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One North Carolina city working to help immigrant business owners

Charlotte, North Carolina has become known as a city that welcomes foreign-born residents. Data from 2013 indicates that as many as one in 10 residents in the area is an immigrant. Many of the area's immigrants are also business owners, and the city is hoping to work to support those immigrant business owners.

According to a recent article, a typical business district in the Charlotte area includes retail and neighborhood services, as well as accommodations and restaurants. Geographers who conducted the recent study claim that these types of businesses are the backbone of society and further suggest that policymakers and residents would do well to acknowledge that much of the area's economy has been positively affected by the business efforts of immigrant business owners. A task force recently gave a presentation before the city council citing the recent study and providing recommendations to establish developmental programs aimed at increasing support for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Spokesmen at the council meeting vocalized their support for assisting immigrant entrepreneurs. An executive director of a Latin American coalition said that encouraging the entrepreneurial ambitions and participation of foreign-born residents in the marketplace is an opportunity for positive civic engagement and economic improvement. Some even suggested creating "international corridor" designations for some neighborhoods. 

Whether the suggested policies and programs will be adapted in the North Carolina city remains to be seen. However, the contributions of immigrant business owners is clear. Immigrants who are leading successful lives in the United States who wish to become citizens to further cement their lives as Americans may benefit from the assistance of legal professionals with experience in immigration law.

Source:, "Charlotte, NC Capitalizing on the Benefits of Immigrant Entrepreneurs", Paul McDaniel, March 25, 2015

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