Immigrant Entrepreneurs Boost ‘Main Streets’ in Nashville

January 14, 2015. A front page story in The Tennessean talks about FPI’s study on immigrants’ role in Main Street businesses. The report has data about immigrant entrepreneurship around the country, and includes case studies from three metro areas: Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Nashville.

Here’s the lede:

When Nashville voters rejected a 2009 referendum that would have banned government officials from using non-English languages in their work, they sent a message that the city welcomed its immigrant community. Years later, their vote also would prove to support the city’s economic growth as immigrants’ businesses have proliferated Nashville, creating jobs and transforming neighborhoods.

Nashville immigrants have made a significant contribution to the local economy, especially through an outsized presence among local “main street” businesses, according to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a New York-based nonpartisan research nonprofit. In the larger Nashville metro area, immigrants account for 8 percent of the population and 9 percent of business owners, yet they make up a disproportionate 29 percent of Main Street business owners.