Immigrants had $500M economic impact in Ohio, data says

Immigrant-owned businesses had an economic impact of more than $500 million in Ohio in 2014, according to officials.

Nearly 481,000 Ohio residents were born abroad, or about 4 percent of the state’s population, according to data presented Wednesday during a press conference in Dayton.

This morning’s press conference — hosted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, Welcome Dayton and the Dayton Chamber of Commerce — highlighted the economic impact of immigrants in key industries, including health care and manufacturing, according to a release.

About 11,800 people immigrated to Ohio between 2010 and 2014.

But Ohio’s growth in its immigrant population trailed the nation during that period.

Ohio saw 2.5 percent growth, while the United States saw 5.8 percent growth.

Immigrants were nearly 24 percent more likely to work than native Ohioans.

About 122,404 people in Ohio are employed at firms owned by immigrants.

About 27,620 immigrants in Ohio are self-employed.

In 2014, immigrant-owned businesses generated $532 million in business income in the state.

Immigrants in Ohio have contributed to increased housing values, new Main Street businesses and new investments, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

“The NAE data report demonstrates what we already know in Dayton: immigrants are an important part of our community’s cultural and economic fabric,” Welcome Dayton Committee Chair and City Commissioner Matt Joseph said in the release. “In Dayton, just as throughout the state of Ohio, immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs, are helping to off-set population loss, and are revitalizing our neighborhoods.”

According to the release, in Ohio, immigrants make up seven percent of all entrepreneurs and play a large role in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, a major component of U.S. economic growth.

“From workforce to entrepreneurship, Fortune 500 companies to manufacturing jobs, the data entailed in the report puts some concrete numbers around the vital role immigrants are playing in the economic prosperity of our communities,” Stephanie Precht, Director of Public Policy and Economic Development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, said in the release. “We are proud to continue our work with Welcome Dayton to connect immigrants to the business resources and entrepreneurial opportunities that drive growth and development for our entire community.”

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