian owned businesses had sales and receipts of $284 million and employed 2,543 people. In 2007 there were 979 Hispanic-owned businesses in Maine, generating $163 million in revenue. In communities throughout Maine, minorities, including immigrants, are opening new businesses, hiring new employees and making new investments that are contributing to and strengthening local economies.”
Martin cited two specific MECEP studies, “Asians in the Maine Economy” (April 2011) and “The Growing Latin American Influence: Opportunities for Maine’s Economy” (April 2009).
The FPI report produced by its Immigration Research Initiative uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and Current Population Survey. It uses this data to look at people who own an incorporated business, and whose main job is to run that business. It also uses previously unpublished data from the Survey of Business Owners (administered by the Census Bureau every 5 years, most recently in 2007). Together, these data allow for the report to give a level of detail about immigrant business owners that has previously not been available.
FPI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization founded in 1991 to create a strong economy in which prosperity is broadly shared.