In the research and writing of Bringing Vitality to Main Street: How Immigrant Small Businesses Help Local Economies Grow, I am deeply indebted to so many people that the full page of acknowledgments has to be posted online. —David Dyssegaard Kallick, author, Bringing Vitality to Main Street: How Immigrant Small Businesses Help Local Economies Grow.
Kate Brick policy manager at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA), was a valuable partner from beginning to end in the conception, design, and editing of this report. Former AS/COA policy manager Richard André was also a key part of the initial framing of the research, and policy associate Steven McCutcheon Rubio played the central role in editing the final report. And Adriana La Rotta, director of media relations for AS/COA, was tremendous in helping to get this report out to the press. I know that more of AS/COA’s staff worked in ways I didn’t even see, for which I am also thankful.
My colleagues at the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) were central to the project. James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist of FPI, gave valuable input on a daily basis every step of the way. Interim executive director Ron Deutsch provided support and encouragement as well as overall guidance to the project. Bryan LaVigne, director of administration and development, helped keep the considerable logistics around the report on track. Research associates Hui Liu and Eloy Fisher performed the data analysis that is the basis for our charts and tables, as well as much more that informed the research and didn’t make it into the final report. FPI’s partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, particularly Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research, provided invaluable guidance on how to make this research most useful to groups in its State Priorities Partnership around the country.
FPI is grateful, as am I personally, for the tremendously valuable input of the expert advisory panel to our Immigration Research Initiative: Jared Bernstein, senior fellow of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and former chief economist and economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden; Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at the New York University School of Law; Gregory DeFreitas, professor of economics and director of the labor studies program, Hofstra University; Héctor Figueroa, secretary-treasurer, 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union and member of the editorial board of the New Labor Forum; Nancy Foner, distinguished professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; Philip Kasinitz, professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center; Peter Kwong, professor of urban affairs, Hunter College; Ray Marshall, Former Secretary of Labor, Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, and chair of the AFL-CIO Immigration Task Force; John H. Mollenkopf, distinguished professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and director of the Center for Urban Research; Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer, Pew Hispanic Center; Max J. Pfeffer, Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University; Audrey Singer, senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution; and Roger Waldinger, distinguished professor of Sociology at UCLA. Jill Wilson at the Brookings Institution shared with us her geographical coding and general expertise, which was a tremendous help in our metro area analysis. Steve Tobocman, director of Global Detroit, shared his insights as well as extensive contacts. And, Colin Gordon, Colin Gordon, Professor of History at the University of Iowa and a Senior Research Consultant at the Iowa Policy Project, helped us get our interactive web features online.
And, in the three metro areas I interviewed the following people, whose willingness to take time out to talk with me I enormously appreciate.
In Philadelphia: Gilberto Alfaro, Jr, business district manager, HACE; Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, senior analyst at the National Skills Coalition and at the time of the interview vice president for policy and evaluation at the Welcoming Center for New Pennyslvanians; Etan Brandt-Finnell, member experience, Impact Hub; Samuel Kuang-hsien Chueh, business services manager, Philadelphia Department of Commerce; Hyunjin Choi, owner, Koko Discount; Abou Diallo, vendor on 52nd Street; Varsovia Fernandez, president and CEO, Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Peter Gonzales, president and CEO, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians; Laurel Klein, community kitchen project at Impact Hub; Ted Hall, president of the fashion store Babe; Lee Huang, senior vice president and principal, Econsult Solutions; Luis Mora, president and founder, FINANTA; Mercy Mosquera, general manager of Mixto and Tierra restaurants;Mohamed Mostafa, Variety Plus; Anatoli Murha, marketing and business development manager, Ukranian Self-reliance Federal Credit Union; Baba Njoro, vendor on 52nd Street; Herman Nyamunga, director, global enterprise hub & small business development, Welcoming Center for New Pennyslvanians; Anne O’Callaghan, founder, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians; Jennifer Rodriguez, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs; Aron Starosta, program manager, Digital Health Accelerator; Fernando Treviño, deputy executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs; Ahmad Qardi, vendor on 52nd Street; Helen Woo, owner of King’s Fashion.
In Minneapolis-St. Paul: Abdirahman Ahmed, owner, Sabri Somali restaurant; Bill Blazar, interim president, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; Bruce P. Corrie, associate vice president for university relations and professor of economics at Concordia University, and an invaluable resource regarding immigrant entrepreneurship in the twin cities; Becky George, cultural events and property manager, Neighborhood Development Center; Hector Garcia, Chicano Latino Affairs Council; Gene Gelgelu, African Economic Development Solutions; Manny Gonzalez, owner of Manny’s Tortas; Ben Johnson, real estate project developer, Neighborhood Development Center; Jan Jordet, senior director of consulting and financing services, Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA); Michou Kokodoko, senior project manager, community development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Kathy Moriarty, director of training and chief administrative officer, Neighborhood Development Center; Kathy Mouacheupao, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Adam Platt, executive editor, Twin Cities Business; Nieeta Presley, The Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation; Earlworth Baba Letang, market manager of Midtown Global Market, Neighborhood Development Center; Samir Saikali, manager of grants and data, Neighborhood Development Center; Nasibu Sareva, executive director, African Development Center; Brian Singer, director of lending, Neighborhood Development Center; Lisa Tabor, Intercultural Cities Project; Mihailo Temali, founder and CEO of the Neighborhood Development Center; Va-Megn Thog, Asian American Development Association; and Jay Walljasper, senior fellow and editor of On the Commons.
In Nashville: Rick Bernhardt, executive director, Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department; Yuri Cunza, president, Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Katharine Donato, professor and chair of Sociology, Vanderbilt University; Paul Galloway, incoming executive director, American Center for Outreach; Howard Gentry, county clerk, Davidson County Criminal Court; José Gonzalez, instructor of entrepreneurship and management, Belmont University, and a co-founder of Connexión Américas; Frank Harrison, member of the Nashville Metropolitan Council; Garrett Harper, vice president of research, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Shanna Singh Hughey, director of the Mayor’s Office of New Americans; Galen Spencer Hull, president of Hull International and a dynamic and tireless advocate for immigrant entrepreneurs in Nashville; Nicholas Lindeman, economic and systems data analyst, Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization; Avi Poster, a retired school teacher and administrator and leader in Nashville groups addressing among other issuers race relations, immigration, and disability rights; Michael Skipper, executive director, Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization; Renata Soto, co-founder of Connexión Américas; Remziya Suleyman, outgoing executive director of American Center for Outreach; Stephanie Teatro, interim co-director, Tennessee Immigrant Rights Coalition; Gatluak Thach, president and CEO of the Nashville International Center for Empowerment; and Matt Wiltshire, director of the Economic and Community Development Office of the Mayor of Nashville.