April 24, 2015. The head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, visited Nashville to promote an initiative aimed at helping immigrant entrepreneurs this week. An article in The Tennessean referred to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative that examined the role of immigrants in Main Street business ownership, and highlighted Nashville as one of three case study cities, including a focus on the Conexión Americas program featured in the article.

Contreras-Sweet visited Nashville and Conexion Americas four months after Obama made a similar trip concerning immigration reform. Both pointed to strides the city has made in welcoming its rapidly growing immigrant population, which plays a significant role in the city’s economy. According to a recent Fiscal Policy Institute study, immigrants make up 29 percent of main street business owners in Nashville.