Thursday, September 25, 2008

The State of ALANA Businesses, Fall 2008

The State of ALANA Businesses, Fall 2008

Gloom, Cautious Optimism, Resilient Adapters

Bruce P. Corrie, PhD

The full report is on

Given the importance of ALANA (African Latino Asian and Native American) businesses to the local economy it is important to know how they are faring in the current economic climate. To get a sense of their status during this period of economic decline a quick survey was conducted in the following manner: From a database of over 3000 minority firms, 140 were randomly selected from a wide range of sectors. A total of 52 telephone calls were made with 24 responses from 16 sectors of the economy. Half of these calls were to firms randomly selected from the list of firms. Others were called to ensure representation of a wide range of industries.

Respondents were asked if their sales in the previous year were less than average, average or below average. They were also asked about their expected sales in the coming year and whether they had to downsize and about their plans to expand in the future. In addition leaders serving ALANA entrepreneurs were also surveyed for their assessment of the situation. The ALANA business owners reflected a wide range of sizes – both large successful multimillion dollar businesses to small businesses.

From these surveys we can construct the following ALANA Business Sentiment Index – with the value of 1 being “Boom” and the value of 3 being “Gloom”. The index is a simple average of the responses of the two questions on business sales in the past year and expected sales in the future.

An index of 2.3 out of 3 reflected more of “gloom” than optimism. However there were interesting facts behind those businesses doing well.

Firms in the survey reflected the following sectors of the economy: construction, specialty construction, manufacturing, IT services, janitorial services, real estate, restaurants, grocery stores, HVAC, translation services, commercial painting, commercial printing, ethnic media, insurance, business referrals and legal services.

For more details see the full report on

Saturday, August 30, 2008

RNC Visitor - Map of Ethnic Attractions

RNC Visitors and Delegates – Experience the World in Saint Paul

A Warm Welcome from the World Cultural Heritage District where you will experience the world in Saint Paul in the University Avenue area near the State Capitol.

The attached map will give you some places where you can experience the dynamic potential of ethnic capital in Minnesota – a 12 billion dollar economy. You can also find the map online at

If you want to know more about the area – call one of the Cultural Ambassadors listed on the map and they will be glad to help you.

Sample Itinerary -

· Morning coffee at African American Jazz Themed coffee shop and cafĂ© – Golden Thyme – ask the locals about the Rondo Neighborhood, Selby Jazz Festival or the African American Heritage Corridor.

· Egg rolls and Hmong Sausage at Food Smart Deli for a late morning snack

· Stroll over to the Hmong Market on Como and Marian

· Get your nails done, hair braided or buy ethnic groceries at the many stores on University Avenue

· Lunch – you choose the continent – Asia, Latin America or Africa – there is a restaurant to match on the Avenue or try Vietnamese sandwiches at Saigon or Trung Nam.

· Relax at the Rondo Library and read about local history there or walk over to the Center for Hmong Art and Talent to hear about their latest Hmong fashion show.

· Catch the latest show at the African American theater – Penumbra

· Dinner – eat with the locals – soup at Pho Ca Do, appetizers at the trendy Ngon, dinner at the elegant Mai Village (ask the owner to show you the Vietnamese Museum on the top floor), desert and drinks at the many restaurants on Selby Avenue.

Enjoy your visit to the World Cultural Heritage District and come back soon!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Workers from India Contribute $1 billion to Social Security Fund

An Article in the Indian Express sent to me by Kingshuk Mukherjee documents the contributions of temporary workers from India to the US Social Security Fund....see below... Over $1 billion of contributions to the US Social Security Fund are made annually by an estimated 80,000 “detached workers” from India working on consultancy and onsite assignments — each one has to contribute at the rate of 15% of basic salary. However, when they return to India, these contributions are forfeited as the minimum period to qualify for pension benefits in the US is 10 years (the same is true of India as well)...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ethnic Capital - Liberians in MN and USA

Ethnic Capital: Liberians in the United States and Minnesota

Bruce P. Corrie, PhD

Dean, College of Business, Concordia University

Daniel Johnson,

Research Assistant, Concordia University

Though a small community Liberians in the United States and Minnesota have a significant impact on the national and local economy. This report will document the multidimensional economic contributions of Liberians in Minnesota and the nation. The local analysis in Minnesota can help estimate the national economic contributions of this community to the nation.

