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Baltimore Attracting Immigrants

The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has begun an interesting initiative to help reinvigorate the city by attracting immigrants to bring the skills, entrepreneurship, and tax base needed to bring new life back to a once thriving port city. Since immigrants are known for driving urban growth and renewal, the mayor thinks they are exactly the people the city needs and for that reason, she is laying out a welcome mat for all of those interested.

This effort was profiled in the publication from Next American City and the National League of Cities, titled “The Rise of the New Baltimoreans,” where the entrepreneurial power of immigrants was underscored. Immigrants are much more likely to create businesses than their native-born counterparts, creating jobs and significant tax revenue while also attracting consumers. The Partnership for a New American Economy has found that immigrant-owned businesses “generate more than $775 billion in revenue, $125 billion in payroll, and $100 billion in income, employing one out of every 10 workers along the way,” while accounting for 28% of all new start-up businesses in 2011 alone.

Furthermore, according to the research group, 18% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants, and these generate $1.7 trillion in annual revenue and give jobs to over 3.7 million people worldwide. Some of these companies include AT&T, Verizon, Pfizer, Kraft, Comcast, Intel, Merck, DuPont, Google, Kohl’s, Sara Lee, Sun Microsystems, United States Steel, Qualcomm, Ebay, Nordstrom, Yahoo!, and Amazon. Currently, nearly a quarter of Baltimore’s small businesses are owned by immigrants, but the mayor seeks to build upon that foundation and have it increase to new highs.

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