San Diego’s immigrant-powered economy on display at Feb. 2 summit
Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The region needs to identify better ways to smoothly integrate immigrants and refugees into its dynamic economy, says Karim Bouris, executive director of Business for Good San Diego
. Bouris, along with other business, civic and educational leaders, will facilitate discussions on this topic and more during the Welcoming San Diego Kickoff Summit Feb. 2
Welcoming San Diego is the City of San Diego’s multi-sector effort to advance the civic, social and economic integration of immigrants and refugees. The summit launches a yearlong planning process bringing together local government, business leaders, nonprofits and educational institutions to develop a strategic plan to create a more welcoming environment and improve the quality of life for all residents of the binational region.
“Our city’s immigrants contribute billions in economic impact to our county,” said Bouris, who is also a formal participant in the Welcoming San Diego planning process. “I’m hoping that through this process we can connect the dots across systems so that everyone has equal access to opportunities for economic success in the city and region.”
Bouris is not new to the immigrant-powered economy. In his role with Business for Good San Diego, a local nonprofit that unites small business owners to drive policy to improve their community, he represents more than 200 small businesses that know immigrants give more than they take. His business leaders have selected immigration as one of their issue areas, and they aim to ensure the county effectively coordinates immigration policies across its cities because they are all impacted by immigration.
“Our economy has expanded significantly due to our immigrant population, and we are committed to increasing awareness by educating the community,” said Juan Pablo Sanchez, member of Business For Good board of directors and owner of Super Cocina. “Data from the American Immigration Council show that immigrants make up one-third of California’s labor force. Immigration integration is an undeniable benefit to our city, our state and our country.”
Sanchez and Bouris also agree that local small business owners could benefit from attending the summit and letting their voices be heard.
“If you’re a small business owner in San Diego, especially an immigrant or refugee, this is your opportunity to drive important discussions on policies that allow you to provide a better future for your families and neighbors,” Bouris said. “Those unable to attend this summit will have other opportunities to join other organized events throughout the summer. You may also make an impact as a member of Business For Good San Diego.”
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