Immigrants make up 22 percent of New Jersey’s population, but they own 47 percent of its Main Street businesses.
And, although immigrant owners dominate certain businesses — for example, they make up eight out of 10 dry cleaners and run seven out of 10 grocery stores and bodegas — immigrants in New Jersey also own 50 percent or more of businesses such as household maintenance, transportation services, nail salons, computer service centers, restaurants, and clothing stores.
The data comes from a new report released yesterday by New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Immigrants in New Jersey own a higher share of Main Street businesses than in any other state not named California. These immigrant-owned businesses anchor local economies across the state, providing goods, services, and job opportunities in their respective communities,” noted Erika Nava, the report’s author.
According to NJPP, the results of the report “echo a nationwide trend, as immigrants are almost twice as likely to start new businesses” as their native-born peers, adding that immigrant-owned businesses in the Garden State generate $4.4 billion in annual income, with $950 million coming from the Main Street businesses.