Local business owners celebrate refugees’ positive economic contributions: over 64,000 foreign-born residents add $1.4 billion in business income to San Diego County
Source: Business For Good
June 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – On June 20, small business owners will gather at an immigrant-owned restaurant to honor the positive economic impact of immigrants and refugees on the San Diego economy. The event will take place on World Refugee Day, observed annually to honor the courage, strength and determination of people who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
Business for Good San Diego, a local nonprofit that unites small business owners to drive policy that improves the community, works to support policies that recognize the importance of immigrants to our local economy. Staying true to this perspective, Business for Good partnered with International Rescue Committee San Diego to bring this summer mixer to Suri Restaurant, a Syrian restaurant in El Cajon.
“As recently as two years ago, immigrants represented more than 32 percent of the entrepreneurs in San Diego County,” says Natalie Gill, Business for Good San Diego member and owner of Native Poppy floral design company. “This Business for Good mixer is a fun way for our diverse community of business leaders to celebrate these accomplishments and get to know each other better.”
Suri’s owner, Abed Keddo, is an immigrant who started his business with the intention of making his community better.
“As a Syrian immigrant, I know the challenges people face when they have to resettle in a new country, because my staff is comprised of recently resettled refugees,” says Keddo. “I want to show others that it’s possible to succeed, and I’m honored to host this celebration of our region’s entrepreneurial diversity—especially on World Refugee Day.”
According to the New American Economy, immigrants in San Diego contributed $54 billion to the county in 2016 and more than 64,000 foreign-born resident entrepreneurs currently contribute $1.4 billion in business income to San Diego county.
Business for Good’s summer mixer is open to those who want to meet like-minded business owners and learn more about the organization’s mission, goals and membership opportunities.