For Raudel Sanchez and many other immigrant business owners in the United States, the current economic recession has taken a heavy toll and threatens to destroy their hard-won dreams.
Sanchez, 63, came to the U.S. from Mexico in 1967, and he worked up to 14 hours a day, saving money to bring his family to the country, said an article in USA Today.
Eventually Sanchez saved enough to open a small business empire that includes clothing stores, a restaurant and a record label. But with consumer spending and bank loans drying up, he’s stopped advertising, laid off employees and closed two of his businesses.
Immigrant-owned businesses are a cornerstone of the American economy. About 1.5 million immigrants own businesses and account for over 11 percent of all U.S. business income, said Rob Fairlie, an economics professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz, in a study for the Small Business Administration.
Because they have worked so hard and taken so many risks to build their businesses, “immigrants are much more likely to battle it out for longer” during a bad economy, Allert Brown-Gort, associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, told USA Today.
Some economists believe that recovery will come slower to small businesses, but many immigrants said they still believe they will succeed.
Sanchez, for one, is sure the economy will rebound. “I still believe in this dream I had many years ago,” he told USA Today. “The only thing is you have to work hard.”
This article was submitted by Katie Kapler, Director of Online Strategy for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with financing options and advice to grow their business. Send all questions to email@example.com.