Small businesses are an important part of the American economy. Not only does it provide individuals with the opportunity to make a life they have always wanted, but it contributes to local economies in important and impactful ways. In fact, the American dream was built on people coming to America to start a business that grows into a success for them. As a result, immigrants continue to come to the United States with the intention of starting a business and making their own dreams come true.

A recent study by Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Center examined the importance of immigrant-owned businesses in the United States. The study found that while only 13% of the U.S. population consists of immigrants, they make up approximately 18% of small business owners in the nation. Within this group of small business owners, the study also found that immigrant-owned businesses make up approximately 14% of private sector employment. 

The sectors in which immigrants own businesses varies widely, and includes:

  • Retail 
  • Construction
  • Social services 
  • Education 
  • Hospitality  

In addition, the study found that 53% of gas station owners, 65% of taxi drivers, and 54% of dry cleaning/laundry business owners are immigrants.

The study concludes by stating that small businesses grew almost by almost 2 million between 1990 and 2010, with immigrant-owned businesses making up approximately 30% of that growth.

The United States is known for being a place for people to come and make a successful life for themselves. As a result, immigrants continue to come to the nation and start small businesses so they can have a piece of their own version of the American dream. This study shows that immigrant-owned businesses have become integral to the nation’s economy, and will continue to play a part in what keeps the United States moving forward financially.