Newcomers Create New Businesses

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A Small Business Administration report (PDF) released this month finds that immigrants in the United States are 30 percent more likely to start a business than native-born Americans. The research, conducted by UC Santa Cruz professor Robert W. Farlie on behalf of the SBA's Office of Advocacy, finds that immigrant-spawned enterprises generate $67 billion annually--11.6 percent of American business revenue.

"Immigrant business owners make important contributions to the U.S. economy," Farlie states. "They start 16.7 percent of all new businesses in the United States and represent 12.5 percent of all business owners."

Some of the report's findings won't come as much of a surprise. In the immigrant-rich state of California, for example, where even its governor has overseas provenance, more than a third of new businesses registered each month are started by immigrants. Similarly, in Florida, Texas and New York, 30 percent of start-ups have immigrant roots.

Immigrant-owned businesses in the Golden State account for nearly one-quarter of business revenue there. Nationwide, Mexico contributes the largest number of immigrant business owners--255,300; Korea comes in second with 90,280.

"... In total counts and dollars, immigrants from Mexico contribute the most to total U.S. business ownership, formation and income," Farlie states.

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