· Liberian workers are a small but significant part of the Minnesotan economy. According to the EMSI model the employment of Liberian workers helped create over 12,000 jobs and increase overall earnings by 492 million dollars. This earnings increase is almost the size of the GDP of Liberia.

  • Liberians in the United States have a buying power of over a billion dollars. This is equivalent to two times the GDP of Liberia in 2005.

  • In Minnesota Liberian buying power is an estimated $157 million dollars which is almost as large as the 2007-08 Liberian National Budget of $199 million dollars.

  • Liberian workers are concentrated in the health care sector – nationally and locally with 45 percent locally and 36 percent nationally in that sector. Almost 4000 Liberians work in the health care sector in Minnesota.
  • Liberian workers have a powerful impact on the health care sector of Minnesota. According to the EMSI model, if the slightly over 3000 Liberian workers were to leave the local economy this would impact 7000 other workers in Minnesota and create a further earnings loss of over 300 million dollars in Minnesota.

  • At the national level, Liberians pay an estimated 441 million dollars in personal taxes, almost equal to the GDP of Liberia.
  • In Minnesota, Liberians pay an estimated 24 million dollars in state taxes and 22 million dollars in federal taxes.
  • Minnesota with exports to Liberia of 1.2 million dollars in 2007 was the 15th largest trading partner of the US with Liberia.
  • Between 2002 and 2007 – trade between Liberia and Minnesota rose 1479 percent or over 14 times.


Liberians in Minnesota and the nation are a small and significant part of the local and national economy. They influence the local and national economy in many ways – as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, global and cultural capital. It is all the more important that the issue of the TPS of some Liberians expiring be given due policy consideration as a sudden labor shortage in a critical sector of the economy (health care) can have a significant on the economy of Minnesota.

For the full report visit

Friday, March 28, 2008

Economic Contributions of African Immigrants

Minnesota is among the top 10 states in the nation for the number of African immigrants.

African Immigrant buying power in the USA is an estimated 45 billion dollars (in relative terms – will be the 6th largest African economy). African Immigrant Capital in Minnesota is also significant – for example buying power of the Somalis is an estimated 216 million dollars, Ethiopians 203 million dollars, Nigerians 71 million dollars, Kenyan 167 million dollars, Liberians 142 million dollars and smaller communities like the Cameroonian community have an estimated buying power of 6 million dollars.

African immigrants, as compared to other immigrants, tend to be younger, have higher educational attainment and have a greater participation in the workforce.

This data was released by Dr. Bruce Corrie, Professor of Economics and Director of the Strategic Business Design Institute, Concordia University, at the 4th Annual Midwest Multicultural Marketing Conference in Saint Paul, MN. For more data on African Immigrant Capital please see

A new study on the economic contributions of African immigrants from Liberia will be released shortly. Contact: Tel: 651 641 8226

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mexican Americans and the Immigration Debate

A new study documenting the economic contributions of Mexican Americans in Minnesota was released on March 3, 2008 at the Minnesota Meeting in Minneapolis.

The study addresses a critical weakness of immigration research and policy that has a very narrow definition of economic contribution with its focus mainly on taxes and government spending.

The study offers a comprehensive picture of the economic contributions of immigrants by focusing on immigrants as consumers, workers, human capital, entrepreneur, tax payers, global capital, cultural capital and political capital. Within this perspective the study finds that Mexican Americans have made very significant economic contribution to the state of Minnesota – much more than has been acknowledged in the policy debate on immigration.

The study also points to a flaw in the existing debate on immigration of not incorporating the realities of our market system into the framing of immigration policy. Further there may be no contingency plans developed at the state or national level to address the impact to the local and national economy if large scale labor shortages occur should we implement proposed immigration policies such as mass deportations. The study can be found at