Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, came to Conexion Americas in Nashville on Thursday to share an overview of a new SBA initiative focused on helping immigrant entrepreneurs.
As part of President Barack Obama's New Americans task force, the SBA will be rolling out a bilingual website to help business owners more easily learn how to access capital, counseling and contract opportunities. At the local level, Mayor Karl Dean's Office of New Americans and other Nashville organizations are partnering with the SBA to promote immigrant entrepreneurship.
"The SBA's goal is to create a whole new toolkit around our programs," Contreras-Sweet said, speaking to Dean and a group of Nashville immigrant entrepreneurs.
Contreras-Sweet visited Nashville and Conexion Americas four months after Obama made a similar trip concerning immigration reform. Both pointed to strides the city has made in welcoming its rapidly growing immigrant population, which plays a significant role in the city's economy. According to a recent Fiscal Policy Institute study, immigrants make up 29 percent of main street business owners in Nashville.
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