3 Cities Where Immigrants Helped Save Main Street

January 14, 2015. A great story by Ted Hesson for Fusion, with nice added detail in all three metro areas.

South Philadelphia’s Italian Market has long been the go-to spot for pasta and cannoli. But in the past two decades, a new set of business owners have moved into the neighborhood, bringing Mexican, Vietnamese and Korean food with them.

The transformation follows a national trend: new immigrants are increasingly becoming the face of community businesses across the country and, in some cases, a lifeline for dying neighborhoods.

Nationally, immigrants make up 13 percent of the population, but represent an outsized 28 percent of Main Street business owners, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the Fiscal Policy Institute.