Immigrant-focused commerce plays strong role in local economy

This is a great story on how immigrants have brought new life to New Bedford. I enjoy the quote:

“I don’t think Central American groups are any different than previous generations of immigrants that have gone into self-employment,” she said. “It certainly takes an ability to work hard and set goals to become successful.” – Corinn Williams, executive director of the Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts.

Immigrant-focused commerce plays strong role in local economy – South Coast Today
By Jack Spillane
Standard-Times staff writers
July 01, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD — On Acushnet Avenue in the North End, there are now three Latino markets within three blocks of each other — Mi Antojo’s Mexican Market, Mi Tierra Grocery and Antojito’s Central American Market.

The working-class thoroughfare — until recent years well known for its Portuguese restaurants and bars like The Europa, Cafe Funchal and Club Sport Madeirense — has over the past half-decade become home to the Latino markets, as well as a restaurant and a bakery specializing in Central American food.

Another quote from the article:

A 2005 study of immigrant entrepreneurs in three Boston communities found that their new businesses revitalized neighborhoods and stimulated the local economy by reviving commerce, creating jobs and spin-off businesses, and enhancing public safety. The study, which covered East Boston, Allston Village and Fields Corner, was commissioned by the Immigrant Learning Center, an advocacy group in Malden that provides free English classes to adult immigrants and refugees.


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