Large share of small business owners are immigrants

A New York Times editorial summarizes the elevated role of immigrants in running small businesses in the U.S. It cites a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
According to the study, 28% of leisure and hospitality business owners are immigrants. They are 53% of all gas station owners and 49% of all grocery store owners. One third of small businesses in California are immigrant-owned.
The Times’ summary says that “The study found that there were 900,000 immigrants among small-business owners in the United States, about 18% of the total. This percentage is higher than the immigrant share of the overall population, which is 13%, and the immigrant share of the labor force, at 16%. Small businesses in which half or more of the owners were immigrants employed 4.7 million people in 2007, the latest year for which data were available, generating $776 billion in receipts.”
They accounted for 30 % of the growth in small businesses — those with fewer than 100 employees — between 1990 and 2010.
Immigrant entrepreneurs are concentrated in professional and business services, retail, construction, educational and social services, and leisure and hospitality. They own restaurants, doctor’s offices, real-estate firms, groceries and truck-transportation services. More of them come from Mexico than any other country, followed by Indians, Koreans, Cubans, Chinese and Vietnamese.

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