The number of small U.S businesses owned by immigrants has been increasing significantly over the past two decades. In 1990, immigrants owned 12 percent of small businesses, defined as those with fewer than 100 employees. In 2010, the number of U.S. immigrant owned small businesses had grown to 18 percent, an increase of 50 percent. This means one in every six small business owners is a foreign national.
This is according to a June 2012 report by the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative, titled Immigrant Small Business Owners: A Significant and Growing Part of the Economy. The report used data from the U.S Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also showed that the number of immigrant workers in the U.S. workforce was at 9 percent in 1990. This number had grown to 16 percent in 2010, an increase of 77 percent.
Small businesses in the United States employed 35 million people as of 2007, which is 30 percent of the 117 million people working for all U.S businesses, the report said. $6 trillion in receipts were attributed to small businesses in 2007, which is 21 percent of the $29 trillion of total receipts for all businesses.
In today’s economy, immigrant small business owners are performing a large role, which has increased considerably in the last 20 years. Immigrants are an essential part of the U.S. economy, not only as employees, but as small business owners as well. It is important to realize this impact on the economy as the U.S. strives to reform and improve its immigration policies.