Immigrants launch 35% of Fortune 500 companies based in Minnesota
Posted on August 10, 2016
A report published recently has revealed that in the state of Minnesota in 2014, immigrants’ earnings totalled $12.2 billion and their contribution to the state’s exchequer was $2.2 billion through federal taxes and $1.1 billion via state and local taxes.
Published by the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition, the report was reviewing the economic effects of immigration. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Business Development and Public Affairs, Bill Blazar, was quoted by Daily Globe as saying that new American citizens have been significantly contributing to every industry in the state.
Representing most sectors of Minnesota’s economy, the coalition advocates overall immigration reform and protected borders. The report further states that immigrants, who comprise eight percent of Minnesota’s population, represented six percent of the state’s entrepreneurs in 2014. In the same year, immigrants’ earnings were 7.2 percent of the state’s total income. Immigrants or their offspring also founded 35 percent of all Fortune 500 companies based in Minnesota.
Around 50 percent of Minnesota’s immigrants are naturalised citizens, with lots more being eligible for naturalisation. As per the report, immigrants who become citizens increase their earnings by around $3,000 per year.
Though immigration reform is a federal matter, there are issues that need to be addressed at the state level if a federal plan has to be put in place, said the coalition. Immigrants are working in most sectors of Minnesota’s economy and at all levels, said Blazar. They are entrepreneurs, workers and consumers.
Dan McElroy, Hospitality Minnesota President, said that hospitality had numerous vacancies for which English fluency was not necessary. In fact, people of Indian origin own approximately 20 percent of Minnesota’s hotels. Hispanic entrepreneurs own many restaurants all over the state.
Perry Aasness, Executive Director of Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, said that the dairy industry is highly reliant on immigrant employees. Even as some may have begun as entry-level workers, they are moving up the value chain and occupying managerial positions.
Ken Warner, the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce President, said that downtown Willmar could almost be termed a ‘ghost town’ as there are no immigrant businesses there. He added that entrepreneurial spirit was a common denominator among all cultures. Warner said that their chamber has always encouraged putting up of signboards in Spanish to welcome customers.
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