Immigrant Entrepreneurs are on the Rise in New York City

Move over Eddie Murphy and Arceno Hall because immigrants truly are coming to America.  This time however, they are not working in businesses.  Instead, they are the ones starting businesses.

According to New York City employment statistics, immigrant entrepreneurship is rapidly on the rise with immigrants owning disproportionately large numbers of big and small businesses according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

NYC Immigration Business Stats

While nationwide figures shown that more than one in six small business owners were immigrants, the number is nearly one-half in New York City alone.  Even more interesting is the fact that immigrants living in New York City comprise of 36 percent of the total population.

David Dyssegaard Kallick of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research noted that immigrants, especially in New York City are expanding the economy.  “I’m not sure people are aware of how big and growing the role of immigrants are playing as business owners,” said Kallick.

Due to its high concentration of immigrant residents, the New York City area ranked No. 3, behind Miami and Los Angeles, in having the largest share of immigrant small business owners while in certain New York City industries, an astonishing 90 percent of businesses are immigrant owned.  These businesses include dry cleaners, taxi services, grocery stores, child day care centers, restaurants, and beauty salons.

Immigration New York Success

One noted New York City immigrant success story, CEO of Bronz-based Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Lowell Hawthorne commented that immigrants are here for one reason only: to achieve the American dream.

“Living in the United States, there are tremendous opportunities if one wants to work hard,” said Hawthorne.  “We saw there was opportunity, we ran with it and we never stopped.”

Hawthorne, who moved to New York City in 1981 leaving behind his parents in Jamaica worked for nearly 10 years as an accountant for the New York City Police Department eventually came up with an idea to establish a Jamaican eatery that would bring the taste of Jamaica to New York’s Jamaican population.  By raising $100,000 through mortgaging his home, Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust in the Bronx leading for the business to grow rapidly and eventually becoming a franchise company in 1996.  Today, Golden Krust has 120 restaurants, annual sales of more than $100 million and 1,600 employees.

While immigrants in New York City like Hawthorne are clearly putting people to work nationwide, recent statistics show that immigrant owned businesses throughout the country produces close to $800 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 5 million people.

 President Barack Obama’s Immigration Announcement

On June 15th, President Barack Obama has announced that young illegal immigrants will be issued two – year work visas while the deportation proceedings are stalled for the period when visas are valid.

To read further about coming to the United States as an investor or entrepreneur, you may visit our article about obtaining a B-1 Business Visa. Just follow the link.

If you are an intending immigrant, an entrepreneur looking to set up a business in New York under a Business Visitor’s Visa, or a confident candidate for a new immigration status under the change in policy of the present administration, you should be able to understand what you are about to go through before actually taking any steps. Talking to one of our New York immigration lawyers will certainly be favorable to your situation.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.